The Rolling Stones

At the Marquee Club

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Stadium shows have long been a necessity for the Rolling Stones; if you're visiting Los Angeles and tens of thousands of fans want to see you perform, the L.A. Coliseum is obviously a lot more practical than the Whisky A Go-Go. But, occasionally, the British rockers will make a rare club appearance just for the fun of it. That happened on March 26, 1971, when the band played London's Marquee Club. The gig was very private; tickets weren't sold to the general public, and most of the Stones fans living in London had no idea that it was taking place. That gig is the focus of this bootleg CD, which the Swingin' Pig label provided in the 1990s. At the Marquee Club offers sound quality that is decent, if imperfect -- even though this is a soundboard recording, Swingin' Pig may not have had access to a first-generation tape. The performances tend to have a loose, casual, informal quality; the Stones treated their Marquee Club appearance like an after-hours jam session, and a healthy sense of fun prevails on "Satisfaction," "Midnight Rambler," "Brown Sugar," and other favorites. Some gems are heard more than once, including "Bitch" -- evidently, Mick Jagger and his friends played more than one set that night. At the Marquee Club isn't for casual listeners; bootlegs seldom are. But hardcore collectors will find it to be an interesting departure from the Stones' arena shows.

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