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The Rolling Stones: L.A. Friday (Live 1975)

The Rolling Stones
L.A. Friday (Live 1975)
(self-released)

The third release from their digital-only official bootleg series, The Rolling Stones’ L.A. Friday (Live 1975) --actually recorded on a Sunday–is a spectacular document of what Mick Jagger and the boys were like back in the day. This is The Stones’ first tour with guitarist Ron Wood, at the time “on loan” from his membership in the Rod Stewart-led band, The Faces, and also features the dearly departed Billy Preston on keys.

Beginning with Jagger forgetting verses on “Honky Tonk Woman” it’s not until a couple of songs in, when drummer Charlie Watts and percussionist Ollie E. Brown trade on “If You Can’t Rock Me” that things begin to settle. The covers, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and “You Gotta Move” shake, rattle and gospel-ize the evening, then a stunning “Gimmie Shelter” and  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” follow, both showcasing Bill Wyman’s bass. (Rock engineering legend Bob Clearmountain is mixing these downloads beautifully.)

“Fingerprint File,” the last song from the album It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll, is possibly the best song here with Wyman popping on this early Stones disco attempt. “Wild Horses” features a popping Keith Richards rhythm and backing vocals, another gem of the set and then Billy Preston takes center stage with his own songs, “That’s Life,” with Wyman cooking again, and “Outta Space” on which Keith and Ronnie keep up well, following Preston’s boogie.

“Brown Sugar” races slightly–probably just the band coming off of what they just managed with Preston–“Midnight Rambler” is its usual crowd-stopper…though decidedly a different version (more guitar, no harmonica) than the famous live one from Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out.

“Rip This Joint,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” and “Sympathy For The Devil” end the collection.

L.A. Friday (Live, 1975) is a spectacular document of The Rolling Stones as they marched through their tour of the Americas smack dab in the middle of the 70’s.

It is available for purchase here.

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