The Rolling Stones will release a live album in two months, presumably because at this point they only have about two dozen live records in their catalogue. Not to mention umpteen "hits" compilations that slice and dice their career every which way (the London years, the Decca years, 40 Licks, the Mick Taylor years, 64-71, 77-83, our uneven Reagan-Thatcher years, Hits We Wrote While Shooting Up in Barbados). Not to mention vast networks of bootlegs. Not to mention youtube footage of that trainwreck at the Super Bowl in Detroit a few years back.
Out of fairness, their forthcoming platter is the soundtrack to a Martin Scorsese concert film--don't get me started on their many concert docs from the disturbing Altamont footage to this cheesy "imax experience" I saw when I was like 19--which very well might rock, a la The Last Waltz.
But can the new record possibly be anywhere near as good as this? Those shows from the year of my birth were amazing and the "Happy Birthday Nicky" discs capture freewheeling, drunken abandon. It's hard to imagine a time when the Stones didn't feel obliged to play "Satisfaction" every night. You get Mick Taylor. You get a setlist heavy on Exile on Main Street tracks. You get the bluesier second night, where they trot out "Love In Vain." Tight.