Bridges To Babylon, the Stones put out a live album culled from their most recent tour. In order to squelch the griping of those who damned their lack of originality (who, us?) they at least filled up No Security with songs that hadn’t been included on any previous live album, or at least not since 1969 or so. How nice of them. (And then they did another tour to support the album, but resisted the urge to put out a live album from that…)
After a 48-second intro that was probably more interesting to watch, “You Got Me Rocking” gives way to “Gimme Shelter” via a sloppy edit, before coming back to the future with “Flip The Switch”, which at least gives Keith room to stretch. In an increasingly worrying trend, a few high-profile guests show up on a couple of duets. Dave Matthews may not have been the ideal choice to include on “Memory Motel”, but the kids love him. The hipper kids also love Taj Mahal, who makes his second appearance on a live Stones album with his arrangement of “Corrina”. “Saint Of Me” tries to keep things current again, and somehow the Brazilian crowd sings along. A pleasant take on “Waiting On A Friend” proves that Mick can’t hit the high notes anymore, letting the backing vocalists carry it.
“Sister Morphine” is one of the odder choices for an arena show, even for Amsterdam, but “Live With Me” and “Respectable” bring back the rock. Keith’s moment comes with “Thief In The Night”, before being pushed aside for “The Last Time” and an unnecessarily lengthy “Out Of Control”.
Thanks to all the technology available on stage, as well as whatever could have been cleaned up in the studio afterwards, No Security doesn’t deliver that “you are there” feel of a live album. Except for a few moments, it doesn’t sound very spontaneous. But was anyone really expecting this album to be remotely substantial? As for the hideous cover, the less said the better.
Rolling Stones No Security (1998)—2