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Posted by Lord Voodoo on June 25, 1999 at 13:50:45:
I am bringing this topic up here because I think it got buried before it ever had a chance to take off. So In a way this is a relpy to BOBM and his topic posted below.
I will start where he left off.
Gimme Shelter: I love the sudio version of this song and frankly it can never even come close to being duplicated live. There's too much production and the like that just make it impossible to reach that earie level anywhere but in the studio in 1969. However, the 1969 live version was amazing as well, but for different reasons. Imagine a helecopter taking off in some Nam war movie. Replace all soundtracks at that moment with the studio version of Gimme Shelter. That is where it fits, it is the Viet Nam song. Creepy and Powerful. In the 1969 tour the creepiness is replaces by more power. You get this pure adrenaline rush from the 69 live version unlike any song they have ever done before or since. On a seperate note, the 1972-1973 version of the song is much more refined. It is the same power as the studio but the creepyness has been replaced by a showcase of Mick Taylor, condenced into 4 minutes of the greatest rock and roll ever. In the 75-76 version of the song, Ron Wood cannot duplicate the taylor ability but along with Billy Preston manages to add a funky creepiness that was never present before. So very cool it is. But then the song was left unplayed for the next 14 years. I know this because I have just made a setlist page at www.frayed.org Now, when it returned in 1989, the Stones had somehow managed to overproduce a live song. Has to be the first time its ever happened. Musically it still rocks, you can never take that away from the band or the song, but it has lost its power and its creepiness. That said, I find the current version of Gimme Shelter to be a much weaker song, but still a great one, then any of the other versions and all of the other versions I find equally great but for different reasons.
Another song that was mentioned was Beast of Burden. The 1978 live version of this song took it to a different level due to the current fads in live music. Lots of effects thrown into the rythem guitar made it cool and it became more of a rock song than the album version. I find the studio version and the 1978 live version to be equally good songs, for slightly different reasons, but the song has just never been as good since. When they tried it acoustically in 95 it was cool but merely because they were playing in a way that they hadn't before. That was cool, but it still wasn't up to the 1978 watermark.
Monkey Man and Can't You Hear Me Knocking- Well, these songs are ones that I would love to hear at a concert because its monkey man and Can't you hear me knocking. Without Mick Taylor it is impossible for these songs to be anywhere near as great as the studio version but who cares. In 1989 and 90 they played Monkey man and they play it rarely now and its a highlight of any recording of any show I have. Not musically not anythingwise, but hey its a cool song and I'm glad they're playing it. However, neither live would or could ever hold a candle to the studio versions.
Its Only Rock and Roll- This song is a really cool song in the album of the same name. Its great but not possible to duplicate live. That's because there like 15 guitars playing at an given time. This is probably the most successfully over produced song ever! Recorded and over dubbed and dubbed and more guitars added and the final product was really cool. Then the band needs to play it live. So they turn it into a chuck berry song. Its cool like that but I would rather have this song be one of those random throw ins that makes everyone go nuts because its a treat. It should not be a standard warhorse because the Berry live style version is like a shareware version of the studio song. Again another song that doesn't hold a candle to the original studio version.
Brown Sugar- Personally, and I bet stones fans are split down the middle on this one, I have never liked any live version that I have ever heard any where near as much as the studio version. The end of the 1973 euro tour was about as good as it ever got live because Taylor decided to make it cool. But it tried to hard to be a generic Rock song when at heart its a dirty basement recording. The dirt and basement feel are completely lost on stage and it never comes off the way God intended it to. The studio version is and always has been a billion times better than any live version of this song except the late 73 euro tour version and even then the studio version is still 1 million times better.
Midnight Rambler is a live song and the studio version is simply weak. It is because of this that Hot Rocks has the live version instead of the studio. Nuff Said there.
Love in Vain is good both live and studio but the live version comes off more like true blues.
Moonlight Mile- this is a new addition to this argument, frankly the live version is not half the song that the studio version is. But hey that one was purely for the fans and I'm glad as hell that they played it for us!
This argument can be faught endlessly, and I think it could be alot of fun and we could
all learn more about the stones but most of the songs do not differ from the studio
versions that much. I think that in general the exile and sticky fingers songs are much
better on the albums than in concert. Tumbling Dice and Happy are my only two exceptions.
Torn and Frayed could be great live (listen to the Black Crowes pull that off and you'll
see what I mean) but the lone time I have heard it, it was no good.