Mick Jagger - vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica; Keith Richards - guitars, vocals; Charlie Watts - drums; Ron Wood - guitars, vocals; Bill Wyman - bass; Ian McLagen - keyboards, vocals; Ian Stewart - piano; Ernie Watts - sax
This recording captures the first of two sold out nights on The Rolling Stones' remarkable 1981 Tattoo You tour. (The second night, 12/1/81, is also available at Wolfgang's Vault). It is one of several Stones shows captured since 1973 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, which oftentimes taped multiple nights on the same tour to have backup shows and alternative versions for the final air-check that was broadcast.
The groundbreaking rock band from the Richmond area of London had been together nearly twenty years when this show was captured, and the groove they lay down certainly shows just how in sync they were with each other's musicianship. Although Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have often gotten most of the attention, people should never mistake the fact that the Stones are a band in every sense of the word. Bassist Bill Wyman (prior to his departure in the early 1990s) and drummer Charlie Watts are just as important to the music as the Glimmer Twins. Ron Wood, who had been in the band six years at this point, provides a strong counterpoint to the sloppy but soulful guitar licks of Keith Richards.
What has made The Rolling Stones so special is not necessarily their musical tightness (although that certainly contributes to it), but rather each members' ability to shine in their own specific musical space while never losing track of the group's cohesive direction. Jagger and the band keep the audience completely focused throughout the show, laying down a killer set that starts with their 1966 end-of-the-British-Invasion hit single, "Under My Thumb," and delivering such classics as "When The Whip Comes Down," "Let's Spend The Night Together," "Shattered" and gems like "Let It Bleed," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Time Is On My Side," "Miss You," "Honky Tonk Women" and the always infectious, "Brown Sugar."
The band takes the crowd to a state of near-frenzy, closing with a nearly 12-minute version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and jam-out on the 1965 rock staple, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which clocks in at nine minutes. This is a show not to be missed by any rock 'n' roll fan.