No Security

The Rolling Stones

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No Security Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Another record, another tour, another live album chronicling the whole shebang. The Rolling Stones have followed this basic pattern since the early '80s -- if Keith had been able to get Mick out on the road to support Dirty Work, there damn well would have been a live record in 1987 -- stepping up the production rate in the '90s, eventually winding their way to No Security, a document of the Bridges to Babylon tour of 1997-1998. Since the Stones (or at least Jagger) are sharp businessmen, they have given all three of their '90s live albums a hook, an angle for journalists and fans alike -- Flashpoint was their return to form, Stripped was culled from unplugged and club dates, and No Security contains 11 songs that have never before appeared on a live Stones album. Of course, several of these date from Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon (five, to be exact), but they also dig out such great songs as "Gimme Shelter," "Respectable," "Sister Morphine," and "Memory Motel," as well as reviving "The Last Time" and "Live With Me," which haven't been on a live record since Got Live if You Want It! and Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, respectively. There are also guest spots from Taj Mahal and Dave Matthews. All of these things give some measure of distinction to No Security, but they don't erase the feeling that this is more of a soundtrack to a spectacle than a musical event. Sure, the Stones are as accomplished as ever, the album is certainly enjoyable, but it just doesn't feel necessary. Which, again, doesn't make it any different than most Stones live records since Love You Live.

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