Ronnie Wood: Now Look (1975)

[Kronomyth 2.0]
I’ve Got My Own Album to Deux.

It’s all about accepting what you need out of life. It’s all up to what you value. It’s all pretty much the same to me. Ron Wood’s second solo album could pass for a George Harrison record in spots, which is to say more polished than its scratchy sub-Rod Stewart exterior would first indicate. In fact, Now Look is what I expected a Keith Richards record to sound like: boozy with moments of sobering lucidity (“Breathe On Me”). Wood was at a crossroad between The Faces and The Stones (hardly between a rock and a hard place); within the year, his fortune would be assured as a member of the world’s greatest rock & roll brand. Without the heavy mantle of the Stones yet on his shoulders, Wood remains free to try on different faces: disco (“If You Don’t Want My Love”), island rock (“Caribbean Boogie”) and boogaloo (“I Can Say She’s Allright”). He gets support from Bobby Womack, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan, not to mention Keith Richards and Mick Taylor. Nothing on Now Look is a revelation (well, maybe “Breathe On Me”) but songs like “Now Look” and “I Got Lost When I Found You” opened my ears a little wider and gave me a greater appreciation of the man. Wood’s guitar playing is unimpeachable, his raspy voice grows on you over time, the arrangements straightforward but not stingy. Like I said, George Harrison. I’m not sure how much mythology Ron Wood can lay claim to, however. George was a mystic Beatle, Ron was merely the less haggard-looking of the latter-day Stones’ two guitarists. If you’re interested, this and his first album (which featured a more impressive cast) are the places to start and make for a nice supplement to any mid-70s Stones collection.

Original LP Version
A1. I Got Lost When I Found You (Ron Wood/Bobby Womack) (4:27)
A2. Big Bayou (Gib Gilbeau) (2:41)
A3. Breathe On Me (Ron Wood) (6:34)
A4. If You Don’t Want My Love (Bobby Womack/Gordon D. Witty) (4:17)
A5. I Can Say She’s Allright (Ron Wood/Bobby Womack) (6:22)
B1. Caribbean Boogie (Ron Wood) (2:25)
B2. Now Look (Ron Wood) (3:50)
B3. Sweet Baby Mine (Jim Ford/Bobby Womack) (3:27)
B4. I Can’t Stand The Rain (Donald Bryant/Ann Peebles/Bernard Miller) (3:13)
B5. It’s Unholy (Ron Wood) (6:29)
B6. I Got A Feeling (Bobby Womack/Ian McLagan/Jean Rousell) (3:21)

The Players
Ron Wood (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel, backing vocals), Ian McLagan (piano, organ), Andy Newmark (drums, percussion), Jean Roussell (electric piano, synthesizer, clavinet), Willie Weeks (bass, guitar, backing vocals), Bobby Womack (guitar, vocals, backing vocals) with Kenny Jones (drums), Keith Richards (harmony vocal, guitar), Mick Taylor (slide guitar on track 10), The Womack Sisters (backing vocals on track 11). Produced by Ron Wood, Ian McLagan and Bobby Womack; engineered by Keith Harwood.

Did You Know?

  • “Breathe On Me,” “It’s Unholy,” “Caribbean Boogie” and “Now Look” are leftovers from the recording session for his first album. An early version of “I Can Say She’s Allright” was also recorded during those sessions. (source: Woodworks (http://www.nzentgraf.de/books/rw/Wood1.htm) from The Complete Works Website).
  • Rod Stewart recorded a version of “Big Bayou” for his album, A Night On The Town (1976).
  • It was Wood who introduced Bobby Womack for his 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Pictures
Cover design by Ron Wood and Mike Dowd, A.G.I. Front cover photo by Chevy Kervorkian. Tinting by Morris Tate. Back cover photos by Dick Polack and Laurens Van Houten.

The Plastic
Released on elpee on July 4, 1975 in the UK (Warner Bros., K 56145), the US and Australia (Warner Bros., BS 2872), Japan (Warner, P-10027W), Mexico (Warner Bros./Gamma, GWEA 5173) and Yugoslavia (Suzy, WB56145); reached #118 on the US charts.

  1. Re-issued on elpee and compact disc in November 1987 in the UK (Thunderbolt, THBL/CDTB-046).
  2. Re-issued on picture elpee in the late 1980s in the UK (Thunderbolt, THBL-046P).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc on September 13, 1994 in the US and Germany (Warner Archives, 45693-2) and Japan (Warner Archives, WPCR-97).
  4. Re-issued on compact disc on May 24, 2006 in Japan (Warner Bros., WPCR-75192).
  5. Re-issued on compact disc in 2009 in the UK (Rhino Encore, 99054).
  6. Re-issued on compact disc on November 21, 2012 in Japan (Warner Bros., WPCR-14781).

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