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The Rolling Stones, “Voodoo Lounge Uncut,” (Eagle Vision/Universal)

16 November 2018

This 1994 concert from Miami’s Joe Robbie Stadium was originally filmed as a pay-per-view special and subsequently released as Voodoo Lounge Live in 1995. The original VHS release featured 17 songs. In 2018, the full concert of 27 songs is finally available on vinyl, CD and video formats.

The original Voodoo Lounge Live included fresh cuts from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge album including Keith Richards’ self-effacing “The Worst” and single “You Got Me Rocking,” the latter of which survives in contemporary Stones set lists. Surprising omissions from the Voodoo Lounge album were “Sparks Will Fly” and “I Go Wild,” which now regain their places in the set. Surprisingly, this show omitted 1994 radio and MTV single “Love is Strong.”

The restored set list returns a pile of highlights to the film. Despite the absence of Sticky Fingers’ not-so-secret weapons Mick Taylor on guitar and Ian Stewart on piano, live versions of honky-tonk rocker “Dead Flowers” have often been more satisfying and invigorated than the otherwise beloved studio version. Here, the Stones perform the song as an acoustic rocker from a small stage amid the stadium crowd. Ronnie Wood deploys some his old Faces licks during a sharp solo and Chuck Leavell fills the song with twinkling piano fills, while Mick Jagger digs into his baritone range for an amiable country croon about relationships gone bad and heroin addiction.

The band delivers the recriminatory “Heartbreaker (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)” from the main stage, with Richards’ riffs sparring against Charlie Watts tight rhythm. The arrangement is punctuated by soulful horns led by late saxophonist Bobby Keys.

“We’re going into some real ancient history,” says Jagger while prowling the stage ahead of the rollicking “It’s All Over Now.” “Ronnie’s done this with two bands, I think.”

The Voodoo Lounge tour was notable as the Stones’ first without original bassist Bill Wyman. Chicago native and Miles Davis veteran Darryl Jones lays a deep groove and solid foundation beneath songs like Some Girls singalong “Miss You” and bluesy “Beast of Burden,” wherein Richards casually peels off the perfect, soulful solo.

“Yes, it’s a glamorous life,” quips Jagger as he mops the sweat-soaked stage with a towel before inviting his first guest. Fresh from her initial Tuesday Night Music Club success, Sheryl Crow duets with Jagger on the lusty stomper “Live With Me” before Keys uncorks a hot solo. Other guests include Robert Cray, who joins the band for Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breakin’ Down Blues.” The outsized presence of Bo Diddley follows with a blister-hot version of “Who Do You Love?” that takes flight once a poker-faced Richards finds the right key for the song.

“I thought we’d try something we’d never done before, but then …” teases Jagger before Richards lashes into the indelible riff of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Five bonus tracks on DVD and Blu-ray expand the set to include Voodoo Lounge single “Out of Tears,” the gleefully disoriented “Shattered,” Richards’ set piece “Happy,” “All Down the Line,” and a cover of the Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You” rendered in the slow-burn style of Al Green’s 1970 version. All in, the film collects just shy of three hours of Stones performances from nearly 25 years ago.

The ten songs restored to the set list of Voodoo Lounge Uncut are:

“Rocks Off” – Exile on Main St.
“Sparks Will Fly” – Voodoo Lounge
“Live With Me” – Let it Bleed
“Beast of Burden” – Some Girls
“Dead Flowers” – Sticky Fingers
“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” – Goats Head Soup
“I Go Wild” – Voodoo Lounge
“Before They Make Me Run” – Some Girls
“Monkey Man” – Let it Bleed
“Street Fighting Man” – Beggars Banquet

DVD and Blu-ray bonus cuts:

“Out of Tears” – Voodoo Lounge
“Shattered” – Some Girls
“Happy” – Exile on Main St.
“All Down the Line” – Exile on Main St.
“I Can’t Get Next to You”

 

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