Eagle Vision [Release date 16.11.18]
Of all the live Stones releases and reissues, this is the one that I have been waiting years for. Previously only available on VHS, “Voodoo Lounge Uncut” has been expanded, remastered, remixed and released on multiple formats.
“Voodoo Lounge” is easily one of the Rolling Stones best five albums, for me, it brought strong singles. younger fans and a massive tour that included night after night of slick production and a band that is famously tight but loose.
“Voodoo Lounge” was the band’s first album and tour since their late 80’s resurgence and the highly successful Steel Wheels/Urban jungle tour and was the first without the recently departed Bill Wyman.
The accompanying tour was huge and started with a televised pay per view show from Miami in November 1994, and it is this show that we are looking at here. Guests throughout the show include Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray and Bo Diddley and the band are introduced by Whoopi Goldberg.
With the inclusions of songs like “Heartbreaker” and “Monkey Man” sitting alongside a smorgasbord of Stones classics from across their career, this is possibly the best Stones set list ever, except for the glaring omission of “Gimme Shelter”.
This tour certainly had one of my favourite openings with the cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, a song the band had covered early on in their career, then we have the extended versions of “Miss You” and “I Go Wild”, the acoustic section of “Angie”, “Dead Flowers” and “Sweet Virginia”, it doesn’t get much better than this.
But then it does, “Live With Me”, “Rocks Off” and “You Got Me Rocking” are virtually flawless and that is without even mentioning live staples such as “Honky Tonk Women”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Brown Sugar” or “Start Me Up”. Keith Richards belts out a great “Before They Make Me Run” and I’ve not even talked about the ground-breaking use of the b-stage yet!!
When people think about the Stones live, a lot of the time they only really think of the band’s four core members but what you have here is a large ensemble that includes long time sax player Bobby Keys, regular backing singers Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler, keyboard player extraordinaire Chuck Leavell and bass player for nearly 25 years, Darryl Jones, and it is this cast that helps ensure that the band’s shows are the great success they are.
For me, this is the Stones at their post resurgence peak. Crank it up and listen to the guitar interplay between Wood and Richards, it’s bordering on magic, or Voodoo if you excuse the pun. A 25th anniversary box set of the “Voodoo Lounge” album would be great, the material is definitely there- there’s box sets of the stuff on the internet. But until then, put this in your stereo, DVD player or on your turntable, turn up and enjoy. *****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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