Friday, April 8, 2011

Rolling Stones 39: No Security

Right on schedule, barely a year after 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.
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.
Troupers that they were, the band immediately embarked on another tour to support the album, yet resisted the urge to put out a live album from that… for two whole decades, until a show from the end of the American leg was released in their increasingly underwhelming “From The Vaults” series. No Security: San Jose ‘99 presents a complete show in, par for the tour, a smaller arena, leaning heavily on the usual candidates, with mild surprises in the way of “I Got The Blues”, “Route 66”, and a mini-Keith set of “You Got The Silver” and “Before They Make Me Run”. (If that wasn’t enough, barely a year later Bridges To Bremen presented a complete show from close to the end of the tour, two months before the original release of No Security. To these ears they were a little tired; Mick exhorts the crowd occasional in German but mostly in English, and meanders into a “She Works Hard For The Money” detour during “Miss You”, but does put a little oomph into “Paint It Black”. Unfortunately, “Anybody Seen My Baby?” doesn’t translate well to the stage, and while it’s nice to hear “Memory Motel” without Dave Matthews, it’s kinda weak. Keith’s mini-set pairs “Thief In The Night” with the rare “Wanna Hold You”, which seems to fire Mick’s energy up.)

Rolling Stones No Security (1998)—2
Rolling Stones No Security: San Jose ‘99 (2018)—
The Rolling Stones
Bridges To Bremen (2019)—


  1. You did better than me on this one. I could never get passed the cover.

  2. I had to place the jacket face down on the carpet whilst it played.