The Rolling Stones – Totally Stripped

Genre: Rhythm and Blues

Totally Stripped. Exactly what it says on the tin. This is the kind of documentary Stones fans all over the world have been searching for. A documentary that’s up close and personal, minus the big productions the band have become associate with for the last 30 years.

Filmed in 1995, this revealing film is captured in low resolution on a narrow lens, making it synonymous with the time and in key with the message the Stones are trying to portray.

Originally a stripped-down five piece playing raw rhythm and blues, the line up has grown in the same way production costs have risen and their stage shows have grown throughout the decades. Totally Stripped brings the Rolling Stones back to a somewhat more touchable level, even with their 10+ line up.

Throughout this brilliant documentary, which features interviews with Richards, Wood, Watts, Bobby Keys and members of the Stones’ crew, Mick Jagger’s control of the band is evident. From planning to his on stage organisation, the frontman is like a captain on a football pitch leading and orchestrating his troops throughout.

Touring some of Europe’s smaller venues, the Stones return to L’Olympia in Paris, where the original line up had played on their first trip to France in 1964, and deliver an up close and personal show (to 5,000 people) in the Brixton Academy.

Working a much smaller stage he’s been used to for a long, long time, Jagger’s showmanship is impeccable, while the documentary only goes to highlight everything we already know about Keith Richards – the man is one of the coolest men to have ever lived and his musical knowledge is encyclopaedic.

Performing some of their most iconic tracks such as Honky Tonk Women, Wild Horses, Shine A Light and Jumpin’ Jack Flash, the rapturous response the Stones received has led to a brilliant documentary and a fantastic live album to accompany it.

Music fans who have read stories from other musicians about opportunities to jam with the Stones are likely to have heard repeatedly that the Stones can’t remember many of their songs. Throughout this documentary the band have to re-learn a number of their early tracks, which only adds to their legend and forces you to appreciate the sheer consistency of their musical outpouring in a career that had spanned four decades at the time of filming.

The stripped back live album is exactly what you’d expect from any Stones live album. It’s precise, it’s crisp and it’s so well recorded it could be a studio album. They’ve managed to capture the live energy of each performance, whilst also laying down the clean cuts you’d expect from a studio recording.

This is another must have for any Rolling Stones fan and an opportunity to see the first recording and live performance of Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord.