09/29/2011

Pay No Mind to the Big Names

You'd think the members of SuperHeavy—Mick Jagger, Damian Marley, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and A.R. Rahman—would have enough experience in the recording studio to make cutting a new album a breeze.

"I think we realized on the first day that this is the oddest situation we've ever been in," Mr. Stewart said at his Hollywood office.

"I said to Dave, 'What are we doing here with no songs?'" Mr. Jagger recalled by phone. "'What happens if this doesn't happen?' On the videos, we look like children having a great time. But it was high pressure."

"It was all done on the spot," Mr. Rahman said at his West Hollywood home. "Dave said to me, 'You need to write a song.' OK, give me a few days. 'No. Right now.'"

Now that SuperHeavy's self-titled album is out, the remaining issue is whether listeners can accept pancultural, pangenerational music from a group of musicians with imposing histories. There's Mr. Jagger with the Rolling Stones, of course, and Mr. Stewart with the Eurythmics. The Chennai, India-born Mr. Rahman is a two-time Academy Award-winning composer for his work on "Slumdog Millionaire"; Mr. Marley, the youngest son of Bob Marley, is a successful reggae artist; and Ms. Stone, though only 24 years old, just issued her fifth studio album, "LP1," produced by Mr. Stewart.

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