Label: Eagle Vision - 1098154E11,Rolling Stones Records - 1098154E11 • Format: 3x, DVD Box Set Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition • Country: Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Blues Rock, Rock & Roll
It's hard to believe but the Rolling Stones have been a band for nearly years and a brand for nearly as long. This year marks their 6th decade as a musical force and despite no new albums or concert tours from them, has been quite a year for them.
For the first time ever, one of their albums receive a super-deluxe reissue treatment; Exile on Main Street. Alongside this wonderful 2-CD reissue was the superb Stones in Exile documentary uncovering the story and turmoil that went on behind the scenes to make that album a reality. There are no shortage of Rolling Stones concert DVD's, but what makes Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones indispensable is that it encapsulates the band in a very divergent moment in time.
The next time the band toured America, Mick Taylor had left the fold. Taylor would only make it through two tours with the band and the first tour, while documented in Gimme Shelterdoesn't showcase his tremendous talents.
Ladies and Gentlemen is a flush with striking reminders of why Stones fans pine for this era of the band. No more than 8-musicians are on the stage at any given point Nicky Hopkins sits in on piano during the film and throughout most of the minute performance, only the five core members can be seen and heard; Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor. This is the only almost complete performance from this edition of the Rolling Stones.
I had a very rough bootleg copy of Ladies and Gentlemen for years and it rarely, if ever got any plays from me due to the poor quality.
They've gone to great pains to make the film sound and look better than it ever did back in The film wasn't owned by the Stones for the better part of a quarter-of-a-century and in the late 90's they bought the rights to it once again. Nearly a decade later, it makes its proper home video debut in a stunning and bristling DVD and Blu-Ray.
There is little to no grain visible and virtually no compression to the film, in short, the film has never looked better.
The sound also reaches new heights on three separate and superb mixes with the cherry topping being a brand new DTS 5. Tiny nuances like Jagger's harmonica, Richards spot-on rhythm guitar, Wyman's radiant bass, Watt's control of the groove and the splendor of Taylor's solos make this a release you will return to time and time again.
No audio document of the Rolling Stones live performances is as bristling or boisterous as Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones ; this mix alone makes it possibly the most important document to be released from the band in years if not ever.
Another key element is that the crowd is heard but barely seen. In fact, the stage is so snug that the band could have been playing a club and we wouldn't have noticed it. For all we know, this was done on a small soundstage with the crowd added in later. It wasn't but it shows the band as a tight-knit unit aiming for the jugular.
The filmmakers rightfully put the showcase on the Rolling Stones and their music giving the viewer a front row seat to the action. With every tour the Stones have Bluesberry Jam (Tour Rehearsal) - The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentlemen (DVD) upon sinceit's become larger and more infinite and it's tough to imagine them as a group of disorderly and spry musicians whose lifestyle matches their music. This is the first time one has been able to revel in the messy sparseness of the Stones performance up-close since the film's initial theatrical release in I wouldn't dare Vi Sætter Uret I Stå - Frank & Merete - Frank & Merete anything away from any of their performance over the last years, but Ladies and Gentlemen captures the Stones at a point in their career never seen since and seen by few before.
All of the members are within spitting distance of one another. The music is loose and lively. Despite being on film, you sense that anything is possible. The band's financial problems are discussed in the DVD Stones in Exile but in short, the band had everything on the line with the release of Exile and the subsequent tour.
After losing the rights to their entire pre catalog, the band was largely left without a windfall of cash. This would be the first tour they embarked on since they formed their own label and broke off all ties with Allen Klein. There was no calling it in or merely going through the motions, the band staked everything on the continuing success of the band.
Despite immense success over the previous decade Ladies and Gentlemen showcases the band at their most swaggering and smug. While they've never lacked confidence before or since, this album and tour caught the band at a rare moment where Load Of Coal (Load Of Cole) - Jelly Roll Morton - Jelly Roll Morton: 1926-1930 was the only option and this fury dips over into the performances.
The grinding double guitar attack is up front replaced on recent tours by a larger-than-life horn section. There are two horns here Bobby Key's saxophone and Jim Price on a trumpet but make no mistake; they only add embellishments and by no means overtake the song. I'm not sure when or where the last time this happened. Then there's "Happy" for which Mick Jagger stays on-stage for the entirety of the performance and playing off Richards center stage once again on one microphone. In fact, it's Jagger who provides most of the vocals during the chorus.
I've heard Jagger's harmonies on bootlegs, but never seen it before. The slide guitar work by Mick Taylor is unmatched. The way the screen lingers on his left hand as it makes its way up and down the neck of the guitar only to sway back to his face with unharnessed intensity. Taylor doesn't move much, but he doesn't have to, especially when gifted with such prowess on the six string. He's focused on the task at hand and yet every note that escapes into the air of the arena sounds angelic.
On "You Can't Always Get What You Want" spine tingling solo, Taylor's eyes mostly protrude downward and he does all the talking he needs to do with his hands. Ingenious touches Gimme Some More - Various - James Browns Funky People nuances make his time with the band largely irrefutable.
The Stones break out chairs and acoustic guitars for "Sweet Virginia" which feels like you're in the middle of a smoke-filled blues bar. The minute version of "Midnight Rambler" finds Jagger at the peak of his powers teasing the crowd with impeccable manipulation.
When the Rolling Stones hit the stage during this tour, they did so Bluesberry Jam (Tour Rehearsal) - The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentlemen (DVD) a unified purpose to slay everyone in their path and they succeeded wildly. If you still seek more than just the film, have no fear, Eagle Rock has provided bonus features as well. Sadly, there isn't any performance of "Rocks Off", performed at every show performance but left out of the film.
However, Mick Jagger addresses this in an interview recorded earlier this year that runs approximately minutes. However, the feature of most interest to fans is a 3-song tour rehearsal. The loose gruffness Teenage Dream (Manhattan Clique Remix Instrumental) - Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (Remixes - Part One the band is on full display and Bluesberry Jam (Tour Rehearsal) - The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentlemen (DVD) see how they gelled as a 5-piece band.
In some ways, despite their legendary status as a band known for being shoddy during this period, they come Bluesberry Jam (Tour Rehearsal) - The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentlemen (DVD) like a dueling jazz and blues combo completely in command of their craft on "Shake Your Hips".
It's probably Bluesberry Jam (Tour Rehearsal) - The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentlemen (DVD) of the most consistent and dependable numbers in their catalog, being performed at nearly every show over the last years.
Hearing it here in its infancy is a treat. Last but not least is an extended jam entitled "Bluesberry Jam" The You Know Who Group!* - Roses Are Red My Love / Playboy finds the band in all their ragged glory. Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones is an essential piece of history for not just the fans but for the Rolling Stones as well.
It's long overdue on DVD; however, the wait had led to some superb remastering of both the film and sound which resulted in an astonishing final product. Eagle Rock delivers on this vital reissue. If you've only acquainted with the Rolling Stones of the last few decades, then Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones will do the impossible; it will make you feel as if you're seeing and hearing the Rolling Stones for the first time.