On October 12, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the long-awaited Ladies & Gentlemen…The Rolling Stones. This is probably the most sought after Rolling Stones concert performance and it has been fully restored and remastered from the original film print and multitrack audio masters. Ladies & Gentlemen follows the highly successful CD reissue of Exile On Main Street (Universal Music Group) in May of this year and the Stones In Exile DVD (Eagle Rock Entertainment) on June 22, 2010.
Filmed in Texas in 1972 over four nights of the “Exile On Main Street” US tour, Ladies & Gentlemen was premiered at the Ziegfield Theatre in New York on April 15, 1974 and released into selected cinemas across the USA shortly afterwards. Bonus features on this release include tour rehearsal footage from Montreux, plus two interviews with Mick Jagger; one from a 1972 Old Grey Whistle Test show, and one filmed in 2010. The line-up for this show comprised Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitars), Charlie Watts (drums), Bill Wyman (bass), Mick Taylor (guitars) with Bobby Keys (saxophones), Jim Price (horns) and Nicky Hopkins (piano). Ladies & Gentlemen was billed at the time as “…the most powerful rock film ever made” and is considered by many fans to be the finest Rolling Stones performance ever captured on film. This is simply unmissable!
My exposure to The Rolling Stones was limited to a single “best of” CD that my Dad listened to when I was younger. I’ve since ported that same CD over to my MP3 player, but despite being their first officially released best of album (“High Tide and Green Grass”) I was rather surprised to see that not a single one of those songs was a part of this concert. In fact aside from “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” there wasn’t a song on this concert I was really familiar with. Not that that’s ever much of a surprise when it comes to these Eagle Rock releases, but it’s still a mild disappointment as I wasn’t really able to soak in the grandeur of their presentation since I was so focused on the new songs rather than their performance. By that I mean once you know a song you can appreciate its nuances and alterations made to it during a live performance—not something I was really able to do here, but ultimately it wasn’t a huge deal as it was undoubtedly an entertaining concert regardless.
The concert itself is comprised of a few different concerts over the span of a couple days, but there really isn’t much of a noticeable transition. Sadly despite being a compilation concert it runs a mere 70 minutes—perhaps that was all the concert had to offer, but it seems like there should’ve been something, anything really, extra at the end. There are extras on the disc itself of course, but as far as concerts go it was fairly brief…but then again so are the majority of all Rolling Stones songs. The full roster of songs on this release includes:
1.) Brown Sugar
3.) Gimme Shelter
4.) Dead Flowers
6.) Tumbling Dice
7.) Love In Vain
8.) Sweet Virginia
9.) You Can’t Always Get What You Want
10.) All Down The Line
11.) Midnight Rambler
12.) Bye Bye Johnny
13.) Rip This Joint
14.) Jumpin’ Jack Flash
15.) Street Fighting Man
Overall definitely a Recommended concert for Stones fans. Casual listeners like me will be satiated by a rental, however.
Eagle Rock Entertainment brings Ladies & Gentlemen…The Rolling Stones Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray case. A booklet inside contains information and photos from the concert as well as information about the group and this particular production, while the menu system for the disc lays out everything in a nice and tidy fashion. Also included is a cardboard slipcase that houses the elite case itself.
The video arrives in an AVC encoded 1080i transfer and the concerts themselves are a bit of a difficult affair to grade properly. After all this concert is pushing forty years old, so the video itself is naturally very, very soft in appearance. There’s still a decent amount of detail although through and through the 1.85:1 transfer is as enjoyable as it could possibly be without a full remastering. As is usual with Eagle Rock releases, the concerts boasts three audio tracks as well, a DTS-HD MA, DD5.1 and a PCM track. All three have their merits, but it’s the DTS-HD that is the king of the listing here even though that’s truly not saying much—the audio, like the video itself, is very soft and quiet at times. There’s some bass but nothing that’s up to par with today’s modern releases.
Tour rehearsal footage from Montreux
1972 Old Grey Whistle Test interview with Mick Jagger
2010 interview with Mick Jagger
The extra footage is a nice bonus, but it’s really the new interview with Jagger that’s the highlight of this disc. It’s rare that you get to interview a rock star forty years after a concert to pick their brain about their memories of the night and the performances. Even as a casual listener of their music I was really quite pleased with this interview so I can only imagine how enraptured fans will be once they get their hands on this disc.
Overall a Highly Recommended release for fans.
Ladies & Gentlemen…The Rolling Stones is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.