Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Rolling Stones - Live From San Jose (1999)


Recorded in San Jose, California, in 1999, this is the seventh in this excellent “From The Vault” series of live recordings from The Stones. As always, the sound quality is superb. It rocks, big time, from beginning to end - with a full, brassy, bassy and punchy sound. The band are at the top of their game throughout. Mick Jagger not quite so much on a few notable occasions, however.

“Jumping Jack Flash” is the usual strong opener and “Bitch” is great, as is “Respectable” but, my goodness, what has happened to Jagger’s vocal on “You Got Me Rocking”? Now, I know Mick can slur his words considerably, on many occasions, but this is the worst I have ever heard him. “You Got Me Yocking” is repeated every time. It is bizarre. He sounds completely out of it. Drunk as a skunk. I have several recordings of the song and this is by far the worst. The band, throughout, are on top form. Jagger, unfortunately, not so. “Honky Tonk Women” suffers similarly also, but not quite so bad. There is great piano solo bit on “Honky Tonk” from Chuck Leavell that raises things up a bit, and the horns are punchy too.

“I Got The Blues” however, is superb. He redeems himself a little on this one. Just wonderful, throbbing bass on it. Great to hear it performed live again, although the 1971 live performances are much better. There is a killer organ solo in this track. “Saint Of Me” is funkily played, with some swirling organ and acoustic guitar, and Jagger is not so bad on it, either. Underneath all his performances at this gig, however, is an underlying sloppiness that is certainly not there on many other live performances over the years. The 1998 “No Security” performances are much better, in places, in delivery but not in sound quality.

“Some Girls” is excellent and effervescent, suitably seedy. Jagger seems to have got his act together by now. It does seem to have been that one odd aberration. The “Chinese girls” bit is reassuringly leery. “Paint It, Black” has a slightly different, extended bit near the end. Keith’s “I Got the Silver” is bluesily appealing, as you would expect, and Ronnie Wood comes up with a stonker of a guitar solo in “Before They Make Me Run”. “Out Of Control” is moody and menacing. Very atmospherically delivered, a highlight of the album. Then we get a sightly slower pace version of “Route 66” and a superbly rocking, energetic “Get Off My Cloud”. Jagger is owning it by now, so all is forgiven!

“Midnight Rambler” is as gloriously rumbling as it always is, then it is “Tumbling Dice” and the usual encore suspects. Overall, this is a great Stones live album because of the sound quality and the power of the band. Another good one.



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