Out of Tears (10/8/94) #60 US, #36 UK, #14 AR, #31 AC
Sparks Will Fly (1/7/95) #30 AR
I Go Wild (4/1/95) #29 UK, #20 AR
The Rolling Stones
“Funny that the much-touted "reunion/comeback" album Steel Wheels followed Dirty Work by just three years, while it took the Stones five years to turn out its sequel, Voodoo Lounge -- a time frame that seems much more appropriate for a "comeback." To pile on the irony, Voodoo Lounge feels more like a return to form than its predecessor, even if it's every bit as calculated and Bill Wyman has flown the coup. With Don Was, a neo-classic rock producer that always attempts to reclaim his artist's original claim to greatness, helming the boards with the Glimmer Twins, the Stones strip their sound back to its spare, hard-rocking basics. The Stones act in kind, turning out a set of songs that are pretty traditionalist. There are no new twists or turns in either the rockers or ballads (apart maybe from the quiet menace of "Thru and Thru," later used to great effect on The Sopranos), even if they revive some of the English folk and acoustic country-blues that was on Beggars Banquet. Still, this approach works, because they are turning out songs that may not be classics, but are first-rate examples of the value of craft. If this was released 10 years, even five years earlier, this would be a near-triumph of classicist rock, but since Voodoo Lounge came out in the CD age, it's padded out to 15 tracks, five of which could have been chopped to make the album much stronger. Instead, it runs on for nearly an hour, an ironically bloated length for an album whose greatest strengths are its lean, concentrated classic sound and songcraft. Still, it makes for a stronger record than its predecessor” (Erlewine).
“Voodoo Lounge won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. In an age of pre-fabs, readymades and wannabes, it's a gas gas gas to hear the truth, the guts of rock and roll peek through the curtains of time. Voodoo Lounge is a remarkable experience, the most visceral, daring Rolling Stones album since...who knows when. Without seeking to alter their basic approach, producer Don Was has given this classic band a contemporary perspective. Voodoo Lounge proves that the Stones are still hard after 30 years on the world stage. There's an edge and a sense of danger to Voodoo Lounge that is palpable from the reassuring crunch of Richards and Wood on the opening "Love Is Strong," through the honky tonk bump of "Baby Break It Down" and the blue suede groove of "Mean Disposition." The departure of bassist Bill Wyman has forced the Stones to dig deep, and the arrival of Darryl Jones has given drummer Charlie Watts, if not a new lease on life, a different point of view. Watts and Wyman were like the Benny Benjamin and James Jamerson of rock'n'roll, and without his trusted rhythm mate, the drummer has to listen like his life depended on it. Because producer Don Was insisted Mick have actual lyrics ready for the basic tracks, it obliged the Stones to return to the kind of live, spontaneous rhythm section feel that made even their most humble throwaways just jump out and bite you on the ass” (CdUniverse.com).
“It isn't the second (or 19th) coming of Their Satanic Majesties. The now-scorned Steel Wheels (1989), which vaulted stylistic barriers, was in fact the riskier bid. But Voodoo Lounge exults in the Stones' reason for being: transcendent, fundamental rock & roll. Keith Richards' solo trips and, particularly, the return to committed singing Jagger demonstrated with his own Wandering Spirit in 1992 factor into this disc's heat. But better, this is the Stones, even with new bassist Darryl Jones, playing as a band. The Richards/Ron Wood guitar interplay is peerless, Charlie Watts swings easier than any other rock drummer, and the leanly muscled material flexes deep attitude. It's on formula pieces ("You Got Me Rocking," "Brand New Car"), rather than on experiments like "Blinded by Rainbows," that the boys kick fiercest, realizing an essential truth: Rock & roll – like its revered forebears, blues and country – soars higher off blessed authenticity than off original expression. And no band has ever rocked more authentically than these old – and more live than you'll ever be – soldiers” (Corio).