‘Havana Moon’ Is A Shining Beacon In The Rolling Stones’ Extensive Live Catalogue

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Rolling Stones have held countless concerts in nearly every corner of the world over the course of its nearly 55-year life.  From the UK to Asia and across the Americas, the British rock outfit has been there and done that plenty of times. For all of the concerts that the band has held throughout its life, few have held or hold the importance of the concert that the band held on March 25, 2016.  It was on that night that The Rolling Stones became the first rock band in the country’s history to play a free concert in Havana.  The concert came only days after President Barack Obama became the first American President in 88 years to pay a visit to the island nation.  It was one of the most momentous occasions in the band’s history, and this Friday audiences around the world will be able to see the concert for themselves when Havana Moon is released in stores and online.  The concert boasts plenty of positives, beginning with its set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of its set list is just as important to note as the songs in examining the recording’s overall presentation.  It will be discussed later.  The concert’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the concert’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Havana Moon a shining beacon in The Rolling Stones’ extensive live catalogue.

Havana Moon, The Rolling Stones’ new live recording, is a shining beacon in the band’s extensive live catalogue.  It is a landmark concert because there is no telling if the band will ever perform on the island nation again.  It boasts plenty of positives, beginning with the show’s set list.  The show’s 18-song set list features a favorable sampling of the band’s most beloved songs including ‘Honky Tonk Women,’ ‘Paint It Black,’ ‘Brown Sugar’ and so many others.  There are also some lesser known pieces included in the set list such as ‘Angie,’ ‘You Got The Silver’ and ‘Out Of Control.’  Audiences that pick up this record will find the show’s musical mix relatively familiar due to that set list.  While the set list may not necessarily break any new ground for the band, it was new ground for the audiences in attendance.  Their appreciation for hearing the classic compositions shows throughout the concert.  That appreciation by the audiences will make audiences more familiar with the set list that much more appreciative of the set list even despite already knowing said song.  The familiar set list and the audience’s appreciation of said set list do plenty to make Havana Moon an enjoyable recording.  The band’s performance of each song is just as important to note here as the songs themselves.

The songs that make up the body of Havana Moon are important in their own right to the recording’s presentation.  That is because while the songs are familiar to most audiences, they clearly were not so familiar to the Stones’ Cuban audience.  The audience’s appreciation for the songs will generate a whole new appreciation for the songs among audiences who are more familiar with the songs.  That is because seeing their reaction allows more seasoned audiences to experience the songs in a whole new light.  While the songs and the audience’s appreciation thereof are clearly important to the recording’s presentation, they are not, collectively, the only important pieces of the recording’s presentation.  The band’s performance of the show’s set list is just as important to note as the set list itself.  That is because many of the renditions presented in this concert are unlike any that the band has done before.  The band’s take of ‘Pained Black’ is just one of those unexpected performances.  Most people know this song as being a rather powerful composition thanks to drummer Charlie Watts’ work at the base of the song.  Keith Richards’ guitar line sits atop Watts’ timekeeping and solidifies the song’s instrumentation even more. The band’s performance of the song in Havana is anything but what one would expect of the song.  The band’s performance of the song here is much more reserved than in its normal presentation.  If the band has ever performed the song in the style presented here, then said instances are very rare.  That makes this performance all the more important.  The band’s rendition of ‘Honkey Tonk Women’ stands out just as much here as that of ‘Painted Black.’  It is a little bit slower than the band’s normal renditions, but not by too much; just enough to make it noticeable without taking anything away from the song in this case.  Of course one cannot ignore the extended take of ‘Midnight Rambler’ here.  The band’s performance feels so organic even as it runs more than 15 minutes.  It is one more example of how the band’s performance stands out in this recording just as much as the songs chosen for the concert.  There are plenty of other performances throughout the show that stand as examples of what makes the band’s overall performance just as important to the recording’s presentation as the songs themselves.  All in all, they join with the performances noted here to show in whole why the band’s performance of its set list is just as important to the recording’s presentation as the show’s set list.  It still is not the last important element to discuss.  The recording’s companion booklet is just as important to note in its presentation as the show’s set list and the band’s performance thereof.

The set list that is featured in Havana Moon and the band’s performance thereof are both important in their own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  Audiences who are familiar with the featured songs will gain a whole new appreciation for them as they see the Cuban audience—many of whom were experiencing the songs for the first time ever—show their own appreciation for getting to hear them.  The band’s performance is just as important to note here because in many cases, the band’s performances of certain songs are completely unlike those in any other live setting.  They give said songs brand new identities.  Both elements are clearly important in their own right.  Yet they are not the recording’s only important elements.  The recording’s companion booklet is just as important to note in examining the recording’s overall presentation as the show’s set list and the band’s performance.  That is because it presents a rich background picture of the concert courtesy of Jonathan Watts.  Watts starts the concert’s story with a mention of President Obama making his own historic visit to Cuba only days before The Rolling Stones.  From there, he highlights all of the work that went in to making the “Concert For Amity” a reality.  It then transitions into the story of the concert.  That story includes the reaction of both the band and the audience to one another.  By the time Watts reaches the story’s end, the importance of the concert becomes crystal clear.  He shows through his story why this concert is an important part of not only The Rolling Stones’ history but also of Cuba’s history and that of the entire world.  That understanding creates even more appreciation for the concert, and in turn, leaves audiences understanding that this is truly a special recording that Rolling Stones fans and music lovers alike should have in their music libraries.

Havana Moon is an important piece of Cuba’s history.  It is also an important part of The Rolling Stones’ history and that of the whole world.  The band isn’t the first-ever band to perform in Cuba.  But it is the first band to hold a free concert in the island nation’s capital.  From its set list to the band’s performance to the recording’s companion booklet, there is so much included here that serves to illustrate the importance of the concert.  One could also cite the recording’s editing, varied platforms on which it is available and much more to show why it is such an important performance.  All things considered, Havana Moon shows itself in the end to be a recording that Rolling Stones fans and music lovers alike should have in his or her own music library.  Havana Moon will be available Friday, November 11th in stores and online.  More information on Havana Moon is available online along with all of The Rolling Stones’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.rollingstones.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/therollingstones

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RollingStones

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Live In Leeds Is One More Welcome Addition To The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” Series

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Late last year, Eagle Rock Entertainment teamed up with Universal Music Group and The Rolling Stones and dove into the band’s extensive “Vault” of recordings to release the band’s 1981 performance at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The concert was just one of a number of dates in the band’s worldwide tour in support of its then latest album Tattoo You. Now a little more than a year since that recording’s release Eagle Rock, UMG, and The Rolling Stones have partnered once again to bring audiences another performance from that tour in the form of From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982. The concert, which was originally recorded on July 25th, 1982, was the final show for the European leg of its Tattoo You tour. Being part of said tour, the most important element of this recording is the concert’s set list. It is a near mirror image of last year’s Hampton Coliseum recording. This might not seem important at first glance. but the reality is that it is far more important than many might think. This will be discussed at more length shortly. The band’s stage presence throughout the performance is just as important in the concert’s overall presentation as its set list. That will be discussed in more depth later. Last but hardly least of note in this presentation is the recording’s collective production values. This includes the values of the DVD and CD portion. All three elements play their own important part in the overall presentation of this recording. Of course as important as they are one would be remiss to ignore the recording’s companion booklet. Even that aspect plays its own important part in the whole of the recording as does the recording’s DVD/2 CD packaging. All things considered, From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 is one more welcome addition to The Rolling Stones continuing “From The Vault” series.

From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 is yet another welcome addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series of concert recordings. Originally recorded on July 25th, 1982 at Roundhay Park in Leeds, England, this recording is a “sister” show to the band’s 1981 show at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. That recording was released late last year as another part of the band’s “From The Vault” series. Considering the relationship between the two recordings, the most important aspect of the band’s tour finale in Leeds is its set list. The set list is a near mirror image of that presented in the band’s 1981 show at the Hampton Coliseum. It differs by only one song–‘Let It Bleed.’ That song was included in the Hampton Coliseum show but omitted in the Leeds performance. What’s more save for that one omission, the rest of the show’s set list is exactly the same as that in the Hampton Coliseum show. This might not seem all that important to the whole of the recording. But in reality it is extremely important. It is so important because not every Rolling Stones fan might have been lucky enough to pick up the band’s Hampton Coliseum show in its original release last year. This means that said fans now have been given a second chance to experience the same show (for the most part) right down to the set list’s order. And for those that might already own the band’s Hampton Coliseum show, that one minor difference (and of course the birthday wishes to guitarist Keith Richards) makes this recording just as enjoyable as its predecessor. Keeping all of this in mind, the set list presented in the band’s tour finale proves to be just as important to the concert as any of its other elements. Speaking of those other elements, the band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is another of those important elements.

The set list presented in the body of the band’s Tattoo You World Tour is a hugely important part of the recording’s overall presentation. It gives audiences the same show as its 1981 concert at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The whole reason for that importance has already been noted. In the same vein the band’s stage presence over the course of its two hour-plus concert is just as important to note as the show’s set list. For the most part, the band gives its whole for its audiences from start to finish. Front man Mick Jagger is just as energetic as ever, strutting around the massive stage, keeping the audience worked up and entertained. Guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood are just as entertaining to watch as they work their way through each song alongside drummer Charlie Watts. Speaking of Watts, as impressive and enjoyable as his performance was throughout, there was one down moment for him when the band broke into ‘Black Limousine.’ While Wood and Richards swung their way through the bluesy tune, Watts never really seemed to swing with them. He kept time, yes. However he just kept a solid tempo instead of swinging with them. Whether or not he realized he was doing that is anyone’s guess. But it definitely takes away from the song. Luckily it is Watts’ only down side. Bassist Bill Wyman sadly seems just as disinterested as ever in this concert save (go figure) for when the band hits ‘Black Limousine.’ The rest of the time, he barely cracks a smile or even moves around. Of course it is known that in the seven years that followed, things apparently turned sour within the band in its time away from the road. One can’t help but wonder if things had been turning bad at least for Wyman during the course of this tour. After all, when the band returned to the road in 1989 it would be the beginning of the end for Wyman in his time with the band. It’s anyone’s guess. Getting back on topic, the band kept the audience entertained from beginning to end for the most part. This includes the band’s backing musicians–Ian Stewart (piano), Chuck Leavell (keyboards, backing vocals), Gene Barge (saxophone), and Bobby Keys (saxophone)–too. Altogether, the collective performers and their energy make every one of the concert’s twenty-five total songs just as enjoyable for audiences today as they did for those in attendance at the original performance.

The set list and stage presence of the band throughout the course of said set list does plenty to make From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 another welcome addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series. Of course as important as both elements are to the whole of the concert’s presentation they are just part of what makes the concert’s overall presentation worth the watch. The concert’s collective production values are just as important as the set list and the band’s stage presence if not more so. The overall production values presented in this recording are impressive in their own right. Of course the inclusion of the concert’s video recording alongside its audio portion plays directly into that. That is because it allows audiences to see the massive size of the venue. It was a rather large outdoor venue. And that posed its own share of challenges both for the concert’s audio engineers and the camera crews. It allowed the sound to spread out everywhere meaning that the engineers had to really work the levels and keep them balanced throughout the concert. They did just that. And while it shows in the concert’s CD portion, it is even clearer in the presentation’s DVD. The venue’s immense size is just as important to note for the concert’s camera crews. That is because of the options and challenges alike that it posed for those individuals. The challenges were raised by the number of concertgoers at the venue. It meant having to work through them in order to capture the concert both in terms of its size and in terms of the band’s performance. The wipes that are used to transition from one angle to another at times show how far such technology has come yet how little it has changed at the same time. The cuts are just as clean as the director went from camera to camera, trying to keep up with Jagger and capture the audience’s energy at the same time. Between those shots and the shots that capture the band’s overall performance the overall camerawork presented throughout the band’s performance here, the concert’s video mix proves just as impressive as the work of those behind the boards. Those that re-mastered the concert for its presentation in this recording are just as much to applaud for their efforts. And together with the show’s set list and the band ‘s presence throughout said list Live in Leeds proves in whole to be one more welcome addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series.

There is a lot that can be said of the latest addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series. The show’s set list complements that of the band’s 1981 concert in Hampton, Virginia since both shows were part of the same overall tour. The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as impressive in any of its other performances past and present. This includes the performance of the band’s backing musicians. The overall production values presented in this concert as to be applauded both for the efforts of those that originally recorded the concert and those that re-mastered it for its recent release via Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group. As important as those noted elements prove to be to the whole of the recording, they still aren’t the presentation’s only noteworthy elements. One would be remiss to ignore the recording’s companion booklet or the very presentation of the recording on DVD/2 CD combo pack. The companion booklet offers yet another rich history on the concert and its importance. The overall presentation gives audiences the complete concert experience here without forcing them to have to choose between platforms. That is nothing new for Eagle Rock’s live recordings either, thus showing once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. That full concert experience coupled with the rich history in the recording’s companion booklet round out the recording once and for all, showing in whole why this recording is one more welcome addition to the band’s “From The Vault” series as well as any Rolling Stones fan’s music library. From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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New Stones Vinyl Re-Issue An Excellent Addition To Band’s Anniversary Celebration

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

On July 18th, 1978, The Rolling Stones made a stop at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas as part of its tour in support of its album, Some Girls.  Over three decades have passed since that iconic performance.  Last year, Eagle Rock Entertainment, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records released that performance on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.  Now, the companies have followed up the success of those releases with a double disc vinyl/DVD combo pack for true hardcore Stones fans.  This new set includes the entire performance of that show on two double sided vinyl discs along with a full length performance of the show on DVD.  It goes without saying that this is another outstanding performance from an outstanding band that helps to celebrate the band’s fiftieth anniversary.

The first thing that will hit audiences in taking in this performance is the quality of the recording.  Nearly thirty-five years have passed since this performance was originally recorded.  But as evidenced both on the DVD and the vinyl release, the recording has stood the test of time.  The audio portion on the vinyl will impress any audiophile.  The companion DVD is just as impressive.  Considering the technology that was available in 1978, the quality of the video footage is outstanding.  It’s obvious painstaking efforts were taken to preserve this concert.  And those responsible for maintaining and restoring it for its latest release are to be commended for their efforts.  Those efforts paid off in a large way.  It’s great to be able to see the band’s performance not just from the stage, but also from the vantage point of the audience.  The wide shots of the show from the back of the auditorium give an even more incredible view of the audience numbers and the audience’s reaction to the band from one song to the next.  There’s no let up from either the band or its fans throughout the concert.

The audio and video go a long way towards making Some Girls Live in Texas ’78 enjoyable for any Rolling Stones fan.  They’re just part of the overall experience, though.  The set list has its own hand in the success of this release.  Presented here are standout performance of hits including:  ‘Star Star’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Beast of Burden’, ‘Brown Sugar’, and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’  Long time audiences that haven’t gotten to see last year’s DVD and BD release of this show will be taken aback by the band’s you and energy here.  There’s hardly a wrinkle to be seen on any of the band members.  Though, Mick Jagger has that signature swagger that has made him such a rock icon throughout the Stones’ career together.  And the guitar solos courtesy of Keith Richards and Ron Wood will get even the newest Stones’ fans moving in their own living rooms, bedrooms, etc.  Drummer Charlie Watts keeps the whole band together behind his kit, adding his own flair where necessary, too.  The band’s performance and the equally impressive recording come together to make a release that is a fitting addition to any Stones’ fan’s celebration of the band’s anniversary.  Some Girls Live in Texas ’78 is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com

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Eagle Rock sets the bar again with Muddy Waters, Rolling Stones archived live show

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Rock and roll shares a very special relationship with the blues.  If not for the blues, there would likely be no rock and roll.  Any music historian would agree with that sentiment.  Now, thanks to the good people at Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision, music lovers everywhere get to experience what is arguably one of the greatest moments in the history of both genres in the new DVD and DVD?CD release of “Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge.”

Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Lefty Bizz and the Rolling Stones all came together in an impromptu show at the famed Checkerboard Club on November 22nd, 1981.  The weather outside may have been cold.  But as it was documented in this new release, the energy of this one off mega show warmed the house and everyone in attendance.  The vibe is set from the very first notes of the piano led, ‘Sweet Little Angel.’  Pianist Lovie Lee shines not only on the keys, but vocally, too.  His talent shows through on ‘Flip Flop and Fly’, as well.  Muddy keeps the positive vibe set by Lee coming when he enters on ‘You Don’t Have to Go.’  And his chops on the guitar are unlike anything that any other guitarist did then or does today.   Things really get moving when Muddy coaxes Mick Jagger and his band mates Keith Richards and Ron Wood to come up and join in.  This is just one of many impromptu moments that make this show such fun.  Audiences will thrill at seeing Mick Jagger in his trademark “Chicken man” stance, hands on his hips, head stuck out.  He, Wood, and Richards show their love and respect for the blues while they play.  It’s proof of what makes the Rolling Stones one of the world’s most beloved bands.

Even when Muddy and Mick take a break, the energy is maintained by fellow bluesmen Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Lefty Dizz.  The trio take over on ‘Got My Mojo Workin’ ‘, ‘Next Time You See Me’ and ‘One Eyed Woman’ before Muddy comes back up on ‘Clouds in My Heart.’

Audiences get one amazing show from the vault in this newly released concert.  It’s only made that much better with the addition of an audio portion in the bonus CD included in the double disc DVD/CD set.  This inclusion will allow audiences to listen to the show anywhere they go.  The audio transfer from the master tapes was seamless.  In short, the experience is just as grand on CD as it is on DVD.  All involved in bringing this show back to life on CD are to be commended.  The same should be said of those who dusted off the original video tapes of the show, and brought it back to life for DVD presentation.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision have once more set the bar for live recordings with this latest release.  And while Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones take top billing, it’s obvious that this performance is less about either one, and more about celebrating the power of music.  It joined two members of the same musical family for one special night.  What’s more it has given eagle Rock and Eagle Vision one more of the year’s very best live recordings. 

The single disc DVD and double disc DVD/CD set are both available in stores and online now.  Fans can order it online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.  There will also be a triple disc DVD/ 2-LP Vinyl release on September 11th

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