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Keith Richards’ ‘Main Offender’ gets 30th-anniversary reissue

The release will feature previously unreleased recordings from Richards’ 1992 Winos Live in London concert.

By Larisha Paul

Keith Richards
Keith Richards (Picture: Press)

Main Offender, the second solo effort from Keith Richards, is set to receive an expansive 30th anniversary reissue on March 18. The release will feature previously unreleased recordings from the musician’s 1992 Winos Live in London concert and a collection of archival material dating back to the album’s initial release.

First released in October 1992, Main Offender came four years after Richards’ solo debut Talk Is Cheap. He recruited the X-Pensive Winos for recording, made up of drummer Steve Jordan, guitarist Waddy Wachtel, bassist Charley Drayton, keyboard player Ivan Neville, singer Sarah Dash, and backing vocalists Bernard Fowler and Babi Floyd.

The Main Offender anniversary reissue will be released as a two-CD set and will be available on vinyl in limited red, black, and smoke-colored LPs. Winos Live in London ‘92 will also be released on CD and LP for the first time. The remainder of the package features an 88-page leather-bound book featuring notes and exclusive photos.

In a statement, Richards recalled: “This is the second time around and the Winos are kind of developing — and if I can keep those guys together for as long as I can, it’s one of the best bands in the world. It’s a very intriguing band and the potential is only just starting to show itself.”

The Rolling Stones musician believes that Main Offender would have taken on a completely different sound and identity had he not taken the Winos on the road with him. Even for the reissue, Jordan oversaw all audio remastering.

Richards shared: “I tried to avoid making too much sense on this record because to me that ambiguity and mystery, and a little provocation to make you think, is something far more powerful and more important than just wagging your finger and saying, ‘I know what he’s saying don’t do this, do that.’ If you’re a musician, silence is your canvas and you never want to fill in the whole thing because then you’ve just covered it all… One of the most interesting parts about music is where you don’t play.”

Main Offender Tracklist

1. 999
2. Wicked As It Seems
3. Eileen
4. Words Of Wonder
5. Yap Yap
6. Bodytalks
7. Hate It When You Leave
8. Runnin’ Too Deep
9. Will But You Won’t
10. Demon

Winos Live In London ‘92 Tracklist

1. Take It So Hard
2. 999
3. Wicked As It Seems
4. How I Wish
5. Gimme Shelter
6. Hate It When You Leave
7. Before They Make Me Run
8. Eileen
9. Will But You Won’t
10. Bodytalks
11. Happy
12. Whip It Up