User ReviewsAdd a Review
Director Hal Asby opens things in an interesting way as his camera roams the stage picking up the principles before suddenly going into Under My Thumb before an audience that looks as vast as the Atlantic but like everything else in this concert it lacks the power of place and impact of the Maysles documentation of it in Gimme Me Shelter.
Jagger is energetic throughout as he hops and preens about but his voice is hoarse much of the time and do we really need his guitar work? It's bad enough that Ron Wood is holding up Keith Richards most of the way. They do mostly poor covers (All Down the Line is a disaster) and turn things into a real three ring circus with Honky Tonk Woman parading a bunch of tarted up floozies (led by Jerry Hall and including I guess Ron Wood's little girl) to cavort the stage.
During Time is on our Side Ashby diverts us from the carnival atmosphere on the midway to nostalgically return us to the 60s with documentary footage of the original band's compliment, Pope Paul and a severed Vietnamese head (Hal always was a counter culture rascal). But then it's back to the landing field for more Jagger vamping, Richard posing, Watts sober steady drumming and the unaffected stoicism of bassist Bill Wyman probably eying one of the thousands of groupies he laid claim to.
Let's Spend the Night Together is the Stones after they reached legendary status. Their venues and production values may be bigger and slicker but the quality is stale and forced, making it almost a parody of the once tight and original R&B band that hit the big time and slowly evaporated into a stagy musical revue.
cinema verité and that's all I want from The Stones. Filmed at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona (outdoors segment) and
the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey (indoor segment) by
director Hal Ashby ("Harold And Maude", "Coming Home") in the fall of
1981 on the Stones' very successful Tattoo You Tour. This is the last tour to feature the basic meat and potatoes Stones lineup
(guitar, bass, drums, piano, sax) as every subsequent tour since has featured an musical entourage of 3 or 4 backup singers, big horn sections and
multiple keyboardists. The material is great although I wish they'd have
played "Gimme Shelter", "Monkey Man", "Street Fighting Man", "Bitch"
but hey, those songs were not performed on that tour so what are you
gonna do? I would have liked more backstage activity but then again that's what the
"C*cks*cker Blues" 1972 film by Robert Frank does to excess. "Let's Spend The Night Together" perfectly captures the Stones as they
were in 1981 in their late 30s and early 40s and is a must for any Rolling
4 - 1/2 STARS out of 5
Hal Ashby captures the raw essence of one of the last regular Stones Tours (back when they toured in 3-year cycles) backing one of their last strong albums, Tattoo You. "Start Me Up" is a brand new song the band is just breaking into their set. It's also the last tour with long time touring keyboardist Ian Stewart, whose obituary is noted in the film.
At times, LSTNT captures the raw energy and fun of a Rolling Stones concert from a fan's perspective. Falling balloons, confetti, the whole enchilada. After seeing this film, you'll want to either see it from the beginning again....or buy tickets to see them in person!
I Don't understand people (see others comments) who blame musicians' behavior : Keith is like this, Bill is like that... or that we don't have access to the backstage. Who cares?
This movie is a concert and it's a GREAT concert, with no boring conversations, as you can hear sometimes with music in background (the height of bad taste). People interested by History should rather read a book.
Among all the Rolling Stones' concerts i watched (probably all those available in video) this one is probably one of the best, if not the best.
Finally, having a recent DVD version of this movie i can say the picture is nice and the sound is powerful.
To conclude, i should say, subjectively, that this concert is a contribution in the foundation of my being (more or less...). Hope i convinced someone.
The cutting back to the backstage during the song isn't too distracting, but the cutting to the 60's footage during 'Time is on My Side' of the Stones and (particularly) Mick Jagger is a bit shabby in the ways that should make for some convincing footage. And considering Ashby's strengths started as an editor it's kind of sad to say more often than not what isn't too appealing about the film is based on his work on it. This being said, his work as just capturing the footage ON stage is not too bad, which is helped by the Stones doing well with their songs. Some of these even I hadn't heard before, as they seem to reach back into either their latest of the period (late 70's into Tattoo You numbers) or some of the songs from the 60's albums. And performance wise it's hit or miss- more hit than miss, with the good numbers being very good (i.e. the title song, Under My Thumb, Shattered), and the misses being sort of forgettable in the midst of a large, overwhelming arena crowd as in Phoenix. The film itself is not as readily available as the better Stones documentary Gimme Shelter, but for fans its worth a view at least once, maybe more depending on reaction. As an Ashby fan I should say it has some liabilities.
The best thing about the film is the lingering shots that hold on a particular Stone during a song. Due to a bit of clumsiness, it is surprising to many that the legendary Hal Ashby directed this film. Unfortunately he was not healthy during this production and it shows in a harried final cut.
This film is really for true Stones fans only.
For those keeping track, "When the Whip Comes Down" sadly makes the omission list, and backstage is footage added.
Your Set List - "Under My Thumb" / "Let's Spend the Night Together" / "Shattered" /"Neighbours" / "Black Limousine" / "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" / "Twenty Flight Rock" / "Let Me Go" / "Time Is On My Side" / "Beast of Burden" / "Waiting on a Friend" / "Going to a Go Go" / "You Can't Always Get What You Want" / "Little T & A" / "Tumbling Dice" / "She's So Cold" / "All Down the Line" / "Hang Fire" / "Miss You" / "Let It Bleed" / "Start Me Up" / "Honky Tonk Women" / "Brown Sugar" / "Jumpin' Jack Flash" / "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" / "The Star-Spangled Banner" (Jimi Hendrix).
This is not consistently terrific stuff but, you would be right if you said, "STFU, it's still the Rolling STONES!"
Things start off with Mick front and center, doing his dance and hip swiveling in the "sporty" costume he wore then - with scarves, hats, and accessories added around and around. None of this works for the era's regular opening song, "Under My Thumb" which sounds pitched about the same as "Let's Spend the Night Together" and others. The "stadium" songs run around the bases quickly, and the show gets better. By "You Can't Always Get What You Want" they really are rolling. A relatively sober Keith cuts loose. Another highlight occurs around "Miss You" and "Let It Bleed", then it's more set list stretching.
***** Let's Spend the Night Together (2/11/83) Hal Ashby ~ Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts
** 1/2 (out of 4)
The Rolling Stones 1981 "Tattoo You" tour was captured by the infamous Hal Ashby but the end results are certainly mixed at best. Filmed from shows in Tempe, AZ and East Rutherford, NJ the setlist is as followed:
Under My Thumb / Let's Spend the Night Together / Shattered / Neighbours / Black Limousine / Just My Imagination / Twenty Flight Rock / Let Me Go / Time Is On My Side / Beast of Burden / Waiting on a Friend / Going To A Go Go / You Can't Always Get What You Want / Little T&A / Tumbling Dice / She's So Cold / All Down the Line / Hang Fire / Miss You / Let It Bleed / Start Me Up / Honkey Tonk Women / Brown Sugar / Jumpin' Jack Flash / Satisfaction
Having seen countless official concerts by the Stones as well as seeing them in person I must admit that I wasn't totally blown away by the performances here. The biggest problem however is the direction by Ashby, which really seems all over the place. To me it seems like he showed up with a film crew, without any thought, and just pointed the camera at various things. There really doesn't seem to be too much thought about what was getting filmed or the visual look that would appear on screen. As far as The Stones performance it too is a mixed bag. "Twenty Flight Rock" comes off fairly poor does a few other tracks including "All Down the Line" and "Going to A Go Go". Even some of their classics like "You Can't Always Get What You Want" comes off bland as does "Let It Bleed" and "Time Is On My Side". There are a few good moments with the best one being "Start Me Up", which was still a new release at the time yet the crowd ate up the performance. Other new songs from the album include a nice version of "Little T&A" as well as a great, slowed down version of "Waiting On a Friend". The closing tune "Satisfaction" doesn't really pack the punch it should have. In the end I think fans of The Stones will enjoy what's here but at the same time they'll be saying that the film should have been a lot more.
The tour used a lot of high tech effects back in 1981, only some of which are picked up on the movie screen. This tour and movie coincided with the infancy of MTV. I can still picture "Waiting on a Friend" video being played every other hour on MTV.
This movie captures The Stones back when they were written off for the umpteenth time. Everyone was writing about how old these guys were and couldn't believe they were going on a stadium tour. This movie proved all of the media critics wrong.
This movie isn't about the quality of the singing, or how tight the band sounded. The Stones have never been about that. Its rock and roll dammit! These guys put on a good show and I think it was adequately captured by this film.
If you like The Stones, you will more than likely enjoy this film. If you are looking for a biography of who The Stones are, this isn't your film.
Also, I believe this tour was The Stones 1st venture into commercialism and the corporate world. The tour had a major international sponsor.