Ladies and Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones was first released to select movie theaters in 1974 and it captured the Rolling Stones at the height of their power during their 1972 North American tour in support of their now legendary Exile On Main Street album. The film was recorded during four shows in Ft. Worth and Houston, Texas. Due to various legal issues, this video was only ever commercially released on VHS in the early '80s in Australia, until now. Last year, Eagle Rock Entertainment released a restored and remastered version of this historic concert film on both DVD and Blu-ray for Rolling Stones' fans to drool over for years to come.
Beware if you've only ever seen the Rolling Stones in concert, or concert video, during the last couple of decades, because this it not the glitzy, elaborately staged, concert spectacle that we've been accustomed to seeing during the Stones' last several tours; this is the stripped down, raw, and flamboyant Stones that earned them their reputation as the world's greatest rock band in the 1970s. They only took three extra musicians on this tour, Bobby Keys on sax, Jim Price on horns, and Nicky Hopkins on piano, to round out the live arrangements, instead of the small army of musicians that normally accompany them now.
The thing that really sets this video apart from other Stones' concert videos is that we get to see Mick Taylor, in his prime, absolutely tearing up the fretboard. Taylor was only 23 years old at the time and he would end up quitting the band just a couple of years later. I can only imagine how different the Stones might have been these last few decades, had Taylor stayed in the band. The majority of the tracks performed on this DVD come from what are arguably their three best albums, 1969's Let it Bleed, 1971's Sticky Fingers, and 1972's Exile On Main Street, which are all albums that Taylor played on.
The opening scene is of a darkened stage, as you hear roadies and crew talking amongst themselves, and the occasional camera flash firing off. After a few minutes, it is finally announced, "Ladies and gentleman...The Rolling Stones," as the band make their way to the stage. Moments later, as the stage lights fire up, the band rips into the opening number, "Brown Sugar," and it has never sounded as raw and powerful. "Bitch" was also refreshingly raw as the guitars finally take center stage again after having to hear the famous main riff drowned out by the giant horn section on their more recent tours. Here, Bobby Keys' sax, and Jim Price's trumpet provide only the perfect embellishment to the amazing guitar riffage going on.