Music Review: Rolling Stones – From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum

If The Beatles catalog is the gospel of songwriting and studio recording, the textbook for live performance is the endless road paved by The Rolling Stones, the quintessential live group.

HAMPTON 12/18/81 is truly a great addition to the collection, and better late than never. One would have thought with the success of the Grateful Dead and the crazed recording enthusiasts, the hit machine that is the Rolling Stones would have allowed for in-concert taping as well. The audience certainly indulges in that pleasure anyway – and the superb bootleg – Liver Than You’ll Ever Be – most likely forced the release of the equally superb, but differently flavored, Get Your Ya Ya’s Out (and looking at Wikipedia it is interesting that the collaborators on that site agree with me

So the huge, largely untapped market, is there. And the Eagle Rock additions are immense. This collection has superb liner notes, photos, DVD, double CD and vinyl! It’s a treat that Stones fans have deserved for years and the takes of “Just My Imagination,” “Beast of Burden” are key points for discussion and study, beyond the entertainment. You see, if you listen to the CD first in the car, as I have – many, many, many times – and then watch the video, it is two different experiences. What the Stones offer is the music and the show, two separate entities.

A tune that leaves this critic/aficionado rather cold, “She’s So Cold,” works better as a live track, but how can it compete with “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” or “Under My Thumb” or “Can’t Always Get What You Want.” More is always better, of course, and though Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (and the bootlegs from decades earlier, Hyde Park as well as Get Your Leeds Lungs Out) may be superior, this is still a prime cut, grade A material that is very enjoyable and a worthy addition.

With a mega band like our boys Mick, Keith, Charlie and company, the ceaseless touring brings reinvention of the material, a different perspective on the fabric, the artwork that we know and love so well. This tour’s smooth, liquidy guitars provide a variation on the theme, and has wonderful high points, even if the renditions aren’t (not to be redundant) as charging as the flavors found on Get Your Ya Ya’s Out or the quintessential bootleg, Liver Than You’ll Ever Be, or Some Girls Live. It’s the addition to the library that purists and Rolling Stone fan/historians treasure, and this component does not disappoint.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, 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.