I won’t keep you long here, there’s no need. Steve Jones Fire & Gasoline does not require lengthy eulogies and minute dissection and there are no great anecdotes about when I bought it (a stall on Leeds market in 1992, since you insist). My girlfriend bought this LP when it came out in 1989 and we thought it was cool, but no-one else seemed to buy it – on this side of the Atlantic at least, so I picked it up when I saw it years later.
I vaguely remember this LP getting some attention when it came because Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy and Axl Rose (in full W.Axl Rose mode here) were the guest stars and the blurb was that after crawling back to health and potency by playing with Iggy Pop on Instinct, Steve Jones had finally thrown off his bad habits and really made a record to rock out to. I mean come on, look at the cover – a metal skull, shaped a bit like a gear, surrounded by flaming barbed wire ! Surely that should be all you need, I repeat – Flaming Barbed Wire !! Honestly, the phrase ‘pearls before swine’ leaps to mind here – have you any idea how hard it is to set fire to barbed wire?
Basically we’re talking about competent, occasionally excellent, hard rock here. There isn’t a particularly original second on this LP, but that’s an irrelevance anyway when you get the basics done right and rock as well as Jones & co. do on ‘Freedom Fighter’, ‘We’re not Saints’, ‘Fire & Gasoline’ and the cover of ‘Did U No Wrong’ (billed here as ‘I did U no Wrong’). The latter is particularly good, with W.Axl Rose on fine form trading verses with Ian Astbury and Jones, although I tend to listen to the title track more often.
Also good is the fine, lascivious ‘Leave Your Shoes on’, which I am guessing is a distant cover of Tom Jones’ ‘Leave Your hat on’; which I think is a bit ruder, but rocks far less hard. In this song ‘there’ll be no sleep around here tonight’ – I can only presume due to Mr Jones and his unnamed paramour engaging in a particularly exciting game of Battleships, or maybe both needing to finish a tricky bit of embroidery.
The tracks I haven’t mentioned are all a bit auto-rock for my tastes but this is definitely worth checking out for those I have.
P.S – Would recommend checking out this strange lip-synched version of ‘Freedom Fighter’ on Argentinian TV. Mr Jones gets big 1537 bonus points for his interview technique here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STkGyMexiGg