Album review: THE ROLLING STONES – Bridges to Bremen

THE ROLLING STONES - Bridges to Bremen

Eagle Rock [Release date 24.06.19]

There can be no doubt that the Rolling Stones were an immense touring force throughout the nineties, and they were a great live act. By 1998 it seemed like there was no stopping them, but for me personally this was when they started to become more of a great live spectacle than a great live band – don’t get me wrong, they were still very good live but there were little changes that had been made that signalled the future to come.

Following on from their recent “Voodoo Lounge” and “Stripped” albums, the band were touring in support of “Bridges To Babylon”, which I consider to be the last great Stones album. You only need to hear the likes of “Flip the Switch”, “Anybody Seen My Baby”, “Out of Control” and “Saint of Me” live to see how well this new material was received by the fans, and how well the new songs fared against more established set list staples like “Paint It Black”, “Start Me Up”, “Brown Sugar” and “Jumping Jack Flash”.

So, you may be asking yourself, what were the little changes I mentioned earlier? The songs seemed to have a more laid-back approach at times, no doubt helped by the band’s previous work on “Stripped”.

“Gimme Shelter” is a great example of this, it has a great groove to it and could be one of my favourite live renditions of the song. The backing vocals and keyboards seem a bit more prominent then on recent tours and Keith Richards’ normal two song spot could have been different choices for me, here he sings “Thief in the Night” and “Wanna Hold You”, most people would have preferred “Happy” and “Little T&A”.

The addition of the fan nominated song on this tour was a great new feature, aided by the growing popularity of the internet between the last tours, then there was the introduction of the popular B stage and I think this tour also saw the introduction of the camera on Ronnie Wood’s guitar.

“Let’s Spend The Night Together” has some great interplay between Wood and Richards, more recent tracks “You Got Me Rocking” and “Like A Rolling Stone” were bang on the money, and from there on out the show was pretty much business as usual.

Now we get to “Miss You”. On this occasion the song is a bit laid back and feels almost laboured at times. Jagger has changed his vocal style in places on several older classics on this tour, but here it feels like he is almost going through the motions, and this may just creep in from time to time elsewhere in the set.

However, that does not detract from what is a great live show, and fans will love this release.

There are a number of formats available including CD, DVD, BluRay and vinyl. Visual versions include bonus live tracks “Rock and A Hard Place”, “Under My Thumb”, “All About You” and “Let It Bleed”, all filmed in Chicago. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

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