Saturday, 20 April 2019

The Rolling Stones - Honk (2019)


  

Released April 2019

This is yet another Rolling Stones compilation, this time covering their post-1971 "colour TV" output. The tracks take in all their studio albums from 1971's Sticky Fingers to 2016's Blue And Lonesome. Of course, the tracks are superb, that goes without saying and there are some good choices but aficionados such as myself have all the tracks anyway, so the release has not too much appeal for me, apart from the ten live tracks that are included on the deluxe edition. So, forgive me, but they are all I am going to talk about.

Even then, though, there are not too many that have not been included on many previous live albums. It is great to hear a wonderful performance of She's A Rainbow on an official live album for the first time though. A barnstorming Dancing With Mr. D makes its only live appearance sine 1973's Brussels Affair. We also get a loose, stirring Get Off My Cloud and a seriously good Wild Horses (featuring Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine). Her vocal makes for an interesting version. I really enjoyed this one.

Similarly, Let's Spend The Night Together, full of female backing vocals, is given a slightly different, slightly slowed down and soulful makeover. Keith's guitar on Dead Flowers is superb and the song is delivered with conviction and enthusiasm the belies the fact they do this stuff year-in, year-out. I even found myself enjoying Jagger's silly cod-country voice for once. There is definitely a verve and vitality about these contemporary live performances that simply do confound the band's age. It is nice to hear an old favourite in the soul/rock of Shine A Light get an appearance. Lovely piano from Chuck Leavell on this one. Under My Thumb is played in the laid-back fashion that it was on 1982's Still Life. I always love Bitch and it burns as brightly here as it always did, no going through the motions here. Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters shares lead vocals, suitably energetically.

So, there you go, some great live tracks. as for the studio material, well you can't argue with it, but I and any others already have it. Personally, I would sooner have had a new live compilation with more quality contemporary live tracks such as we are given here. That said, I have really enjoyed playing the whole lot recently.


LIVE TRACKS

1. Get Off My Cloud
2. Dancing With Mr. D
3. She's A Rainbow
4. Wild Horses
5. Let's Spend The Night Together
6. Dead Flowers
7. Shine A Light
8. Under My Thumb
9. Bitch

B-

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