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While reports surfaced this week regarding 76 year old Mick Jagger’s apparently successful recovery from a calcified aortic heart valve replacement ( the aortic valve is responsible for managing blood flow through the heart to the rest of the body ), and the rampant speculation of just when the subsequently cancelled world tour will begin along with rumors of a new studio album allegedly in the works, out of nowhere up pop’s this newly released gem from ‘The Worlds Greatest Rock And Roll Band’s extensive live performance archives titled Bridges To Bremen.
And we all thought it was going Mick’s Glimmer Twin Keef’ who would be the one to go down with some kind major body malfunction the past 50 years but the King Cockroach of Rock and Roll is destined to outlive us all it seems and that is a bloody good thing for all us Stones fans world wide.
The filmed and recorded show, which took place on September 2nd, 1998 at Bremen’s Weserstadion in Northwest Germany, saw the Rolling Stones playing some of their greatest hits alongside the songs from their most recent release at that time, 1997’s album Bridges to Babylon. Then three months deep into the Euro leg of a massive, one year tour the band was in all time form and positively cooking onstage as this 22 track CD release amply attests to. This was also the first tour where fans could vote on the band’s website for a track they wanted to hear at the show, which is why a rarely performed song like Memory Motel is in the setlist.
On each Bremen track the then 55 year old Jagger is in supreme vocal form along with guitarists Kieth Richards and Ronnie Wood who’s interlocking, snaking guitars positively nail it on cuts like Gimme Shelter, Jumpn’ Jack Flash, a five minute version of Satisfaction with it’s on fire, slice and dice guitar fueled outro, Out Of Control, Tumblin’ Dice and the magnificently interpreted Dylan classic, Like A Rolling Stone. Jagger also lays down some great harmonica riffs along with his a spot on vocal that makes this one of the highlight performances out of this classic Stones concert. Of course good o’l Charlie Watts – a rock n’ roll drumming treasure of treasures – holds down the beat from first song to last. Give a good listen to Flip The Switch, You Got Me Rockin’ and It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll in particular and it becomes quite clear who puts the “Great” in “The Worlds Greatest Rock And Roll Band” and is the driving force behind their inimitable sound.
Track 04 CD 1: Gimme Shelter / 6:43
Track 10 CD 2: Sympathy For The Devil / 8:40
Plenty of other stones classics are performed with excellent renderings and great sonic sound. Some songs are close to the original recorded form and on others the band stretches it out like in Sympathy For The Devil with it’s tempo change, ass shaking boogie piano intro along with Mick’s call and response to the audience and the truly epic, 16 minute Tour De Force Miss You that is the highlight of the set and showcases the bands 90’s prowess.
Track 10 CD 1: Miss You / 15:53
The Stones and Mick in particular have evolved into great business men while still evolving in their music as well so no surprise the set will also be available on DVD, Blu-ray, digital, DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, triple vinyl (! ) and all manner of digital audio formats. It has been completely restored, remixed and remastered for the new release. In addition to the complete show at the Weserstadion in Bremen in northwestern Germany, all physical visual formats will feature four tracks from the Stones’ performances at Soldier Field in Chicago as bonus features.
It’s not hyperbole that both Mick and Keith would rather be carried off stage in a coffin than give up their great love of writing, performing and making music and, Mick’s recent heart problems aside, Bridges To Bremen and it’s soon to be released companion film / DVD is a perfect place holder until that next studio album hits the stores and digital airwaves and the bad gets back on the road, coffins or no coffins. Long live the Stones! – Mez –
CD / Album Tracklist:
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
“Let’s Spend The Night Together”
“Flip The Switch”
“Anybody Seen My Baby?”
“Paint It Black”
“Saint Of Me”
“Out Of Control”
“Thief In The Night”
“Wanna Hold You”
“Its Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)”
“You Got Me Rocking”
“Like A Rolling Stone”
“Sympathy For The Devil”
“Honky Tonk Women”
“Start Me Up”
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
‘Bridges to Chicago’ blu-ray/DVD bonus performances track list:
1. Rock And A Hard Place
2. Under My Thumb
3. All About You
4. Let It Bleed