Sunday, November 14, 2010
BOB'S MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: LADIES & GENTLEMEN THE ROLLING STONES
So, instead of doing a bunch of them, I have decided to send out one a day. These will be new, or relatively new releases. Let's call it:
BOB'S MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY
LADIES & GENTLEMEN THE ROLLING STONES (DVD) (Eagle Vision)
Finally available on DVD and Blu-Ray, this is quite possibly the best of the many, many live Rolling Stones sets you can get. It's a bit murky and dusty, shot on a dark stage with no audience footage, and the cameras almost entirely focused on Mick and Keith, but that's the show, isn't it? This 1972 set is from the Exile On Main Street tour of the U.S., with the band at it's peak, Mick Taylor handling the leads. Mick's preening was much less over-the-top, in fact it was pretty much perfect, before it got oversized for the stadium crowds and video screens. He's still fascinating here, instead of eye-rolling and camp. And Keith sounds great, his words still understandable instead of slurred, his harmonies helpful. Taylor really makes the difference though, his solos ripping through the songs. His slide playing on All Down The Line alone beats anything Ron Wood would do in 35 years.
What strikes me most is set list. Here's a band with a pile of Top 40 hits to its credit, yet the Stones have jettisoned those days, with no Satisfaction, Get Off Of My Cloud, or Paint It, Black in sight. Instead they've successfully grown up with their audience, and now the adult years start with Jumpin' Jack Flash, and include Brown Sugar, Bitch, Tumbling Dice, Street Fighting Man and Gimme Shelter. It's no surprise the songs from this era have formed the core of their show ever since, it's the golden age of the Stones.
Highlights include the two Micks trading solos on Midnight Rambler, Jagger blowing a brilliant harp solo, and letting out a hoot of joy when he finishes, a huge smile on his face. And the cleaned-up sound lets us focus in on Richards' rhythm playing, Charlie's cymbal work, and the overall dynamics the Stones still brought to the blues. It's certainly a must-own concert, as opposed to the ten or so other live DVD's you can get of them. It's available as a single disc, with a few minor bonuses, or as much pricier Deluxe Edition, a big square box priced at over a hundred bucks, which includes the recent DVD Stones In Exile, plus a third, exclusive disc of interviews and footage from TV and the Australian tour, plus various nick-knacks and swag.