Who said, The Rolling Stones are the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world? The Rolling Stones of course, but just because they say it doesn’t necessarily make it true ... after all, KISS tried saying the very same thing, and we certainly know that that’s not true. So here I sit, I have no idea why this dynamic collection of music is in front of me, other than the fact that it floated into my hands on the wings of angels.
Have I lost my way? I don’t think so. Have I become jaded? I don’t think that’s true either. So what happened between me and The Rolling Stones, the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world? I loved The Stones up until Exile, but you can read my review on that ... what I think happened was a combination of several things. I’m not a prude, but I could never get behind the filthy restroom cover, nor could I get behind many of the images that seemed to paint the boys as some sort of ghetto-mud-wresters, who live with rats, and cockroaches the size of matchbooks. And their conduct at Altamont was unconscionable. The "image" of The Rolling Stones has always been about style and grace, and while “Keif” may certainly be a rebel, the rest of the band has always been filled with top flight musicians, with multi talents. And Mick? Well, for all his bad-boy posing, he’s wanted nothing more in his entire life than to be part of the establishment. And then there’s the aspect that these guys are almost 70, at least one of them is, and while other artists continue to make great music and break new ground, The Rolling Stones seemed to be locked into 1971 ... when in reality they [Mick] is nothing more than an old man shaking his butt, with his senior citizen boobies bouncing around. Some may find that attractive, I don’t, I like my men to age well, with grace and refinement, rather than pretending to be some sort of “Out Of Time” misfit “Street Fighting Man” railing against the system, of which they are more than a major corporate entity.
To be honest with you, I don’t want to watch or listen to these songs again. “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” came out a very long time ago in my life, and even then I didn’t think it was that good. Though I will say that as far as live Stone’s recordings go, this is probably hands down the very best. If you’re a fan, all you could ever hope for is found within the housing of this marvelous edition. There are unheard of versions of may of the songs, and guest appearances that make this more than historical ... but I guarantee you, no matter how good [and I will have to give this package 5 Stars], this is not something I will ever be playing. I’m not even sure it’s a good investment ... it just is what it is. Don’t expect to be enlightened, or to hear the essence of The Rolling Stones, and by no means think that you’ve found the Holy Grail, because you haven’t. What you have found is a slick, well packaged and produced edition that will sparkle in your hands for a short while, and will have made each member of The Rolling Stones that much richer.
AHHHHHH ... but you gotta’ love those “$treet Fighting Men,” still fighting hard for your dollars.
The Fun Facts: It is documented and was understood at the time that the cover art was inspired by 'Visions of Johanna' by Bob Dylan. The line in the song which is illustrated in the photograph is "Jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule." The jewels and binoculars are shown together with musical instruments and a camera hanging from the mule or donkey. Charlie Watts is in mid jump and he has only white socks on his feet with no shoes. He is also wearing the tee shirt he wore for that concert tour and also the hat that was worn by Mick Jagger. The album cover states that the photographers were taken by David Bailey for the front cover and by Ethan Russell for the concert photographs on the back. I have also researched and found that Marianne Faithfull recorded "Visions of Johanna" in 1971, just three verses though.