The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was filmed before a live audience at a North London TV studio.The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was filmed before a live audience at a North London TV studio.The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was filmed before a live audience at a North London TV studio.
Then again, the acts that surround them both outshine and lack the punch of their performances, so maybe at the time of their heights (and the sentimental factor of Brian Jones's departure and death from the band soon after) contributed to the decision to keep it from the public. As mentioned, the Who are in the great 'maximum R&B' tradition with A Quick One (While He's Away), which has as thunderous momentum matched with a wicked sense of humor. Other notable acts are Jethro Tull (featuring a slightly dazed Tony Iommi on guitar), Taj Mahal (a musician I never heard before but was blown away by), and a one-night-only type of grouping with Lennon, Clapton, Richards and Mitch Mitchell doing Yer Blues, which actually comes very close to topping the Who's performance- it's that awesome a rendition of the song. The low-points, however, are like thorns on the side of the show, which are Marianne Faithful, who though very pretty sings like a pretty little goat, and the 2nd song by the Lennon group features one plus (violin) and one heavy minus (Yoko Ono's singing, which is like nails on a chalkboard). There's also the creepy sense that the audience looks like it's awaiting the 2nd coming, so to speak.
But it's always a lot of fun, the circus acts look cool in a kitsch kind of way, and there's a truly lively spirit going through all the performances. It's far from perfect, but it's a lot better than I expected, and will have a good place in my collection.
- Feb 4, 2007