The Rolling Stones - Four Flicks

In the 1960s then Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham convinced the public through his clever manipulation of the media that whenever the Stones rolled into your town every parent should lock up their daughters, or had the media asking the question "Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone". Over three decades later, when the Stones roll into towns all over the world, thousands are willing to turn out and throw their hard earned money at them. Yes the latest instalment of the Rolling Stones anniversary celebrations is here. After the year long world tour, the Forty Licks double album, the "in their own words" book the size of a paving stone comes "Four Flicks" - a four DVD set contained in a box emblazoned with the familiar lips and tongue logo, this time in a neon green colour.

The fact that the band decided to play three different kind of shows, stadium, indoor arena and theatre set the 2002-2003 tour apart from previous tours, plus they chose to dig deep into their vast catalogue of songs from their forty year career, giving live premiers to many songs never performed live before plus a few covers of other artists songs not even recorded. And guess what? Cameras were rolling all the time and for your delight here it is.

Disc 1 features behind the scenes documentaries. The first one showing rehearsals for the rehearsals in Paris, rehearsals in Toronto, the second follows the band on the road from it's US start, through Japan, India, Europe and the UK.

Discs 2, 3 + 4 feature the three gigs respectively. They are indoor arena at New York's Madison Square Garden, the location for the recording of the bands classic "Get Yer Ya Yas Out" from the groundbreaking 1969 American tour, the stadium gig at London's Twickenham Rugby Stadium gig just down the road from Richmond where they played in their very early days, and the theatre gig at the Paris Olympia. Overall there are just over fifty songs featured with very few duplications. All three shows finish with "Jumpin Jack Flash". Other songs that put in more than one appearance are "Satisfaction", "Brown Sugar" and "Street Fightin Man". Unlike so many other bands that they have influenced, the Rolling Stones are no one trick ponys. Each of the three shows feature the wide range of styles the band has always covered. The classic Stones rockers in which Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood perform their 'weaving', making it hard to tell who is playing what, are interspersed with soul and country style ballads, the tempo driven by the always excellent Charlie Watts on his sparse drum kits, Mick Jagger runs around like a man of twenty never mind sixty and it's a wonder he has breath left to sing.

On several numbers, including Muddy Waters "I Just Want To Make Love To You" which they performed at breakneck speed on their debut album, this time slowed down to it's originators tempo, they play on a second stage in the middle of the auditorium, without their excellent extra musicians recalling their pre 1970s tours.

This is an excellent value for money, even considering the forty odd pounds price tag, souvenir if you saw any of the shows or a chance to see what you missed if you didn't. Complete running time is nine hours including the extras.

Derek McCann

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