By this point in their career, The Rolling Stones were on fire and were ready to deliver another live album. Recorded in late 1969 at the end of their USA tour, this was released to the public in 1970 to rave reviews, being recorded over a two night period in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Although Brian Jones, their original guitarist, had entered the infamous 27 club of Rock musicians in 1969 and was replaced by guitarist Mick Taylor the rest of the band decided, logically, that they needed to keep on going. The amusing photo cover and the sexual name of the album meant that The Rolling Stones wanted to make a rebellious impression. In any case, this should be well worth listening to in retrospect. Let’s hear it.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Live begins the live album with a weird intro and crowd cheering, with the band launching straight into the song at hand. A rawer and better piece of music than you’d expect, the whole band plays marvellously. Sure, this is in a different key altogether from the original, but it still sounds like a really decent and organic musical listen. A really cool tune that is well-delivered live, it sounds very lively, raw, rocking and punchy. An excellent tune to hear, and a great start to a legendary live album. Great music, this is a great live listen so far. No doubt some Punk groups, later on, were inspired by this sort of thing. An awesome listening experience. There are some good drum rolls to conclude with, and the crowd cheer away nicely. Mick Jagger addresses the crowd, prior to the next song.
Carol – Live begins with some rhythm and blues style guitars, before quickly launching into a good song that is very rural USA-style territory. Again, the band is in top form here, and they do sound incredibly good, at least at this point in time. A decent listen with piano in the background, the guitar work present is powerful as well. Nonetheless, this is another great live performance and almost cements this album as a classic live album, two tracks in. A joyful, upbeat and interesting listening experience, this is a great tune and album for Classic Rock fans to salivate over. Great music by The Rolling Stones. This ends with some drum rolls and great applause. A great tune.
Stray Cat Blues – Live begins with a gorgeous arpeggio, quickly entering into a great live version of the song. Mick Jagger’s voice is in great form on this live performance, and the rest of the band is as well. This is a heavy, sludgy guitar fest that sounds ridiculously good. Enjoyable, lively and wonderful, the tunes here are absolutely brilliant to hear, and this is a great live performance overall. It definitely sounds a little like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama a little, and there are wild guitar solos here as well. A really cool tune oozing male sexual promiscuity, The Rolling Stones definitely know how to put on a show. Great to hear, it ends with more crowd cheering. Great job by all.
Love In Vain – Live is next, with some absolutely beautiful guitar parts to begin with. This song quickly gets going well, and we enter a post-Blues tune that is so well played that the audience is completely silent throughout. This is magical, a rare moment of unity and passion from both the audience and the band. Soon enough, a good piece of music with some cool slide guitar enters here, and this tune gets rocking. A really interesting listen, the slide guitar work is wacky and the band sound very powerful throughout. A really amazing listening experience, this sounds great. Mick Jagger sings nicely over the top of Keith Richards and crew, proving that the band were so great that they didn’t need to use autotune or any digital editing. A very nice listen and this is a cool tune to hear. A very interesting Blues based listening experience. The crowd at the end agree, it is great.
Midnight Rambler – Live From Madison Square Garden, New York/1969 begins with loads of cheering, drum rolls and some harmonica as the crowd chant, quickly launching into a great piece of music. This is a great listen, which is over nine minutes long, so strap yourselves in on this tune. The band play with energy, passion and fury, which has been long lost over time with live music. A very good listening experience, this sounds extremely magical. The harmonica adds a real Blues feeling to the music, and the whole piece of music is quite awesome, amazing and magical for a live piece. The band obviously know their stuff and plays wonderfully. A really great jam emerges and The Rolling Stones shine bright. Sure, a nine-minute-long song would not be to everyone’s tastes, but it sounds really great regardless. This was created many years before digital audio and PCs, so in retrospect, this is gold-standard music. A really excellent tune to listen to, this sounds really powerful and great musically. It changes completely in the middle as a lengthy jam ensues, and Mick Jagger rambles over the top of the music. If this didn’t inspire many Rock bands out there, it still sounds amazing for what it is anyway. The slowed down and interesting midsection goes on for some time through the second half, and an amazing groove is present here. The second half of the song is powerful and brilliant as a jam. These guys knew great music, and that is why they are so legendary. A great and long jam, this sounds really cool. An enjoyable tune, the ending is fiery and loud enough to enjoy and bang one’s head to. A decent tune and this sounds very amazing. Great job. The crowd goes absolutely wild at the end, much deserved too.
Sympathy For The Devil – Live begins with some crowd talk and the band gradually enters into this live version of a classic tune by The Rolling Stones. A very good raw, rocking and live piece that sounds electrified and powerful, this tune is very different from the original song. A wonderful, joyous and fantastic listen, filled with passion and energy, this sounds ridiculously good. The music on this live version of the song is nothing short of amazing. Very, very catchy music. The sounds present in this song are just incredibly good. A lively, upbeat and interesting jam, this is proto-Progressive Rock by The Rolling Stones, being a few years before Prog really took off. A really awesome and interesting listen that makes you want to get up and dance, this sounds really extraordinary. A great six minute jam, the band sounds superb and really lively here. A fine and wonderful tune to hear, The Rolling Stones were doing their absolute best to impress here, which they do. The guitar jam throughout is impressive, and towards the end, it gets more intense sounding. A really great song to hear, this is amazing stuff. Worth your time, it ends quickly with some choppy drum rolls from Charlie Watts. Nice tune and the crowd approve as well.
Live With Me – Live launches straight into a heavy rock groove that sounds fantastic. Mick Jagger sings about being difficult in a relationship, and the whole tune again is a good pick for a live number, and it sounds really brilliant. A really excellent tune and a great song to hear live, The Rolling Stones make a decent impression on the listener. A really cool, interesting and dynamic tune, this sounds extremely interesting and great for a three minute song. The band sounds very much like Cream at their best: dynamic, professional and unstoppable. The lyrics are pretty profane and direct, but it all sounds enjoyable nonetheless. Another amazing tune to hear. Great work.
Little Queenie – Live begins with a brief intro with Mick Jagger talking to the crowd, followed by crunchy and rhythmic guitars, along with piano in the background. A really interesting and varied tune, this sounds really out there and raunchy music to hear, even for hardcore fans of The Rolling Stones. The drumming is loud and furious here, and the whole tune is very decent and wonderful listening. The combination of Mick Jagger’s singing, Keith and Mick’s guitars, bass by Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts drumming, along with piano, make this a real winner. Thoroughly listenable and enjoyable, this tune is an uplifting and excellent listen. Totally great, a nice piece of music running at four and a half minutes long. A really great listening experience from start to finish. Nice work. The outro is particularly good, and the crowd cheer nicely. There is some yelping from Mick Jagger, prior to the next song beginning, along with some drum rolls from Charlie Watts.
Honky Tonk Woman – Live begins with some loose guitar chords, followed by an excellent sounding rendition of this song live. This is a really excellent tune and is equally and is an excellent tune to listen to today. The chorus, in particular, is amusing lyrically. Nonetheless, The Rolling Stones deliver as a great Rock band by this point and deliver very well. Wonderful, listenable and enjoyable music that has lasted for generations, The Rolling Stones have also succeeded very well. Nice work, boys. They nailed the male sexual desire in this song, and it sounds ridiculously good. A great and awesome listening experience, and it ends after three minutes, nice work lads. Great to hear.
Street Fighting Man – Live begins with some loose chords before this song gets going nicely. Soon enough, the late 1960s tune gets a live rendering and sounds really majestic and fantastic. A great song and the live version has a bit more punch than the original studio recording. Nonetheless, a very decent and interesting tune to hear. Powerful, raw and energetic, The Rolling Stones put a great deal of passion and energy into their music, especially live. A very top listen, this sounds electric and awesome. A wonderful and powerful cover of an original, this is electric. The outro has some very nice playing and guitar soloing here, and it sounds really terrific. The ending is good, and the crowd cheer nicely, as this song fades out.
This is an excellent live album by The Rolling Stones. It is a decent live show that shows the band approaching their peak in the early 1970s. Yes, you should absolutely hear this album, especially if you are a Classic Rock fan, it is a good slice of history. The expanded 40th anniversary reissue will be covered later on in another review, which features more tracks from The Rolling Stones, B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner as well. This is a great representation of The Rolling Stones live, regardless of which version of the album you hear.
Excellent and powerful live music.