The Rolling Stones – Live at the Wiltern – Mercury

by | Mar 15, 2024 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Live at the Wiltern, an unusual offering from the Rolling Stones…

The Rolling Stones – Live at the Wiltern – Universal(2002)/Mercury(2024) # 0060245509208 – 3 LP vinyl – ****1/2

(Mick Jagger – vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion; Keith Richards – guitar, vocals; Charlie Watts – drums; Ronnie Wood – guitar, keyboards; Darryl Jones – bass; Chuck Leavell – keyboards; Bobby Keys – saxophone; Bernard Fowler- backing vocals, percussion; Lisa Fischer – backing vocals; Blondie Chaplin – backing vocals, percussion; Tim Ries – saxophone, keyboards; Kent Smith – trumpet; Michael Davis – trombone; Jim Keltner – percussion; Special guest on “Everybody Needs Someone to Love – Solomon Burke)

Fans of mega-groups like The Rolling Stones probably fall into two categories: Those that want to hear their most beloved hits to re-live the special moments that these songs bring- or- those folks that love the hits, but would love to brag that they experienced something rare and special, especially to justify the pricey tickets they purchased to see the Stones.

Well, for well under the cheapest tickets, back in the day, die-hard fans of Mick and Company can now experience in re-mastered vinyl a very special evening from the group that will give a well rounded retrospective of the 40th anniversary of prime Stones with both hits and rarities.

As part of their “Licks World Tour,” they stopped at the (for them!) intimate Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. This theater held between 1850-2300 people, which was a rare setting for a group that more typically played stadium venues. 

The Stones did not skimp on putting on a full group of musicians and backing vocalists for the Wiltern shows. Stalwarts included saxophonists, Bobby Keys and Tim Ries; Chuck Leavell on keyboards; Kent Smith on trumpet and Michael Davis on trombone. Backing vocalists included the incomparable, Ms. Lisa Fischer, and Blondie Chaplin. Solomon Burke opened for the group and contributes a righteous vocal on “Everybody Needs Someone to Love.”

As far as song selection, there are the Stones’ staples like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” “Brown Sugar,” and “Tumbling Dice.”

But it is the rarities like “Stray Cat Blues,” “Thru and Thru,” and “No Expectations,” that put this release in the upper tier of live Rolling Stones releases. Simply, something for everyone, and the audio and vinyl remastering by Mazen Murad (Katara Studios), and Naweed (Whitfield Mastering in London), respectively, give an “in-concert” experience.

Rolling Stones fans, and vinyl audiophiles alike, will find much to love about this rare and quite special release.

—Jeff Krow

The Rolling Stones – Live at the Wiltern


Side A: Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Live with Me, Neighbours, Hand of Fate
Side B: No Expectations, Beast of Burden, Stray Cat Blues

Side C: Dance, Part 1, Everybody Needs Someone to Love, That’s How Strong My Love Is, Going to a Go-Go
Side D: Thru and Thru, You Don’t Have to Mean It, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking

Side E: Rock Me Baby, Bitch, Honky Tonk Women, Start Me Up
Side F: Brown Sugar, Tumbling Dice

More information through Mercury Studios

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Album Cover for Rolling Stones LIve at the Wiltern Vinyl

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