November 27th/28th, 1969. The Rolling Stones take to the stage at New York's Madison Square Garden and blow the house down with a set that drew heavily from their most recent albums, BEGGARS BANQUET and LET IT BLEED. The tapes from the shows produced certainly one of the greatest live albums ever made and, with this release, it just got even better.
The sets by B.B. King and Ike and Tina Turner got the evenings' entertainment off to great start. To me, B.B. King sounds on great form, while hearing Tina Turner sing the likes of 'Son Of A Preacher Man' and The Beatles' 'Come Together' is a real treat indeed. As for the Stones themselves, well, 'Midnight Rambler' is awesome and arguably the highlight of the original album, perhaps followed closely by a really funky 'Sympathy For The Devil'. Of the outtakes contained on disc two, I particularly enjoyed Mick and Keith doing the acoustic 'Prodigal Son' justice with a really punchy performance.
The DVD is composed of unused footage from the movie GIMME SHELTER but this is far from disposable; the rendition of 'Prodigal Son' captured here is lovely as Keith finishes the song too early which prompts a reaction of surprise from Mick! It's a lovely moment as the two share a giggle in recognition of the mistake.
Finally, the hardback book contained in the box is a nice souvenir, containing personal recollections from, among others, the photographer Ethan Russell, a reproduction of the unused sleeve design for GET YER YA-YA'S OUT! and a typically florid contemporary review of the LP from that late, great music critic Lester Bangs.
All in all, this a lovely time capsule of The Rolling Stones at a performing peak and, if you start by playing the support sets by B.B King and Tina Turner on disc three first, it's the closest you'll ever get to accurately re-living two nights of great music at the end of the 1960s.