Let's Spend The Holidays Together
with the Rolling Stones
Just when you thought they were going to blow off their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones have stepped up their game to ring in this major milestone in grand style for the holiday season. They have shows in London, New York and New Jersey with former members Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman scheduled to join the band for a few selections.
Driving it all home is a flurry of archival releases, capturing the Rolling Stones at various periods in their storied career, or in the case of yet another multiple CD retrospective, bits from the whole lot. Here then, is a short list of recent offerings (as of Fall 2012) to entice Stones fanatics with a penchant for glorified history and hot popping rocks.
Ah yes, yet another compilation to remind us of the Stones' extensive catalog. According to Wikipedia, which may or may not be a reliable reference depending on who you ask, the Stones have released more compilation albums than actual studio albums. At this point, it's obvious Universal scrambled to put something together in light of the Stones' indifference to marking their five decades together. Like Forty Licks from 2002, GRRR! has some new stuff — "Doom And Gloom" and "One More Shot," recorded recently in Paris and sounding like a couple leftovers from 2005's A Bigger Bang. Available in several different configurations, GRRR! not only reminds us of the breadth of work, but of the shelf life these songs have. Sha-doobie...
Some Girls: Live In Texas ’78 (Vinyl/DVD)
Live At The Checkboard Lounge Chicago 1981 (Vinyl/DVD)
Both of these titles were early 2011 and 2012 entries on DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Eagle Rock. Now they've been given the vinyl treatment as double LP packages with the DVDs included. Vinyl junkies will marvel at the 180g vinyl in a three-panel gatefold sleeves of both sets to add to their collections. Check out our Blu-ray Disc and DVD reviews of Some Girls: Live In Texas ’78 & Live At The Checkboard Lounge Chicago 1981 for a closer look.
Charlie Is My Darling
It's with little surprise that ABKCCO, who controls most of the Stones music from the 60s, would jump into the ring with a longtime underground favorite. Simply put, Charlie Is My Darling is a road film of the Stones on tour in Ireland in 1965 that brilliantly captures the early stages of the band. It made a few rounds on the big screen earlier in the year before coming out on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Check out our full review.
Officially Authorised Live Bootlegs
It looks like you can count on a steady stream of "official" live releases from the Stones. Let's hope, in addition to The Brussels Affair (1973) , LA Friday '75 (1975), Hampton Coliseum (1981), Tokyo (1990) and Light The Fuse (2005), they go a little deeper and really dig up some of the more revered performances from the 60s and early 70s.
Shown on HBO in the States on November 16 and heading to DVD and Blu-ray, Crossfire Hurricane is a montage of old and unseen footage with low-key narration from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor and Ron Wood. It's not a full-blown overview as extensive as the Beatles' Anthology or the Stones 1989 documentary, 25x5 (which, by the way, has yet to be officially released on DVD or Blu-ray). Stylistically, Crossfire Hurricane is far more abstract, more of a visual kaleidoscope than a biographical piece. One thing to keep in mind without giving away too much: If you think the Stones' relevance as rock 'n roll provocateurs ended by the early 80s, this film very much shares your opinion.
50th Anniversary Tour
At press time, the only scheduled performances are for November 25th and 29th at the O2 in London, Brooklyn on December 8th, and Newark on December 13th and 15th. A 2013 world tour is all but guaranteed, but you never know what's around the corner in the world of the Rolling Stones. In the meantime, go out and get all the goodies, including the mobile apps (!), and have yourself a Rolling Stones holiday.
~ Shawn Perry