Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones DVD

I never had the chance to see this movie during its first theatrical release, though, of course, I have heard about it many a time. I finally picked it up on a whim at a nice price via Amazon ($7.99, I believe) and glad that I did! This is a very well produced document of "the greatest r'n'r band in the world" at the height of their powers and at one of their best shows (as Mick attests). Though, actually, this seems to be a compilation of several shows, as everyone's outfits change and I don't think that any band member other than Mick ever adjusted their wardrobe during a gig.

Of course, considering the time - either just before or just as Exile on Main Street was released (Charlie is even wearing an Exile shirt, so I assume after) - the songs are also some of their best ever and every tune is a monster classic and some of the finest rock'n'roll of all time.

The set list for the DVD is: "Brown Sugar", "Bitch" (nicely extended), "Gimme Shelter" (featuring some cool Mick Taylor leads), "Dead Flowers" (a cool change of pace with its faux country-honk feel), Keith takes lead vocals for his fabulous "Happy", there's the groovy "Tumbling Dice", their fine take on Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain" (with Taylor's excellent slide playing and some nice horn additions), the acoustic guitar driven "Sweet Virginia" (one of my faves from Exile), "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is remarkably re-created, minus the choir, of course, which I favor, followed by a rollicking and ragged "All Down the Line", then the tour-de-force of the wildy exciting "Midnight Rambler", where Richards, Taylor and Jagger (on harp) all get their licks in and Watts shows that he is a master of dynamics all while creating possibly their best version ever of this masterwork. They then lighten the mood with their cover of Chuck Berry's "Bye Bye Johnny" and their own "Rip This Joint" (where Mick once again tries to direct the lighting person to illuminate the person taking a solo - Bobby Keys on sax, in this case) before moving onto one of the best r'n'r tunes of all time, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and then the usual closer at the time, "Street Fighting Man", with its beautiful raave-up ending. Truly an amazing set!

The bonus material includes several songs recorded live at the time in an intimate rehearsal situation, where they still look and play fabulously as well as an interview with Mick from the time along with a 2010 interview with Jagger.

What an excellent package! A must for any Stones fan - and who isn't?!