Back in the early 1970s finding the double disc of Rubber Dubber’s THE ROLLING STONES EUROPEAN TOUR LIVE 1970 was a special treat, especially when a live version of the unreleased “Brown Sugar” was there for all to hear before the song took over radio stations everywhere. Taken from an October 1970 West Germany concert fans sought out classic boots like this as well as Janis Joplin’s Get It While You Can, The Beatles Let It Be and Dylan’s The Great White Wonder because the major labels with those artists under contract generated demand without fulfilling the promise that comes with creating that demand.
In 2012 it is astounding to find legitimate music just as classic being released simultaneously on both Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group. While UMG has the bulk of the Stones catalog the band’s corporation, Promotone BV issued a license for this terrific 2 LP and DVD set to Eagle.
Sure, you can watch Mick Jagger dance around on YouTube to Star Star, track #4 on Side A, and it is a delight, but owning the vinyl and the DVD with its exquisite packaging we’ve been deprived of since the dawn of the cd invention, well…it reminds you why the collectibility that comes with these releases goes hand-in-hand with the music. This is The Stones 34 years before their 50th anniversary concert and there is something unique and …important in the grooves of this artifact. Even “Miss You”, a song that wears thin after so many spins on the radio has a delicious edge and a nice, dark bit of film to make it as eerie as it is fun. Ditto “Imagination”, the Temptations cover that rocks with authority.
This is a tremendous collection and maybe because it is on a separate imprint it gets the extra special red carpet treatment by Eagle. The Rolling Stones have always been a reliable, professional group, turning professional sloppy into a valuable trademark. Lesser material like “When The Whip Comes Down” has much more relevance in this setting, Jagger’s guitar charging along with Ronny and Keith. The guitar tones are also sterling, a nice mix on the audio, wonderful camera angles on the video catching a great night of music in sound and vision. The Stones look happy, are in a groove and crank out familiar favorites…”Tumbling Dice”, “Honky Tonk Women”, “Imagination”, “Beast of Burden”. This was the group as they were leaving their “golden era”, Tattoo You and Some Girls being the two best albums since the producer Jimmy Miller era that gave birth to Beggars Banquet, Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile On Mainstreet and Goat’s Head Soup. Listen to “Beast of Burden” as included on this set and see if it doesn’t come close to that time period’s greatness.
So Some Girls Live in Texas, ’78 is like the tail of a comet, songs from Exile and Sticky Fingers mixed in with the core material from 1978’s Some Girls studio album. The band was younger, the sensibilities pure rock & roll, the delivery excellent.
It’s a must have for old collectors and a lesson for the kids wearing out their earbuds in need of some vinyl redemption.
Part 1 of 2. Next up: Checkerboard Louge, Live Chicago, 1981 = Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.