New Old Mick Jagger & John Lennon – ?Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup)?

As you may have heard, the king of the chicken dance is releasing a 17-track The Very Best Of Mick Jagger with material from his four solo albums, some soundtrack work, etc. One of the songs receiving the most attention is a version of Willie Dixon’s “Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup),” which Jagger recorded with John Lennon in 1973 in Los Angeles. It appears there could be a couple versions floating around, though … the detective work’s half the fun.

We were way too busy watching Feist read stories at Beacon last night (post TK) to do the leg work ourselves, so check out the storyline via I Am Fuel, You Are Friends:

In 1973, Yoko Ono kicked John Lennon out. She sent their personal assistant May Pang off with him, with the instructions to “be with John, help him, and see that he gets whatever he wants.” Together Pang and Lennon moved to Los Angeles, a period dubbed “The Lost Weekend.” It was a weekend that lasted from 1973-1975, during which Lennon passed the time with Phil Spector, recording material that would eventually be released as part of his Rock ‘n’ Roll LP. He also caroused through the town with musician buddies who informally called themselves the Hollywood Vampires: Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Micky Dolenz and Alice Cooper, and he was known to have recorded songs with Mick Jagger, Elton John, and David Bowie during that time frame as well … In 2003, a London record store owner put an unlabeled record up for auction which he claimed had come originally from Ronnie Wood (guitarist for the Stones) and contained a collaboration cover of Jagger singing the old Willie Dixon blues song, “Too Many Cooks” with Lennon on guitar. Some reports also place Ringo Starr on drums and date the recording to London 1974. That unlabeled acetate (made directly from a master tape, and found in a stack of records) sold for £1,400, and Mick admitted that he had forgotten it existed for a number of years.

Shivers! Click here for a pic of the pair, apparently dealing with some actual cooking. The version the label talks up at Jagger’s site mentions Danny Kortchmar and Jimmy Ed Davis on guitar, Al Kooper on keyboards, Jack Bruce on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, and backing vocals by fellow “Hollywood Vampire,” Harry Nilsson. Only the production credit goes to Lennon. Head over to IAFYAF to hear one or the other of the other versions. Our first instinct: Doesn’t sound like Ringo, but, hey, those opening strains do sound like the What’s Happening!! theme!! Yup, it’s a groovy, soulful burner.

The Very Best Of also includes duets with Bono and David Bowie and “Sweet Thing,” which the one-sheet describes as “the singer’s irresistibly sensual 1993 single.” OK, first Bono and now this … there goes breakfast.

The Very Best Of Mick Jagger is out 10/1 on Atlantic/Rhino.