“Shine A Light” (Original Soundtrack) by The Rolling Stones

Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: “Shine A Light” Original Soundtrack (deluxe edition)
Label: Interscope Records
Release Date: 4/1/2008
Genre: Rock & Roll
Rating: 3/5

Martin Scorsese managed to capture Rock music history with his first concert film “The Last Waltz” which focused on the legendary members of The Band during their final show and now he seeks to relive this glory by delivering us a film that features a performance by the one and only Rolling Stones. The question would this film truly capture lightning in a bottle once again or would it be more of a disappointment when compared to the earlier work, and I have to say that I am on the fence a little about this one. For starters I have not yet seen the film and perhaps I need to do so in order to fully appreciate just what is happening here because the album leaves me left wanting on more than one occasion. The soundtrack for “Shine A Light” comes from 2006 when the Rolling Stones made two appearances at New York’s legendary Beacon Theater and as a venue I can officially say what a wonderful and acoustically sound room it is. Based on this one would expect an absolutely incredible live album to be recorded in the place however I didn’t feel that this soundtrack gave us the best that the Rolling Stones have ever offered because of the overall production and multitude of backing players involved. Yes the band is in their sixties now but they have always proved that they are capable of pulling out the stops and at times the band is big during this presentation yet the vocals are bigger at all times and it doesn’t sound like the musicians are on the same stage with them when Mick begins to sing. It’s this sort of un-evenness that made it hard for me to rock along with the band and these very legendary numbers. The guys present us also with a number of guest stars and this was a practice carried over from “The Last Waltz” it would seem. We find “Loving Cup” performed with The White Stripes Jack White, and “Champagne And Reefer” with Buddy Guy. These tracks are fine and work well within the context of the band but when they deliver “Live With Me” with Christina Aguilera I felt it was just too bombastic in terms of how her voice plays against that of Mr. Jagger. She is a totally amazing singer and perhaps this song comes off much stronger in the film but on the album is just a little overwhelming.

Musically the guys themselves sound fine for the most part and while there are songs that are clear winners on the album there are also ones that made me shiver and shake. Winners came to me in the two previously mentioned guest star tracks (White and Guy) and songs like “Faraway Eyes”, “She Was Hot” and “Start Me Up”. It was great to hear Keith Richards sing “You Got The Silver” and “Connection” but when he did “Little T&A” I felt my heart drop as its long been one of my favorite tunes since the first time I heard it on “Tattoo You”. The Stones diehard contingent will probably hate me for finding fault in the staple numbers like “Satisfaction” (too fast), “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (too messy), and “Brown Sugar” (too busy) but that’s what came to me after I heard them. I did like “Paint It Black” even though the band was so low it might as well have been an acoustic track. The Deluxe Edition which is being reviewed here includes eight more tracks than the standard edition and to be honest I don’t know why this edition wasn’t made the only version since who actually wants less for their money these days? The music buying public wants more and more before they decide to plunk down the dollars and who can blame them. The packaging of the release is nice and the jewel case comes in a slip cover and includes a sixteen page booklet that gives us director commentary and a ton of photos. I guess I was expecting more of this release but it is still good enough for any of the bands hard core following and perhaps even some of those younger fans who are only now getting into them. I still liked “Stripped” better as it was more pure in its delivery but again I think that once I get to see the film that the soundtrack will “Shine A Light” over the first way that I interpreted it.

Track Listing:
1. Jumping Jack Flash
2. Shattered
3. She Was Hot
4. All Down The Line
5. Loving Cup
6. As Tears Go By
7. Some Girls
8. Just My Imagination
9. Faraway Eyes
10. Champagne & Reefer
11. Tumbling Dice
12. You Got The Silver
13. Connection
14. Sympathy For The Devil
15. Live With Me
16. Start Me Up
17. Brown Sugar
18. (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction
19. Paint It Black
20. Little T&A
21. I’m Free
22. Shine A Light

Official Website: www.rollingsones.com

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