Although their undeniable charisma makes the Rolling Stones one of the top live rock acts in the world, they have tended to sound a bit messy and muddy on live recordings.
But Live Licks is a live recordings compilation, not a concert album. It's a selection of the best performances from the entire recent tour, which spanned 116 shows in 68 cities in 23 countries from Europe to Australasia to North America, giving them plenty of material to pick and remix from.
The result? Finally, a really great live Stones album. Amazingly, Mick Jagger's voice is still young and powerful. Combined with cleaner new production and the roar of massive stadium crowds singing along high on nostalgia, it's irresistible. The perfectly paced, piercing version of their famous piano ballad "Angie" is a must-hear. And "Gimme Shelter" will blow you away.
Disc One is a reasonable overview of the Stones for any rock listener - it contains most of the big ' Stones hits, from "Brown Sugar" to "Satisfaction". Plenty of fireworks make it both accessible and listenable.
Live Licks also has the rarity value to appeal to the serious Stones fan who already has everything else. All but two tracks on Disc Two have never been released as live versions, and many of these gentler tracks were recorded in smaller venues instead of in stadiums, allowing for a more controlled sound.
The main thing missing from this double album is the presence of just one new, original Stones song. It's been too long.
Some rock trivia for you: 1. South African Blondie Chaplain - ex of SA outfit The Flames - sings backing vocals on some of the tracks. He also worked with other top bands like The Beach Boys. 2. The SA release cover shows a bikini-clad anime-style woman riding a large red tongue. Other rarer releases (probably not available in most shops here) show the rider topless. Just so you know.
- Jean Barker WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID:Live Licks is the Stones' first live album since Ya-Ya's to earn a spot next to my best soundboard and broadcast boots.- David Fricke for Rollingstone.com...the performances on this 23-song set are cracking, the set list has left-field entries like Monkey Man and Worried About You, and the production is vibrant, with Keith and Ron's slashing guitars sharply separated in the mix.- Darryl Sterdan for the Winnepeg Sun...perhaps this 33-track collection would have been better cropped to a cracking 20, one thing is for sure though, I'll be keener to catch them live next time around.- Lawrence Poole for Manchester Online
The Rolling Stones are the ultimate Rock 'n' Roll supersluts - they're never too shy to milk their fame for money. They're known for charging big prices for tickets, and regularly releasing a double CD, just in time for the Christmas season.Of course, whatever they do is usually worth the price you pay. And most fans will love this new live double CD album.
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