The Rolling Stones – Some Girls – Live In Texas ’78 – Eagle Vision EV305549 double audiophile stereo colored vinyl (TT: 77:44) + DVD (95:05) [9/11/2012] *****:
(Mick Jagger – guitar, piano, vocals; Keith Richards – guitar, vocals; Charlie Watts – drums; Bill Wyman – bass; Ron Wood – guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocals; Ian Stewart – piano; Ian McLagan – keyboards; Doug Kershaw – violin)
Now that the Rolling Stones are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, vintage recordings are being reissued en masse. While this legendary band has made superlative studio albums, their rock and roll eminence has always been defined by live performance. Simply put, they are the greatest rock and roll band of all time. Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out (1970) is regarded as a milestone in “live” rock history. Every time this band goes on tour, it is world news. They have refined their raw bluesy sound and continue to thrill both fans and critics. Unlike fellow ‘60s groups who suffer from obsolescence, The Stones never outgrow their edgy, “bad boy” image and histrionics.
By the late seventies, Jagger, Richards, Wyman and Watts, with newest guitarist Ron Wood had polished their live performances, balancing the repertoire with newer and older material. Backed by double “Ians” (that is Stewart on piano and McLagan on keyboards), The Rolling Stones cut loose with an inspired performance on Some Girls – Live In Texas. Opening with a Chuck Berry (the “real king of rock and roll) nugget, “Let It Rock”, the audience gets a serious dose of guitar-driven rock. Richards and Wood are both strong, and deliver some of the best hooks imaginable. Jagger is a commanding presence, and inhabits the material. On a less elaborate stage than later tours, the focus is on the band. Shifting gears, “All Down The Line” feels more revved up than the album version. Though rarely visible, Ian Stewart punches up the jam with forceful piano riffs. The intensity never abates as The Greatest Rock And Roll Band In The World rips through “Honky Tonk Women” and “When The Whip Comes Down”. Jagger’s energy and showmanship is relentless, and the tandem of Watts and Wyman is dynamic and anchors the group.
There are several tunes that showcase the accessible hook-driven musicality. “Beast Of Burden” is a rhythm & groove delight. An extended performance of “Miss You” hints at the disco craze, but frames it in hard rock chops. Wyman is one of most fluid bass players around, and Jagger breaks out his falsetto and bizarre dance moves. Richards is brilliant on guitar, and seems to feed off of Wood. The Stones have always pushed boundaries, and sound almost “new wave” on “Shattered”. Their deep commitment to blues comes across on a brilliant cover of “Love In Vain” with Woods contributing some tasty slide guitar runs.
The fans get their money’s worth as a succession of hits (“Tumbling Dice”, “Happy”, “Brown Sugar”) lead into the unforgettable “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. Thirty-five years after this concert, the raw power of The Stones is captured with sonic verve on the DVD in DTS Dolby 5.1 and DDS 2.0. The listener is treated to loud, raunchy (especially the harmony vocals) with enough clarity to hear the different instruments. Adding more value to the release is the audiophile double LP vinyl set. This analog recreation is dynamic, with clarity and rich tonality, especially on the guitars. The bottom mix of bass and drum is centered, and complements the overall separation. The bonus material includes a hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch with Dan Aykroyd as Tomorrow host Tom Snyder interviewing Mick Jagger.
In 1978, The Rolling Stone were considered to be aging rock stars. It is mind-boggling that they will still be on tour in 2013. [Less than $40 online, not bad, considering the Japanese import of this is $230 (with “Blu-ray spec” CDs instead of LPs)!…Ed.]
Side A: Let It Rock; All Down The Line; Honky Tonk Women; Star Star; When The Whip Comes Down
Side B; Beast Of Burden; Miss You; Imagination; Shattered
Side C: Respectable; Far Away Eyes; Love In Vain; Tumbling Dice
Side D: Happy; Sweet Little Sixteen; Brown Sugar; Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Same as LP with bonus feature: Mick Jagger Interview With Paul Sexton; Saturday Night Live – Tomorrow (1978); Beast Of Burden/Respectable/Shattered – Saturday Night Live – 1978; Excerpts from ABC 20/20 Special (1978)
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