Released six months after the death of founding member Brian Jones, Let It Bleed saw The Rolling Stones evolve musically and set the foundation for their next four albums with replacement guitarist Mick Taylor. He only features on two of the songs on Let It Bleed but their sound over the next six years would change drastically compared to what came before and it all started with this legendary album.
The UK tour of 1971 saw The Rolling Stones stage their first at home since 1966. The band played to sold out venues across the country between the 4th and 26th March, with most of those dates featuring two shows from the band per night. On the 13th however, they were in Leeds playing at the University and we are well and truly blessed to have an exceptional quality bootleg that exists from the one show they played that day.
When you think of songs that could be considered the best of all time, Gimme Shelter should be close to the top of your list. It encapsulates everything a great song should be. The word epic is suitable in this case and one of the finest things about the song are the wonderful vocal performances from Mick Jagger and guest vocalist Merry Clayton.
In the video below, both vocal parts have been completely isolated from the rest of the music and the result is simply spectacular. Take a listen for yourself:
In July of 1975, The Rolling Stones would embark upon a fantastic run of nights (five to be precise) at the legendary LA Forum in Los Angeles. This was actually the first tour with Ronnie Wood on board after Mick Taylor quit the band at the end of 1974. Although Ronnie Wood wouldn’t fully commit to the Rolling Stones until 1976, he agreed to join the band on this tour having been their number 1 pick to replace Mick Taylor.
Before the band kick off with a stunning rendition of Honky Tonk Women, Fanfare For The Common Man (a 20th century musical work by Aaron Copeland) rings out through the stadium to get everyone in the Forum up and ready for the Stones. And what a song to use, a beautiful piece of music. Then you’re immediately hit by those powerful opening riffs that could only be from Honky Tonk Women. What a way to open a show! Starting with a piece of classical style music before the Human Riff vibrates your soul with his guitar playing. I can feel it just by listening to this performance, I can’t imagine how great it would have been to be there to witness this opening in person. Beyond amazing! All Down The Line, from 1972’s Exile On Main Street comes next which is one of the more underrated songs the Rolling Stones recorded. At least that’s my opinion. It’s a fast rocker and a great song. Next up is a real treat. A medley of two songs from two era’s of the band, the first being If You Can’t Rock Me which is from their 1974 album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll which is one of my personal favourites from that period. The second song in the medley is the great Get Off Of My Cloud which was released as a single 9 years earlier. The two go great together and this is one of the many highlights of the show.