Lenny Kravitz: Six Of The Best

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From his early funk-rock singles to his breakthrough worldwide hit to an Austin Powers cover, these are six essential Lenny Kravitz songs.

Mr. Cab Driver/o:p

A song from the sharp end of New York, Kravitz’s third single was tracked on the day after the singer tussled with a racist cabbie:. “We were fighting on top of the cab and, y’know, he was calling me nigger. And it got really out of hand.”/o:p

From: Let Love Rule (1989) /o:p

Always On The Run/o:p

Between the snake-charmer riff, the parping brass, Slash’s stunt-guitar solo and that endearingly daft middle-section where Lenny pretends to be on the phone to his dear old mum, this lead-off single from Mama Said remains the high-water mark./o:p

From: Mama Said (1991) /o:p

What The Fuck Are We Saying?/o:p

It might have been overshadowed by the embarrassment of hit singles on its parent album, but this five-minute slow-burner has aged well: a protest song that rides on clanging piano, an F-bomb chorus and the best sax break that Clarence Clemons never played./o:p

From: _Mama Said (1991) _/o:p

Are You Gonna Go My Way/o:p

A stoned Kravitz had casually scribbled the lyrics for this song on a takeaway bag, but the resulting track – a huge hit single; the album was a UK No.1 – became his stomping signature tune, with a riff that took three cycles to sear itself on to your cortex. Like a dreadlocked Pied Piper, we followed him in droves./o:p

From: Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993)/o:p

Fly Away/o:p

The song that came to Kravitz as he gunned his Jeep along the beaches of his Bahamas retreat, Fly Away also gave the singer a UK No.1, and Grammy for Best Male Rock Performance. Not bad, considering the lyrics are essentially a rewrite of Orville The Duck’s I Wish I Could Fly. /o:p

From: 5 (1998)/o:p

American Woman/o:p

Respect to The Guess Who’s 1970 original, but Kravitz’s retread pips it, floating in on a musky cloud of animal sexuality. The only dissenting voice was that of the song’s composer, Randy Bachman, who said: “He didn’t do my guitar solo, which is kind of the signature of the song.”/o:p

From: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)/o:p

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