Five Great Ron Wood Recordings Without the Rolling Stones

More of my “Take 5” antics…

Ron Wood celebrated his 75th birthday on June 1. While’s he’s best known as Keith Richards’ co-guitarist in the Rolling Stones (where he replaced Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian Jones), Wood has had a long and creatively fruitful career before and outside the Stones. Here are five recordings that showcase his superb musicianship.

“You Shook Me” (1968) – As bassist in the Jeff Beck Group, Wood played alongside the former Yardbirds guitarist, drummer Mick Waller and a young vocalist called Rod Stewart. Beck’s band covered this classic Willie Dixon blues number mere months before his former Yardbirds bandmate Jimmy Page recorded it with his new band, Led Zeppelin.

“Barabajagal” (1969) – This Donovan track was first issued as a single, and later included on the album of the same name. The studio session’s lineup featured Wood on bass with the Jeff Beck Group plus Donovan Leitch.

“Stay With Me” (1971) – This fiery classic from Faces’ third studio album presents one of Rod Stewart’s finest vocal outings. Wood co-wrote the song with Stewart, and plays electric and slide guitars on the track.

“Ding Dong, Ding Dong” (1974) – While George Harrison’s holiday tune never achieved the classic status of John and Yoko’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” it remains a fun way to ring in the new year. Ron Wood joins Harrison, Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee and Spooky Tooth’s Mick Jones on guitars.

“Seven Days” (1979) – From Ron Wood’s solo LP Gimme Some Neck, “Seven Days” is a rare lead vocal from the multi-instrumentalist. He sings the Bob Dylan-penned song is a style very much reminiscent of its composer.