Ronnie Wood: Anthology – The Essential Crossexion (2006)

Kronomyth 10.75: INTO THE WOODS. This is the deepest we’ve gone into the Wood yet: a double-disc anthology featuring Ronnie solo material on disc one and his group material on disc two. Even more intriguing is the decision to include four tracks from his earliest and seldom-heard work with The Birds. And then there’s the baffling decision to include as many tracks from the Creation–a band that no one even remembers Wood playing in–as the Rolling Stones, a band that arguably overshadows all of his other work combined. The solo disc is pretty solid and sticks to the singles, although it virtually ignores his highest-charting album, Gimme Some Neck (“Seven Days” is featured here in its live version). The best tracks are those that feature a little help from friends like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, George Harrison and Bob Dylan. It sags in the middle but picks up again on the last few tracks, when Wood returns to rock’s roots for songs like “Whaddya Think” and “You Strum And I’ll Sing.” The second disc (featuring group material) takes a while to heat up, but it finally does when the Jeff Beck cuts roll around and never cools down again. Wood had the good fortune to work with some great vocalists (Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger) and the iron balls to play alongside some great guitarists (Jeff Beck, Keith Richards). I can appreciate the fact that The Essential Crossexion looks to shake his image as the Stones’ third second guitarist by heavily favoring his work with Rod and The Faces, but what emerges here is a journeyman guitarist whose solo career never took off. And maybe that is Ronnie Wood’s story: always in the right place at the right time but slightly left of center stage. These songs don’t tell the whole story, or even the more interesting parts of the story, but I’ll give Virgin a nod and a wink for dreaming up the idea in the first place.

The Songs
Disc One (Ronnie Wood solo)
1. I Can Feel The Fire (4:55)
2. Cancel Everything (4:36)
3. Far East Man (4:40)
4. Big Bayou (Gib Guilbeau) (2:36)
5. If You Don’t Want My Love (Bobby Womack/Gordon D. Witty) (4:51)
6. 1234 (3:28)
7. Fountain of Love (5:11)
8. Seven Days (Bob Dylan) (5:26)
9. Always Wanted More (Ronnie Wood/Bernard Fowler) (5:43)
10. Breathe On Me (Ronnie Wood/Bernard Fowler) (5:39)
11. Somebody Else Might (Ronnie Wood/Bernard Fowler) (4:52)
12. Josephine (Ronnie Wood/Bernard Fowler) (5:30)
13. Testify (George Clinton/Daron Taylor) (5:36)
14. Whaddya Think (2:59)
15. This Little Heart (3:39)
16. Little Mixed Up (3:03)
17. You Strum And I’ll Sing (3:20)

All songs above written by Ronnie Wood unless noted

Disc Two
1. The Birds: You’re On My Mind (Ronnie Wood) (2:49)
2. The Birds: You Don’t Love Me (Elias McDaniel) (2:06)
3. The Birds: No Good Without You Baby (William Stevenson) (2:39)
4. The Birds: How Can It Be (Ronnie Wood) (2:58)
5. The Creation: Midway Down (Wanderling/Shapiro) (2:45)
6. The Creation: The Girls Are Naked (Kenny Pickett/Kim Gardner/Ronnie Wood) (1:58)
7. The Jeff Beck Group: I Ain’t Superstitious (Willie Dixon) (4:56)
8. The Jeff Beck Group: All Shook Up (Otis Blackwell/Elvis Presley) (4:53)
9. The Jeff Beck Group: Plynth (Water Down The Drain) (Nicky Hopkins/Ronnie Wood/Rod Stewart) (3:08)
10. The Jeff Beck Group: Jailhouse Rock (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller) (3:16)
11. Faces: Flying (Rod Stewart/Ronnie Wood/Ronnie Lane) (4:18)
12. Rod Stewart: Gasoline Alley (Rod Stewart/Ronnie Wood) (4:05)
13. Faces: Miss Judy’s Farm (Ronnie Wood/Rod Stewart) (3:41)
14. Faces: Too Bad (Ronnie Wood/Rod Stewart) (3:16)
15. Rod Stewart: Maggie May (Rod Stewart/Martin Quittenton) (5:15)
16. Faces: Stay With Me (Ronnie Wood/Rod Stewart) (4:37)
17. Rod Stewart: Every Picture Tells A Story (Rod Stewart/Ronnie Wood) (5:59)
18. Faces: Ooh La La (Ronnie Wood/Ronnie Lane) (3:31)
19. The Rolling Stones: Everything Is Turning To Gold (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards/Ronnie Wood) (4:06)
20. The Rolling Stones: Black Limousine (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards/Ronnie Wood) (3:31)

The Plastic
Compilation released on 2CD on September 26. 2006 in the UK (EMI, 5639552), the US (Virgin, 74523-2) and Japan (EMI, TOCP-70047/8). Cover photo by Judy Totton; design by Andrew Day.

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