Jagger's new band, formed on a whim, gets Superheavy

Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:08pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dave Stewart went to the hilltop and called on a higher rock star -- Mick Jagger. Thus began Superheavy, a project shrouded in secrecy for two years and now with one album released this week to its credit

Stewart, founder of the Eurythmics, rang the Rolling Stones frontman from a hilltop in Jamaica with the idea of forming a super group from different genres.

They brought together British soul singer Joss Stone, reggae artist Damian Marley and composer A.R. Rahman, the Oscar-winning composer behind the "Slumdog Millionaire" score, to form Superheavy, which produced a record of the same name.

They tested the idea with a two-hour studio session in Los Angeles two years ago, producing what Stewart called "this huge noise."

"That gave us a lot of confidence," Jagger told Reuters with all his bandmates, except Marley, the youngest son of the late Bob Marley. "We got a lot of songs. It wasn't just jams and noise. We had a lot of songs, choruses, all this stuff going that really made us feel better about moving on."

Two, separate 10-day studio sessions followed when nearly all the recording took place. After two years of mixing and arranging -- including artwork by Shepard Fairey, who created the "Hope" poster of Barack Obama -- a record was born.

Not surprisingly given the band's makeup, Superheavy the album is a sort of mash-up of styles. In a four-star review, Rollingstone.com calls the track "Energy" a U2-style synth-pop jam, and says "Satyameva Jayathe" has Jagger and Rahman singing Hindi verses over a Celtic-Indian fiddle.

Other songs include the title track "Superheavy" and "Miracle Worker," a video of which is posted on YouTube, has a reggae beat and features Marley, Stone and Jagger all singing on an urban street, complete with Indian dancers.

In its early review, the Washington Post writes, "'SuperHeavy' features a little bit of everything -- corporate rock, Indian pop sung in Urdu and a rapping Jagger. Save for a raggedy ragga vibe, there's no connective tissue holding these songs together."   Continued...