Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Brussels Affair

With the Rolling Stones soon celebrating their 50th anniversary together next year, they've begun to open up their vaults. And the first item for sale is a previously highly circulated bootleg of one of the most talked-about performances in the Stones live cannon. I've very vaguely heard about this Brussels Affair boot before, but it's only now I get a chance to hear it for the first time, in glorious lossless sound (9 bucks for flac files was a steal). Easily the best live Stones official release, surpassing Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out. It's their most in-your-face live record by far. Not only are the songs better than their studio versions, the band seemed to transcend them to a whole new level. Sound quality is top notch, and Keith Richard's and Mick Taylor's parts are separated clearly in the stereo mix, done by Bob Clearmountain. Oh, and Taylor ABSOLUTELY FUCKING KILLS on the lead -- just listen to him go off on tunes like Gimme Shelter, You Can't Always Get What You Want, All Down The Line, Dancing With Mr. D and Midnight Rambler. And only someone like Mick Jagger can sing the way he does and get away with it. Jumping Jack Flash straight into Street Fighting Man is fucking orgasmic rock & roll, the latter played with a ferocious intensity unlike anything I've heard before. I'm listening to this for the third time in a day as I'm typing. It also made me wanna revisit Goats Head Soup, a highly underrated Stones album.

1. Brown Sugar
2. Gimme Shelter
3. Happy
4. Tumbling Dice
5. Star Star
6. Dancing with Mr. D
7. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
8. Angie
9. You Can't Always Get What You Want
10. Midnight Rambler
11. Honky Tonk Women
12. All Down The Line
13. Rip This Joint
14. Jumpin' Jack Flash
15. Street Fighting Man