Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
Record label: Abkco
Genre(s): Rock, Live
Recorded during their American tour in late 1969, and centered around live versions of material from the Beggars Banquet-Let It Bleed era. Often acclaimed as one of the top live rock albums of all time, its appeal has dimmed a little today. The live versions are reasonably different from the studio ones, but ultimately not as good, a notable exception being the long workout of "Midnight Rambler," with extended harmonica solos and the unforgettable section where the pace slows to a bump-and-grind crawl.
Best live album ever? Who cares. What is beyond dispute is that 1970’s Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out is certainly the best live album the Rolling Stones ever recorded. And here we are, 40 years after the concerts took place in NYC at Madison Square Garden. World’s Greatest Band + World’s Greatest Stage = Deluxe Box Set! What are we looking at here? The original, remastered album? Check.
Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! occupies a unique place within the dread pantheon of Rolling Stones live albums, of which there are many, but virtually none a rational human being would want to listen to. It is held as the official document of the Stones onstage at their 1969 peak, before their gigs became notable largely for their decadence or ability to generate money. The most interesting thing about 1982's Still Life (American Concert) is that the tour it documented was rock's first ever to boast corporate sponsorship, from a cheap cologne called Jovan Musk.
If the Rolling Stones really were the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band for the better part of the 1960s and 70s, then surely somewhere along the line they must've released one of the great live albums of all time too, right? This rationale is the only way I can account for the fact that the Stones' best-regarded live release, 1970's definitely pleasurable but less-than-transcendent Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, routinely places highly on lists of the best concert documents in rock history. It feels like the kind of perfunctory acknowledgment that virtually all of the other typically high-ranking sets (for instance, Neil Young's Live Rust, the Who's Live at Leeds, and the Allman Brothers Band's At Fillmore East) don't need, seeing as how they're genuinely awesome. Live performance never seemed as intrinsic to the Rolling Stones' essence as it did for most of 60s and 70s rock's other heavy hitters.
With every inch of their catalog and wrinkles staked out and ear-tagged, it's not as if the Rolling Stones haven't been documented into infinity, so seriously, what's left? Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, apparently, recorded at Madison Square Garden, released in 1970, and still one of the all-time finest live recordings, with nuance and style to burn. From the relentless lash of "Midnight Rambler" to the sex-ooze of "Stray Cat Blues" ("I see that you're just 13 years old"), the Stones had reached the mountaintop, looking around at a breathless view. Five additional songs on their own disc gild the lily of this 3-CD/1-DVD boxed set, including a pre-Sticky Fingers "You Gotta Move," Beggars Banquet's "Prodigal Son," "Under My Thumb," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and unexpected B-side "I'm Free.