In case anyone has missed it, the Rolling Stones have released six (!) live albums in just 13 months! All of these albums are available for download in 320 kbps CBR MP3 on Google Play. They can be found on the left side of the page here:
Each album is $4.99, which seems quite reasonable for the amount of music you get. For anyone who isn't a Stones fan, I'm sure these recordings won't change that. However, since I love the Stones, I had to get all of them!
Here they are in order of release:
Brussels Affair (Live, 1973) released 10-18-11
15 tracks. This is the only one of the new releases from the Mick Taylor era. It is my favorite out of all of them mainly because that is my favorite era of the band. They play many of their classics much faster than the original recordings.
Hampton Coliseum (Live, 1981) released 1-31-12
26 tracks. This one is from the tour to support 'Tattoo You,' so it contains some of the music from that album. Back in the early days of pay-per-view, the Stones were broadcast live on TV from Hampton Coliseum in '81.
L.A. Friday (Live, 1975) released 4-2-12
25 tracks. From the L.A. Forum. This one is from right after Ron Wood joined the band and does a good job of capturing the Stones mid- '70s excess. To me, it's a sloppy show, but the band sounds like they are having a real blast. Billy Preston was on keyboards for this show so you get to hear his sound and he actually takes center stage and the mic and does two of his own songs.
Tokyo Dome (Live, 1990) released 7-10-12
24 tracks. This one is from the 'Steel Wheels' tour. The band is very well-rehearsed and on top of their game. Because this was recorded in a huge dome, you just get a sense of the sheer size of the venue from the recording. It's cool when they return to the psychedelic era with "Paint It Black" and "2000 Light Years" during this show.
Toronto Phoenix (Live, 2005) released 10-16-12
15 tracks. This is from a show the Stones played at a small club in Toronto when they were just warming up for the 'A Bigger Bang' tour and it is the most recently recorded live album. The sound quality is really good on this recording and you get the feel of a small club. It's also a very interesting set list with several songs that are out-of-the-ordinary for the Stones to play.
Roundhay Park (Live, 1982) released 11-12-12
25 tracks. This one is from the end of the 'Tattoo You' tour, so the set list is almost the same as the Hampton Coliseum show from '81.
Overall, I have to recommend every single one of these releases. It's just fantastic that the Stones are mining the vaults and releasing all these shows with professional mixes. I don't think you can go wrong for $4.99 each, often for a double-CD worth of material. It's fun to listen to how the band sounds in each different venue and hear the different song selections for the various shows. Sometimes they are sloppy and sometimes they are tight. It's fun to hear Keith Richards take the mic for each one of "his songs" over the years. It's fun to hear the different between-song banter and band introductions. To me, these releases are just fantastic.
I hope that they keep releasing more shows. It's unfortunate that there is only one show from the Mick Taylor era and none from the Brian Jones era. Perhaps the Stones just don't have the availability of high quality recordings going back that far, but I'm hoping they have more up their sleeves!