This 1972 concert film has been seldom seen since its first release (which was in 1974) and is only now experiencing its first official release onto DVD and Blu Ray (never having been previously released on home video either). Promoting their just released Exile on Main St. album, the setlist is a high energy service to their love of Chuck Berry inspired rock n roll and complete worship of American blues music.
Some bands have become so popular that they have been mythologized in the public eye. The Rolling Stones are no exception, though much of said mythology is less like the mysticism that follows acts like The Beatles, and more lies in the infamous debauchery of its members…be it the drug consumption, partying with Canada’s first lady and/or their various (other?) sexual conquests (David Bowie too?). Never the less, it is concert films like this were it is a relief to see such larger than life celebrities churning out some sloppy rock n roll on stage with loads of youthful energy. Granted, they aren’t kids at this point, but don’t tell that to the stage persona of Mick Jagger as he trollops about in various sparkling, skinny jumpsuits.
Speaking of the outfits, the unexplained but quite obvious costume changes of every band member suggests that this film is comprised of “best of” footage from many shows they did on this tour. So perhaps then the “sloppiness” I admired because I thought it made them more humble gets a little bit out of hand during their shows. At least, in a special feature interview (that I will discuss later) with Mick Jagger in 2010, he was surprised by how well they played as he recalled being a very sloppy (he did use that word) live band in those days.
Widescreen 16:9. The HD picture is doing its darndest to fight through the extremely harsh and unforgiving stage lights. There is often a red haze from the glare and the lines get a bit fuzzy, but much of that could not have been helped considering what they were using in 1972 for arena concert lights, which are not meant for close-ups. It is arriving at an AVC average of about 20-25 at any given chapter.
Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo. The guitars sound killer, Mick is clear (and often off-key) and the rest of the band pound away. The mixing of instruments is pretty darn good and little aging has shown on the audio tape. It is good to here the music come through as boisterous as can be.
Tour Rehearsals (Shake Your Hips/ Tumbling Dice/ Bluesberry Jam): Three tunes played in a humble club space in 1972. Most of the band is sitting around and playing some solid blues based rock. No frantic stage movements here…just another dose of the music they love to play.
Old Grey Whistle Test Interview with Mick Jagger: Never has Jagger looked more awkward, but still gives a decent interview to a nearly emotionless Richard Williams for an old BBC program. A nice little tid-bit from the Stones’ history.
Mick Jagger Interview 2010: Feeling a million times more natural, Jagger reacts to seeing the film for the first time (presumably) since the 70s. I have already made mention of how pleasantly surprised he was by the band’s togetherness and tighter playing. He offers more notes and facts about that era of the band and its relation to where they are now. Good stuff.
The lengthy wait of this release makes it a must buy for fans already, but it is truly worth a viewing. Young people could do worse than to see what mom and dad are making such a fuss about when they refer to these old geezers and see what they could do in their youth with a few chords, and enough mojo to impregnate the first three rows.