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The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus

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Editors’ Notes

In the years between filming (1968) and belated release (1997), the Stones' one-ring circus of stars grew to a legendary status it could not match in reality. But it's still great fun — even as audio only. Arguably, the hosts are outdone by guests the Who (a sly "A Quick One While He's Away"), Taj Mahal (a rollicking "Ain't That a Lot of Love"), and especially the Dirty Mac (John Lennon with Keith Richard, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell doing "Yer Blues"). But the Stones, in Brian Jones' last performance, are no slouches with pointedly rough country-blues-informed takes of "Parachute Woman," "No Expectations," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Sympathy for the Devil," and "Salt of the Earth." Oh, and there's circus music, too.

Customer Reviews

legendary album

Waited YEARS to hear this. They finally released it. This was one of those legendary albums that never was released for a variety of reasons. The music here is good, but if you really want to get into it, check out the DVD version. Pete Townshend turns in an amazingly eloquent interview. Townshend is always good in interviews.

A Colorful and Real Moment

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus cannot be simply encapsulated with some pithy or dismissive statement. It is on the one hand a chronicle of the age from which it emerged; the penultimate height of the flower power era. The stars shine, with Jethro Tull in the lead, Taj Mahal, and even Marianne Faithfull laying out a bridge of eras and sensibilities in a way that only she was able. The real stars of this time capsule are delicious appearances by both The Who and John Lennon and the Dirty Mac. The Who are at the top of their pre-Tommy game in this flamboyant and almost surreal performance of A Quick One While He's Away. Buy this for Moonie alone, and if not for that then just for Townshend's smiling salutation of "you're all forgiven." With the spirit of this whole moment in rock history, one can almost believe that it's true. Oh yeah, the Rolling Stones do their thing here as well. Jaggar is having fun in little filmed interludes with John Lennon. They play it a bit over the top and it's clear that Townshend and the boys have upstaged them in this round. Get it. You'll groove. You'll go back in time and have a listen as the elder statesmen of the genre sweat it out in a forum quite appropo to their craft. It's a circus, afterall.

Pretty Sweet Concert

This must have been a pretty sweet concert. Quite a few "supergroup" bands, featuring dudes like clapton, richards, lennon and mitch mitchell. However, the coolest thing about this cd is that has a super-rarity: Tony Iommi, the father of all that is metal, playing guitar in JETHRO TULL! The recording of Song for Jeffrey was recorded in this concert, the only one Iommi played with JT before he was fired an joined up again with Black Sabbath. Pretty Sweet, huh? P.S. o yeah, the stones are good too.


Formed: April, 1962 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

By the time the Rolling Stones began calling themselves the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the late '60s, they had already staked out an impressive claim on the title. As the self-consciously dangerous alternative to the bouncy Merseybeat of the Beatles in the British Invasion, the Stones had pioneered the gritty, hard-driving blues-based rock & roll that came to define hard rock. With his preening machismo and latent maliciousness, Mick Jagger became the prototypical rock frontman, tempering...
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