Thursday, 13 June 2019

The Rolling Stones - Stripped (1995)


Released in 1995

This, the original release of Stripped was not a full live album. It was a mixture of six live tracks and eight studio re-workings of earlier Rolling Stones songs. Later editions under the Totally Stripped and Stripped Live titles are made up solely of live recordings from Amsterdam, Paris and London in 1995.

It, for me, is an interesting album and it benefits from having a full, muscular, bassy sound, the power of which is really impressive.


1. Street Fighting Man (Live In Amsterdam)
2. Like A Rolling Stone (Live In London)
3. Not Fade Away
4. Shine A Light ( Live In Paris)
5. The Spider And The Fly
6. I'm Free
7. Wild Horses
8. Let It Bleed (Live In Paris)
9. Dead Flowers (Live In London)
10. Slipping Away
11. Angie (Live In Paris)
12. Love In Vain
13. Sweet Virginia
14. Little Baby                                                  

The live cuts are from the smaller venues that The Stones had been playing (Paradiso in Amsterdam, Brixton Academy in London and L'Olympia in Paris). They have an appealing intimacy that stadium versions slightly lack. I reiterate, the sound is superb. Check out those crystal clear acoustic guitars on Street Fighting Man. Their version of Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone has been criticised by some, but I, as a Dylan fan as well, have never had a problem with it. It has always annoyed me that it misses one verse out though. All the live cuts are impressive.

Not Fade Away is give an excellent new makeover, full of verve and rhythm. The Spider And The Fly has a big, pounding beat plus some bluesy guitar. Another one from the mid-sixties, I'm Free has a solid drum/organ interplay. None of these tracks have changed noticeably, they just have a fuller, better sound. Wild Horses is pretty much faithful to the original. The same can be said of Keith Richards' laconic, sleepy Slipping Away. The bluesy Love In Vain from 1969's Let It Bleed features some razor sharp acoustic guitar from Richards before the drums kick in and Ronnie Wood's slide guitar arrives. The original is great but this one is too.

The country romp of Sweet Virginia is as harmlessly singalong as it originally was. The previously unrecorded Little Baby is the album's hidden gem, an upbeat blues cover of a Willie Dixon song.

While not quite as world-shattering as it may have been in that the re-recordings do not deviate too much from the originals, and much of the live stuff had been performed and released many times before, I still find it an enjoyable album, largely because of that big, punchy sound.