Steel Wheels (2009 Remaster)
Steel Wheels was recorded after a three-year hiatus between studio releases and the assumed dissolution of the legendary group. However, quicker than you could say "World Tour," the band were back in the studio polishing up a stronger than expected collection that while indebted to the polished production values of the era still managed to pull off a number of trademark Stones riffs without losing the thread. "Sad Sad Sad" kicks things off with the band's natural aggression showing force, while most of the remaining highlights are stylistic flourishes that show the group becoming less a dangerous locomotive than a sleek jet. "Blinded By Love" is the obligatory country-based tune. "Continental Drift" aims for "psychedelia" with its eastern feel. "Almost Hear You Sigh" and "Slipping Away" showcase Keith Richards' innate sense of delightfully wasted time and serve as the album's most sustaining moments. Elsewhere, the band chug at a furious pace — "Hold OnTo Your Hat," "Rock and AHard Place" — that shows they could keep up with their contemporaries if need be. But, really, for a band of such legendary status, there's no need.