From the Vault: The Marquee Club Live in 1971

The Rolling Stones

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From the Vault: The Marquee Club Live in 1971 Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

One of the legendary bootlegs in Rolling Stones lore, the 1971 gig at their old stomping ground of London's Marquee Club was recorded and filmed for broadcast on American television. Very little film footage was officially released and it sat unreleased until 2015, when the Stones Archive released the full performance on CD/DVD/Blu-ray to coincide with the deluxe reissue of Sticky Fingers. The truncated set -- just eight songs, with alternate takes of "I Got the Blues" and "Bitch" added as bonus tracks -- reflects how it was intended for television but even though this is short, it's mighty. The Stones had recently wrapped their farewell tour of the U.K. -- for tax purposes, they were leaving the country to reside in France -- and Sticky Fingers' release was on the horizon, so they were in fighting form and still sounded hungry when cranking out "Bitch" and "Brown Sugar." Although they've expanded to add a horn section, they have yet to get bogged down with spectacle: they're still a lean, hard rock & roll band. Often, the attraction here is the grime and grit but they're also grooving hard, as evidenced by the swinging "Let It Rock" and how "Satisfaction" gets funky. It all adds up to one of the band's finest live performances and it's a pleasure to finally have it officially released.

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