Anyone who has been to a Rolling Stones concert in the last 15 years, will watch this document of the Stones 1981 tour and probably claim that this wasn't their finest moment. But I, who prefer bands when they are raw and slightly imperfect live, absolutely love this release. I've actually never seen a DVD of this, and I just recently came across a used version on VHS. I hadn't seen it since it aired on television in late 1982, and it still is as good now as it was then.
What you get here is the Stones without 5 backup singers and a dozen guys on horns. Backup vocals are actually still being sung by Keith, and to a lesser extent, Ron Wood, and the difference from say, watching 4 Flicks (another excellent product) is that you really feel like you're just watching the band play, and not listening to some engineer at a mixing board. Keith looks haggered and obviously is not completely past his drug days, but he rocks relentlessly, and we get a smoking version of one of his best tunes, "Little T n' A". Mick runs around the stage like a wildman, and his vocals are all Mick. No echo, no, ahem, enhancement, that many artists these days use in concert. There's obviously not been any overdubs in the studio for this film. You have wonderfully stripped down versions of "Under My Thumb", "Shattered", "Beast of Burden", among many of their classics. You have songs from the early 80's era, that are overlooked in concert today- "Black Limosine", "Waiting on a Friend", "Hang Fire" and one of their best tunes from those days, "She's So Cold".
Yes, the playing is a bit sloppy. But, they play with passion and grit, and they seem to be having fun, despite the fact that Mick and Keith weren't getting along particularly well at the time. I highly recommend this little piece of early 80's rock and cinema!