In 1972, the Stones bring their Exile on Main Street tour to Texas: 15 songs, with five from the "Exile" album. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman on a small stage with three other musicians. Until the lights come up near the end, we see the Stones against a black background. The camera stays mostly on Jagger, with a few shots of Taylor. Richards is on screen for his duets and for some guitar work on the final two songs. It's music from start to finish: hard rock ("All Down the Line"), the blues ("Love in Vain" and "Midnight Rambler"), a tribute to Chuck Berry ("Bye Bye Johnny"), and no "Satisfaction." Written by
This collection of numbers recorded over two nights in Texas, 1972 prove that the Stones, at least for a little while, really were the Greatest Band in the World. Here we have the Stones doing what they do best: Guitar fueled R&B with pop flair and youthful rebelliousness thrown in for good measure. The renditions of Gimme Shelter, Midnight Rambler, and Can't Always Get What You Want surpass anything recorded to date, live or studio. You have to love the acoustic performance of Sweet Virginia. The contributions from Bobby Keyes, Jim Price, and Nicky Hopkins make it clear the Stones were brilliant collaborators. Mick Taylor frankly steals the show, particularly with his slide work on All Down the Line. But there's no getting past the fact that this is Mick and Keith's band: their performances are consistently stellar. Mick's leadership and Keith's suspensions are what made this band great in the first place.
It's really a shame that this footage does not have a widespread release. Clearly, the 1972 tour was the nadir of their career.
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