Fans of The Rolling Stones have a lot of reason to celebrate this week. Two of the band’s members—guitarist Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts—celebrated birthdays this week. And today the band has released its latest live offering Totally Stripped. The hybrid tour documentary/live recording is a great gift from the band to its fans and a great way for fans to celebrate not just Watts and Wood but the band in whole. This is especially true in the case of the recording’s SD Blu-ray/CD combo pack. At the heart of the set is its packaging. This will be discussed shortly. The concert recording that is included in the set is another key element in the set’s presentation. It will be discussed later. Last but hardly least notable in this new presentation is the set’s companion booklet. It rounds out the set’s most notable elements. Each element is important in its own way to the set’s overall presentation. Altogether they make Totally Stripped a welcome follow-up to the band’s 1995 live recording Stripped and another welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.
The Rolling Stones’ new live recording Totally Stripped is a welcome follow-up to the band’s 1995 live recording Stripped, which was itself re-issued in 2009. It is just as much of a welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library. This is due in part to the recording’s general presentation. The focus here will be specifically on the recording’s SD Blu-ray/CD combo pack presentation. In the case of this presentation, audiences get in the set’s CD a brand new collection of songs that the band performed during its “acoustic” sets included in the band’s 1995 “Voodoo Lounge” Tour. As is noted on the back of the set’s packaging, only one of the songs included in this set was included as part of Stripped. That being the case the CD portion of Totally Stripped becomes a brand new live recording rather than just another re-issue. In examining the set’s SD Blu-ray side, audiences get in this side the band’s Stripped tour documentary. This documentary isn’t just one of those short 15 – 30 minute pieces. Rather it is an extensive piece that takes audiences along with the band on the “acoustic” portion of its “Voodoo Lounge Tour.” The documentary runs roughly an hour. And it comes complete with performances from the band, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the band and crew. The interviews provide some interesting insights, too. One of the most notable of the interview segments features guitarist Keith Richards discussing the misnomer that is “stripped/acoustic” performances. He laughs as he candidly notes that there’s really no such thing as acoustic anymore. He has a valid point. Those that are familiar with, say, MTV’s Unplugged will note that in its original run very few of the acts were ever fully acoustic in their performances. And a close examination of the performances here backs up Richards’ statement. [Charlie]Watts’ discussion about his role in the band and what he does is just as interesting to hear. He notes that he doesn’t play for himself. Rather he plays as part of the band. That is a real humble statement from such a revered artists and musician. Mick offers up his own insights, too along the way. And his insights aren’t the last. Even producer Don Was has some shining commentary about the band in his own interview segments. These sentiments and those of the band’s touring members join together to with the set’s CD presentation and complete the experience for audiences. The two sides together show clearly why the set’s packaging is key to its presentation. It isn’t the set’s only key element either. Looking a little bit deeper at the double-disc set, the set list presented in its CD presentation is important in its own right to the set’s presentation.
The packaging of The Rolling Stones’ new live recording Totally Stripped is in its own right a hugely important part of the set’s presentation. It divides up the experience, putting the band’s full-length “Voodoo Lounge Tour” documentary on its own disc. The actual concert recording is presented on another, separate CD. Speaking of the concert recording, the set list presented in the CD is almost entirely brand new. Only one of the songs from the band’s 1995 recording Stripped is included in this recording’s set list. The rest of the songs are taken from the band’s ’95 tour. But they were not included in that original recording. Even more impressive is that the songs were not all taken from just one of the acoustic dates included in the band’s ’95 tour. They were lifted from the band’s performance at Amsterdam, London, and Paris. The end result is a 78-minute audio experience that while not one full concert is just as good as a complete concert. In fact it technically could be considered a full concert in its own right, just lifted from a series of different dates, considering its run time. Keeping this in mind the CD presentation in Totally Stripped shows clearly that it is just as important to the set’s presentation as the set’s packaging. They are not the set’s only important elements either. The companion booklet that comes with the set is just as important to its presentation as the set’s packaging and its concert recording.
Totally Stripped’s packaging and its concert recording are both key elements in this set’s overall presentation. While both elements are of equal importance to the set’s presentation they are not its only key elements. This critic has noted time and again the importance of live recordings’ companion booklets. In some cases they are just as useful as they can be useless in others. This is one of those cases in which the set’s companion booklet proves quite important to its presentation. The booklet gives ample background on this recording, comparing it early to the band’s very first live recording Got Live If You Want It. Richard Havers, who has handled the liner notes for many of The Rolling Stones’ recent live recordings handled the liner notes for this recording, too. He notes here that on Got Live If You Want It was not in fact a wholly live recording. Rather it included two studio tracks with audience noise overdubbed to make them seem live. From there, Havers outlines in full depth the course of events that led to the release of Stripped starting with the recording of Stripped in studio and the documentary that rose from those sessions. From there he outlines the band’s Voodoo Lounge Tour and what made it such a great tour right up to the band’s final show of the tour at the Brixton Aademy. He even makes special note in the booklet about the songs featured on the new live compilation presented in the set’s CD. The background that Havers offers in his commentary is a great setup for this recording. It is like the appetizer to the set’s musical main dish so to speak. Yes, that’s probably a bad comparison. But it was the first thing that came to this critic’s mind. Simply put, the commentary included in Totally Stripped’s companion booklet proves just as important to the set’s presentation as its packaging and the content presented in each disc. All things considered, Totally Stripped shows in the end to be a welcome follow-up to Stripped and an equally welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.
The Rolling Stones’ new live recording Totally Stripped is a welcome follow-up to the band’s 1995 live recording Stripped. It is just as welcome in any Rolling Stones fan’s music library. That is due in part to the double disc set’s overall packaging. Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group have presented the set with a standalone 90-minute documentary on its own disc. A separate 78-minute disc contains live recordings from the Stripped shows not previously included in the set. That “new” collection of songs (save for one) makes the recording’s CD presentation just as important as the set’s overall packaging. The set’s companion booklet rounds out its overall presentation. Thanks to Richard Havers, who handled the liner notes for many of the band’s previous live recordings, audiences are presented with a solid introduction to the set ahead of the experience that it provides audiences. Each element proves equally important in its own right to Totally Stripped’s presentation. Altogether they make this set, again, a welcome follow-up to Stripped and an equally welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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