Monday, March 5, 2012

Rolling Stones 44: Shine A Light

Having had fun with his recent Bob Dylan project, Martin Scorsese decided to reclaim his throne as king of the rockumentary with a Stones concert. And as long as there was a movie, why not issue a soundtrack? After all, it had been only four years since the last Stones live album.
We haven’t decided if the credit for “digital editing” refers to any post-dubbing, and it’s also not clear why Bob Clearmountain needed to mix the album at two different studios. But Shine A Light gets a slight edge over their previous five live albums in that the Beacon Theater setting is more intimate than any stadium, and the energy is more apparent. The horn section and vocalists don’t get in the way, and Darryl Jones’ bass manages to be heard. Charlie crackles as ever, even trying to add some life to “As Tears Go By”. Mick uses the f-word a lot, and has fun with “Faraway Eyes”. The biggest cheers are saved for Keith’s harmonizing. He sings three songs on his own, and even engages the crowd with conversation and a mention of the X-pensive Winos, which must have thrilled Mick no end. Unfortunately, whoever’s in charge decided that the greatest rock ‘n roll band in the world shouldn’t be left to stand on their own, so the album is graced by the presence of three so-called special guests: Buddy Guy, which makes sense; Jack White, which is a stretch; and Christina Aguilera, which is a crime to humanity.
Despite the performances of over half the songs from A Bigger Bang on their current tour, the newest songs on Shine A Light were first released in 1983. And to their credit, only four songs are repeated from Live Licks (a strategy Paul McCartney should consider for his next live album). There’s a single-disc version, but what fan’s gonna settle for that?

Rolling Stones Shine A Light (2008)—3


  1. As blasphemous as it may be, I think Aguilera actually did a pretty good job at Live With Me. She worked well with Mick and didn't do much of her annoying vocal howling that she usually does. It's kind of a sexy and slinky song anyways and even though I hate her own music, I might be a bit biased because I find her sexy as hell, especially now that she packed on a few pounds. I like me a woman with curves.

  2. Worst concert film in history. Marty's having kittens because he doesn't have the set list. All he had to do was walk over to the band's sound and lighting desk and ask for a copy. Or just look at the perspex screens next to Charlie's kit, where the songs have been written since the 1989 tour.

  3. Charlie is the heat in that engine, and it's going to be a sad day indeed when he's not around.

  4. His drumming style is very, ahem, unusual. I often got a real close look when they went to the b-stage, which granted must have had horrible sound. There's no way he would be replaced.

    Anyway enough rock stars from that era have died already that I think I am braced for the demise of those that are left. It's not like they will have died prematurely, tragically or on the verge of career comebacks (John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, etc). When the time comes it comes. They're my parents' age, the 1941-43 range, so this issue does occur to me a lot.

    Dig up Michael Nesmith's glorious 242-word elegy to Davy Jones on his Facebook page. It will put your whole life into context.