Top positive review
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Live Licks ready to clean up for Christmas
on 3 November 2004
Right in time for the Christmas buying season the Rolling Stones release another live CD on the world. This time it is somewhat different - Side 1 are the "warhorses" that they must play at every show or the masses are upset. Side 2 is purported to be all songs never released before in live versions, which is not completely true because at least one, 'When the Whip Comes Down' was already on an official release ('Sucking in the Seventies') in a live version. Nevertheless, this album has a very guitar-oriented mix and the keyboards and background musicians play second-fiddle as they should to the Stones themselves. There have been complaints about the questionable editing done to some of the tunes ('Brown Sugar' loses at least 30 secs) while 'Rocks Off' has one of the worst edits ever released by the Stones (if you know the song at all you will immediately know what I mean). But the discs also have some very good performances. Witness 'Paint It Black' from last year's Twickenham show and 'Gimme Shelter' from the New York MSG show. They have emotion, pounding drums and slashing guitars enough for even the most jaded Stones fan. The songs on Side 2 are in the main excellent versions and indicate just how successful the Stones were in playing small theatres on the hugely lucrative Licks Tour. Buy this one for the casual Stones fan in your family or someone who indicated once they would like to have a live album from them - they will all be thankful.