The Rolling Stones: Shine A Light (Universal)

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The Rolling Stones: Paint It Black
The Rolling Stones: Shine A Light (Universal)

Some might say that the last thing the world needs right now is another live Stones collection.

After all Get Yer Ya Ya's Out (released a whopping 38 years go!) is the hardcore fan's classic, and we've had Love You Live, Still Life, Flashpoint, Stripped and No Security since. And it was only four years ago that we had Live Licks, a sort-of-greatest hits done live.

But the selling point/telling point here is what seems the actual title of this double disc according to the cover and spine, it is "Rolling Stones Martin Scorsese Shine A Light".

Yes, this is the tie-in double disc to the doco by Stones uber-fan Scorsese, not that such a connection would have gone past you anyway. There are highly paid people to ensure it doesn't.

The only question then is, does this stand up outside of the big screen images?

Oddly enough -- and remember that catalogue of live predecessors -- the answer is yes.

The rockers are thick and incendiary, and Jagger is not only in good voice but when he sounds like a parody of himself it is done so knowingly as to be amusing and you are in on the joke. He actually plays the country-styled Faraway Eyes more straight than usual.

There is also material here which hasn't been on a live album as far as I can tell: She Was Hot, All Down the Line, Loving Cup (done here with Jack White sounding for all the world like Robert Plant -- again), As Tears Go By, Some Girls, Faraway Eyes, Muddy Waters' Champagne and Reefer (the standout with guest Buddy Guy), You Got the Silver (Keith getting a hand from the crowd), Ronnie Wood doing a very dodgy Connection with Keith which was written before he joined the band . . .

And that's just on the first disc.

On the second Christina Aguilera drops in for a ripping Live With Me, Richards steps to the mike again for Little T&A, they dip right back for Paint It Black, I'm Free and of course Satisfaction) . . . and cover the main points: Sympathy for the Devil, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar and the title track.

It's a lot of Rolling Stones in a world in which there is already more than a fair bit, and the demands of a live showing mean nuance is flattened out in the service of volume and mass entertainment.

But crank up the Buddy Guy and Aguilera tracks, settle in for As Tears Go By, or air punch to the old hits . . .

An album of new material by the Rolling Stones would be uncalled for since they long ceased to be relevant to that audience (my guess in about 1984). But there is still a place for a Stones live album, especially one that doesn't simply retread past glories and sounds as good as this.

It stands on its own merits, but certainly whets the appetite for the movie -- which includes a couple of songs not here.

Yes, there is a lot of live Stones about right now.

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