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Ladies & Gentlemen The Rolling Stones

Back in the days before HD broadcasts of concerts at movie theaters, live footage recorded for posterity on film was a rare treat for music fans. So, the release in 1974 of a full-length film of The Rolling Stones – then possibly the best rock band going – performing on their Exile On Main St. tour was something to shout about. This first DVD release of this incredible work proves that the shouting needn’t be dimmed by 35+ years.

The concerts filmed here (shot during a four night stint in Texas) finds the Stones at the height of their still prodigious power. For nearly two hours, the quintet, augmented by an off-stage keyboard player and a horn section, tear through selections from Exile, Beggars Banquet, and some of their most raw and blues-y numbers with razor sharp precision, furious energy, and surprising grit. Gone are the pop chart aiming numbers from early in their career, the simpering ballads, and any of the more audience pandering moves that you see the band resort to now. This is the Stones enjoying the hell out of playing music with one another, capacity crowd be damned.

You’re also treated to an up close experience that highlights some of the more overlooked aspects of the Stones. Charlie Watts is given his due as one of the most underrated drummers in the rock game as his steady, jazzy beats are cranked up for maximum effect. And there are few things more thrilling than watching Keith Richards and then guitarist Mick Taylor trading off rhythm riffs and solos.

This disc will be an especial treat for fans as it is augmented with some great rehearsal footage, and two interviews with Mick Jagger: one from the same time period from Old Grey Whistle Test and a recent interview that speaks about the filming and release of this essential document.

November 3, 2010 - Posted by | DVD review | , ,

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