Rickie Lee Jones: The Devil You Know

Covers for uneasy listening.

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Still best known for the louche fingerpop of Chuck E’s In Love back in 1978 (as well as a near soul-consuming relationship with Tom Waits), Rickie Lee Jones has always been more than a beret and a Gitanes.

As well as her (inadvertent) vocal contribution to The Orb’s Little Fluffy Clouds, Jones has made records as diverse as Pirates and Girl At Her Volcano, where she makes a strong claim to be as original a jazz artist as she is a pop singer (that is, very).

For many of us, however, her most moving moment was her stripped-down, heart-on-sleeve version of Walk Away René, where she took the 60s pop/soul classic and made it a stabbed-heart of a song. We hoped for an entire covers album. And now it’s here: covers of rock standards in a Jones stylee, from Sympathy For The Devil and The Weight to Catch The Wind and Masterpiece by producer and collaborator Ben Harper.

It’s more uneasy than easy listening, and a cool flip-side to Patti Smith’s recent covers project. There’s still nobody like Rickie Lee Jones.

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.