The Rolling Stones

Touring History, Vol. 2: Rare Video 1964-1966 [DVD]

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In its favor, this two-DVD set does present two-and-a-half hours of mid-'60s Rolling Stones footage, largely taken from television broadcasts, that's mostly unavailable elsewhere. Like many unauthorized products, however, it has plenty of flaws that demand criticism. The image quality, while good for the most part, was obviously not taken from the best possible sources in most or all cases. Sometimes, in fact, it's decidedly subpar -- so much so that some of the same footage appears in better quality on a subsequent DVD bootleg on the same "label" (Bad Wizard), Touring History Vol. 5: Rare Video 1964-1968. Plus, the great majority of it is mimed, not live (not to mention that the whole thing could have probably fit on one DVD instead of being split over two discs). There are a few genuinely live performances here, like their infamous first major U.S. television appearance on the Dean Martin-hosted The Hollywood Palace in 1964; their spots at the New Musical Express Pollwinners Concerts in 1964 and 1965; and the sequence that closed The T.A.M.I. Show (filmed in late 1964). Occasionally, too, you can tell that the performance is either live or at the very least done to a backing track different than the one on record, particularly on a version of "That's How Strong My Love Is" on which Brian Jones is shown playing organ. Since a lot of the clips are obviously lip-synced to the record, though -- including, frustratingly, some very good songs of which no genuinely live filmed versions seem to be in circulation, like "Tell Me" and "Heart of Stone" -- those are of primary interest for capturing the Stones' mid-'60s image, rather than the Stones' mid-'60s music. Falling into the same category are a few items that weren't done expressly for television, those being promotional films for "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby (Standing in the Shadow)" (including the notorious version in which the group dressed in drag) and a 1964 newsreel.