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The Rolling Stones' Best Concert Album Trilogy

The perfect vinyl to end the trilogy of this early stage of The Rolling Stones, 'Love You Live,' is a two-record set evenly mixed with hits and less popular tunes.

By Adam QuinnPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

The Rolling Stones will always be viewed as one of the original founders of the rock and roll sound. They forged the sound of rock on the streets of London and have been at the top of the rock world or near it for a couple of generations now. Their strong point has always been concerts.

The 1967 Got LIVE If You Want It put three out of five of the Stones up front: singer Mick Jagger and guitarists Keith Richard and the late Brian Jones.

1970ʼs Get Yer Ya-Yaʼs Out! moved Keith over to rhythm to make room for new lead guitarist Mick Taylor, who has since gone on to grayer pastures.

And then there is the perfect vinyl to end the trilogy of this early stage, of the iconic band. Love You Live was a two-record set of the best of a series of Stones concerts-evenly mixed with hits and still unproven tunes.

What really made this record unique was the addition of new instrumentalists. The original Stones—Jagger, Richard, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts—are often upstaged here by ex-Faces lead guitarist Ron Wood and pianist Billy Preston, the only man to play on both a Beatles and a Rolling Stones record.

Billy Preston

The album opens up with a monotonous honky-tonk three chord combination by Richard, but Billy and Woody pick up the pace and get off some licks that cloud up Richard's lead vocal on "Happy."

A Stones review ain't too hard to do—just gotta mention a few song titles and you know where they're at. "Star Star" and "Tumbling Dice" help get things rolling. Even the titles of the new tunes tell you what they're all about. "Fingerprint File" and "Crackin' Up" keep the album from being just a greatest hits package.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want," but the fans sure try when they help Jagger sing the chorus here. The fans also clap out a beat throughout the LP, as if Wyman and Watts need the help.

This live package is reminiscent of Before the Flood, the recording of Dylan and The Band. Both records begin with recognizable material and then experiment: the entire third side of Love You Live comes from the El Mocambo nightclub in Toronto. After the concerts reached full capacity during the 1975 Tour of the Americas, the Rolling Stones played to 350 people at the Canadian club.

The first Mocambo track, "Mannish Boy," features Jagger on harmonica against Woody's lead guitar. The 50s sound closes out the side with “Around and Around.”

As on Dylan's Flood, side four of Love You Live finishes with four powerful songs with Ron Wood's piercing guitar sounding a little like The Band's Robbie Robertson.

The side opens up with "It's Only Rock and Roll," the 1974 hit that was a preview of the oncoming punk-rock scene. The Stones match Dylan's anthem ("Like a Rolling Stone") with “Jumping Jack Flash” and add their 70s anthem, Brown Sugar, weaker here than its studio counterpart. The album ends with a bang "Sympathy for the Devil"—the song the Stones refused to do for six years, following Altamont's fatal festival of 69.

bandsconcertlistvintagepop culture

About the Creator

Adam Quinn

Music student and proud Chipotle fanatic. Playing local shows and writing his own music between classes and burritos.

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