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Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers, Live At The Fonda Theatre, 2015

Celebrating a celebration . . . 

Reviewed by Brian McGowan and released by Eagle Rock on 6 October 2017.

Celebrating a celebration. This album is a recording of a “truly unique event in the … history of the Rolling Stones”, when the band celebrated the reissue of the original (1971) Sticky Fingers studio album, by taking it on tour (2015). They were captured on tape at the opening gig, in the intimate setting of The Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles (as compared to the enormodomes booked for the rest of the tour).

Sandwiched between Let It Bleed (1969) and Exile On Main Street (1972), the original studio album was the definition of the band’s drug experiences, reflected in the lyrics of the songs, most obviously ‘Sister Morphine’ and ‘Brown Sugar’, and confirmed by the deceptively mellow, almost lethargic performances. By switching around the running order here, the band create more of a live, rootsy dynamic, and let’s face it, 44 years on, nobody knows better than the ‘Stones how to orchestrate and deliver a live performance for maximum impact.

The choice of venue for the recording was crucial. The intimate setting meant that the downbeat mood of the original album’s music, like the melancholy of ‘Moonlight Mile’ and the gloom of ‘Sway’, could be converted into warmth and perspicuity.

Choosing to interpose the album tracks between regular opener and closer, ‘Start Me Up’ and ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’, they bulldoze through ‘Wild Horses’, ‘You Gotta Move’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ like a runaway freight train, frequently reaching that uniquely Stonesy fever pitch of intensity, then reluctantly, it seems, slowing down to allow ironic country pastiche, ‘Dead Flowers’ and that perfect song of love and loss ‘I Got The Blues’, to get on board and enjoy the ride.

The DVD and CD package features 3 bonus tracks, and the whole shebang is slickly presented in a gatefold digipack. Your now standard Dolby Digital Stereo and Surround Sound is present and correct on the DVD. And the CD sound is pretty cool too.

Track List DVD:Rolling-Stones-Sticky-Fingers-Fonda-DVD+CD-cover-lr

  1. Start Me Up
  2. Dead Flowers
  3. Wild Horses
  4. Sister Morphine
  5. You Gotta Move
  6. Bitch
  7. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
  8. I Got The Blues
  9. Monlight Mile
  10. Brown Sugar
  11. Rock Me Baby
  12. Jumpin Jack Flash
  13. All Down The Line (bonus track)
  14. When The Whip Comes Down (bonus track)
  15. I Can’t Turn You Loose (bonus track)

Track List CD:

  1. Start Me Up
  2. When The Whip Comes Down
  3. All Down The Line
  4. Sway
  5. Dead Flowers
  6. Wild Horses
  7. Sister Morphine
  8. You Gotta Move
  9. Bitch
  10. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
  11. I Got The Blues
  12. Monlight Mile
  13. Brown Sugar
  14. Rock Me Baby
  15. Jumpin Jack Flash
  16. I Can’t Turn You Loose
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  1. Brian McGowan says:

    Cheers Gary – more “From The Vault” soon we hope.

  2. Gary Cordwell says:

    Great review! I’ve been listening to this lots over the past week