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Ride that tongue > the album came with two slightly different covers > this one with her top off > and others with top on, lest some countries take offence.



Songs

1. Brown Sugar
2. Street Fighting Man
3. Paint it Black
4. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
5. Start Me Up
6. It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll
7. Angie
8. Honky Tonk Women
9. Happy
10. Gimme Shelter
11. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

12. Neighbours
13. Monkey Man
14. Rocks Off
15. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
16. That’s How Strong My Love Is
17. The Nearness of You
18. Beast of Burden
19. When the Whip Comes Down
20. Rock Me, Baby
21. You Don’t Have to Mean It
22. Worried About You
23. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

Live Licks


Why are the Rolling Stones the greatest live rock and roll band in the world > the proof’s right here. A few songs fail to excite > but the many good ones are great.







November, 2004

Rock On Rock Recommends:

Well worth your while getting the whole album. Killer tracks include Start Me Up; When the Whip Comes Down; Everybody Needs Somebody To Love; It’s Only Rock n Roll; Happy; Rock Me, Baby; Can’t You Hear Me Knocking; Brown Sugar; You Can’t Always Get What You Want; Street Fighting Man.

YEEEHAHH!! A promo poster for the Stones' Nasville gig on their Licks world tour
YEEEHAHH!! A promo poster for the Stones’ Nasville gig on their Licks world tour

FOR a band that built its reputation on live performances > and a string of classic albums in the early 1970s > the Rolling Stones have put out some pretty bad live albums.

But this one vies for the best Stones live album > along with Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out (1970), that album highly rated by many but Live Licks barely noticed.

The Licks world tour of 2002/03 was hugely successful and won rave reviews as the Rolling Stones reached another peak in their career. The tour featured several performances in clubs holding just a few hundred lucky punters, theatres of several thousand and the stadium shows.

There’s an excellent 4-DVD set, also titled Live Licks, of this tour. The band went to 23 countries and played over 100 shows.

The Stones are on from the word go on this double CD > the first six songs espousing the essence of guitar-fired rock and roll. And there’s plenty more after that.

 THE SONGS

Live Licks is a wall of magnificent muddy sound > rockin’ from the start with anthemic crowd favourite Brown Sugar then launching into an equally aggressive Street Fighting Man.

There’s little respite on 1960s hit Paint It Black before the Stones slow it down with one of their most cherished ballads > You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Like the original, this version has that wonderful French horn at the start > hell, if that’s all that bloke did on tour, it’s still well worth it.

The Rolling Stones rock their socks off on Start Me Up and It’s Only Rock n Roll > this live version having a  brief bad patch when Mick Jagger fails pretty much at getting the audience involved in a singalong.

It’s then back in a mellow mood with 1973 hit Angie > this version near as good as the original No.1 hit from album Goat’s Head Soup.

Stage stalwart Honk Tonk Women has become a song of frilly entertainment. On an earlier 1981 US tour the Rolling Stones paraded a gaggle of about 40 women before the audience in Southern whorehouse costumes. Sheryl Crow shares the vocals here > but fails to add to the dynamism in a fairly flat rendition of a blues-rock classic.

Keith Richards steps up to the mike for Happy > the fast pace the perfect foil to help drown his scratchy voice and > joy oh joy > there’s some searing slide guitar from Ron Wood. “Kick it off, Ron” Richards implores > and that he does.

After Richards > Mr Cool himself > tells the audience in appreciation that they are cool, he launches into the distinctive chords of doomsday pounder Gimme Shelter. This first CD of a 2-CD Live Licks set closes with an unengaging Satisfaction.

Promo poster for the Live Licks album
Promo poster for the Live Licks album

What follows are hot takes of 1970s album tracks Neighbours and When the Whip Comes Down > with blazing guitars and both better then the originals.

There’s a rousing Rock Me, Baby > a blues standard by B.B. King > the jazz-blues jam of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, with solos by Mick Jagger on harmonica, guitarist Ronnie Wood and long-time touring party partier Bobby Keys belting out saxophone.

Well, I dunno what this cover is about. Presumably it's written in Portuguese
Well, I dunno what this cover is about. Presumably it’s written in Portuguese

Strong ballads include a close to original Beast of Burden > which sounds like a German version, with Jagger slurring what sounds like “beasts of Baden … …. Baden.

Blues shouter That’s How Strong My Love Is haswascally wabbitt” Jagger doing his best Elmer Fudd impression, twisting his big lips around the word “evwaryeeewwhare”.

He goes for an annoyingly pitched false falsetto on Worried About You > the screeching going on far too long for the song to have any redeemable features.

 Richards takes over vocals on Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness of You and reggae tune You Don’t Have to Mean It > neither amounting to much. (Carmichael was a crooner-style singer songwriter pianist from the 1930s on.)

There’s average versions of rockers Monkey Man and Exile on Main Street album opener Rocks Off.

 Live Licks closer Everybody Needs Somebody to Love is a gem. A soul-funk classic by the great Solomon Bourke > who at one time rivalled James Brown for the title King of Soul > it was first recorded by the Stones on their second album back in 1965.

Bourke himself comes out for a guest vocal spot for this tune on Live Licks and declares the Stones are “Ladies and gentlemen, the crown kings of  rock ‘en roll. The TRUE kings of rock ‘en roll.”  [I HEAR YA, SOLOMON!!]

  > WRITTEN by MALCOLM LIVERMORE

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