Friday, January 29, 2010

Rolling Stones 15: Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!

With a new, healthy guitarist in the fold, the Stones were ready to prove themselves as a live act. Having not toured the US since the audience tended to be full of screaming girls, this time out they played hockey arenas and colleges. The concert scene had evolved, thanks to venues like the Fillmore and festivals like Monterey and Woodstock. (The band would end their American trek with an attempt to recreate their own Woodstock, with disastrous results.)
The bootleg industry had also evolved of late, and white-label records started popping up soon after the tour was complete. The Stones had already arranged to have some of the shows professionally recorded, so Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! did a pretty good job of beating the boots.
From the opening montage of the emcee’s introduction, the excitement explodes on a stellar version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (with a fantastic performance from Charlie), followed by Mick’s teasing banter about his pants. “Carol” is the first of two Chuck Berry covers here, reminding folks where they came from. “Stray Cat Blues” gives Mick a chance to be even more lascivious; at thirteen, the object of his lust is two years younger than she was on Beggars Banquet. “Love In Vain” takes things down a notch, before “Midnight Rambler” gets an epic workout rivaling the album version.
“Sympathy For The Devil” begins side two, with some interesting contributions from an audience member requesting another song altogether. “Live With Me” keeps the tempo going, as does a slightly sluggish “Little Queenie”. “Honky Tonk Women” is done in the style of the single, but with different lyrics. “Street Fighting Man” is a powerful closer, and a great showcase for Bill, Mick Taylor and Charlie.
Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! is a wonderful souvenir, best played loud, though as an official document it’s not exactly accurate. For starters, Mick redid many of the vocals in the studio (as evidenced on the Gimme Shelter DVD) so it’s not completely live. Plus, with only ten songs it’s a mere snapshot of a typical show from that tour. The so-called 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set added five songs (about 19 minutes worth) from the shows twice—as a separate CD and again as a DVD with bonus footage. A third disc included performances from tour support B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner. Fans would have doubtlessly preferred a single expanded disc of just the Stones material, but ABKCO’s not in this business to lose money. (We can’t blame Mick’s greed entirely for this one.) Luckily, the original ten-track version is still available anywhere, and it’s worth the bucks. If only for that wonderful cover shot of Charlie, for which—again—he should be knighted.

The Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! (1970)—4
2009 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set: same as 1970, plus 5 extra tracks (plus DVD and non-Stones disc)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, the cover is priceless, one of the best (and funniest) I remember -good ol' Charlie! And the music's very good, too, haha...