Stripped (1995)

1.Street Fighting Man 2.Like a Rolling Stone 3.Not Fade Away 4.Shine A Light 5.The Spider and the Fly 6.I'm Free 7.Wild Horses 8.Let it Bleed 9.Dead Flowers 10.Slipping Away 11.Angie 12.Love in Vain 13.Sweet Virginia 14.Little Baby


An attempt to bring the band a bit back to their roots in a small club atmosphere that mostly succeeds. The problem with the Rolling Stones (if you could call it that) was that they had become so popular, that it only made sense for them to headline stadiums. A bit sad since these guys almost seem the most "at home" playing in the clubs and bars. Years ago, they would schedule anonymous shows headlining at clubs under obscure names, so they would "surprise" the unsuspecting audience. (True Story: During the Tattoo You tour, there was a rumor that the band was going to play at a club under the name "Tattoo". Rumor spread like wildfire and people were fighting to get in the small club. The rumor was false, and "Tattoo" was a middle aged guy doing Elvis impersonations).

The only time they were captured live in this type of environment was the disappointing side 3 of Love You Live where they, again, surprised the audience (although you could argue many of them didn't care). Here it's different. From the opening riff of Street Fighting Man, this one begins incredibly powerful. What's odd is that this doesn't turn into a concert, which is what I (and a lot of people) was expecting. Instead this is a combination of live, spontaneous stripped down performances of mostly their own songs (with a couple of covers thrown in) but most are not in front of an audience. It gets a little tiresome when, as the songs change, some are "in concert" and others are not.

Most of the songs translate well. A few don't, such as I'm Free and Not Fade Away, but most of the songs here serve this experiment well. They even cover Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, that really, to be honest, sounds a little too much like the original and doesn't feature enough of the band's grit. But for a band well into their fifties who were truly The Greatest Rock and Roll Band, this is better than anyone could ask for.

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