The Rolling Stones

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Phases & Stages

The Rolling Stones

Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! (ABKCO)

With every inch of their catalog and wrinkles staked out and ear-tagged, it's not as if the Rolling Stones haven't been documented into infinity, so seriously, what's left? Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, apparently, recorded at Madison Square Garden, released in 1970, and still one of the all-time finest live recordings, with nuance and style to burn. From the relentless lash of "Midnight Rambler" to the sex-ooze of "Stray Cat Blues" ("I see that you're just 13 years old"), the Stones had reached the mountaintop, looking around at a breathless view. Five additional songs on their own disc gild the lily of this 3-CD/1-DVD boxed set, including a pre-Sticky Fingers "You Gotta Move," Beggars Banquet's "Prodigal Son," "Under My Thumb," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and unexpected B-side "I'm Free." The DVD material is marginal, live versions of the bonus tracks plus offstage footage left out of the Maysles brothers' infamous documentary Gimme Shelter. Better is a B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner audio disc, because the Stones were still in awe of their idols and every tour opened with blues legends you weren't otherwise likely to see. Ike & Tina are the stars riding atop the explosive "Proud Mary," but it's King who's fascinating to hear, before his signature "The Thrill Is Gone" and sounding unimaginably young. Don't forget, this is 1969, civil rights and the smoke of Watts still in the air, with soul music having its second coming to predominantly white rock audiences. Ike's vision fused rock with funk, rendering "Come Together" as sensual and Tina's delivery of "I've Been Loving You Too Long." King delivers his set with old-school revue style and grace, gentlemanly introductions and mannered thank-you's to the Stones for having him because "had it not been for them, you would not have heard B.B. King." Or is this just an excuse to hear Jagger coyly tease one more time, "You don't want my trousers to fall down now do ya?" It's just an excuse!

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