Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Rolling Stones bootleg – Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be


It’s only a matter of time before new technologies filter into the bootleg market, and this disc was an early, illicit DVD-A version of one of the most famous of the first rock bootlegs.

The original Live’R Than You’ll Ever Be LP was taken from a tape of the Rolling Stones performing live in Oakland on November 9, 1969. This disc presents both the afternoon and evening shows they did on that date in their entirety or near-entirety, with 15 songs from the afternoon gig and 16 from the evening. Don’t get too excited about the visual component, which doesn’t offer actual film of the performances, but simply color, silent Mick Jagger-dominated slow-motion footage, and still photos of the band on-stage on their 1969 tour.

Since much of the appeal of the DVD-A is based around the enriched sound quality it’s designed to offer, you do have to wonder about the logic of doing a DVD-A version of a bootleg whose imperfect sound is never going to match official standards, no matter what format it inhabits. Ditto for matching the sound to related images, in the absence of actual sound footage from the concerts; it makes for visual backdrop that beats just staring into space while the music plays, perhaps, but it’s not that interesting, many of the scenes and images repeating themselves in order to fill out the lengthy program.

It’s better, then, to treat this as a bootleg with two albums’ worth of music that happens to have some incidental visuals than a DVD-A with full features. The music’s certainly of interest to Rolling Stones fans, capturing the band at their raunchiest and bluesiest during one of their most heralded tours (which was the first one that they did with Mick Taylor in the lineup). There’s not too much difference performance-wise between the two shows, though the sound (and to some extent the performance) has more life on the evening portion of the program. (There’s no difference between the song selection, either, except for a slightly different sequence in the early part, and the unexplained absence of “Gimme Shelter” from the afternoon concert, though it’s on the evening portion.) What’s most crucial to most Stones collectors, however, is that it offers much more material than the original bootleg LP (which had just ten tracks) — about twice as much material, in fact, as the expanded single-disc CD update of the original bootleg LP.

And it’s your chance to hear Jagger throw a new section into the middle of “I’m Free,” during which he sings at one point, “I won’t give you no bullsh*t!” Overall, it’s basically your chance to hear a rawer variation of the official live Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! album (also taken from the 1969 tour), with a number of songs that didn’t make it on to that release, such as “I’m Free” (done in a slower, far more hard rock-oriented version than it had been in its original 1965 incarnation), “Under My Thumb,” “Gimme Shelter,” and the traditional blues numbers “Prodigal Son” and “You Gotta Move.”

May 18, 2010 - Posted by | The Rolling Stones Live'r Than You'll Ever Be | ,

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