This November it will be 21 years since I bought my first Stones album… No, it wasn’t Sticky Fingers or Exile or some best of comp… but Stripped (which I’m almost sure was also the first album I ever bought on release date… which would go on to lead to nearly two decades of ineffably neurotic Tuesday trips, which my parents can tell you about…) Stripped showcased a small handful of the band’s biggest hits (“Street Fighting Man,” “Wild Horses,” “Angie.”) along with a number of deeper cuts (“Shine a Light,” “The Spider and the Fly,” “Sweet Virginia.”), recorded during a few studio sessions and a few relatively intimate nightclub/theater concerts that took place in Amsterdam, Paris, and London in-between stadium dates on their Voodoo Lounge Tour. This Friday, June 3rd, Eagle Rock will release Totally Stripped, a film even more extensively documenting these recordings and performances (The release comes in various formats, including a live CD or 2 live LPs or up to 4 Blu-rays and a coffee table book.)
While undeniably nostalgic, Totally Stripped is not a re-release, including almost none of the material that wound up on the original album. Stripped is very careful to focus on the band at their most pure and least pompous, with each recording being nearly acoustic, but Totally Stripped presents the excitement revolving around the biggest band in the world playing the smallest rooms they’ve inhabited in nearly three decades. Feature-length documentary Totally Stripped begins with the band recording newly minimal renditions of songs they hadn’t dusted off in quite some time, before going on to document their relatively cozy shows at the Paradiso (Amsterdam), The Olympia (Paris), and Brixton Academy (London). And while there is something a little more interesting or unexpected about the original album, there is, undeniably, something quite cool about seeing The Rolling Stones do “Honky Tonk Women” and “”Gimme Shelter” in rooms the size of the Tower Theatre and the Electric Factory.
For those super-fans, or those wanting to super suck up on Father’s Day, the 4 Blu-ray edition includes recordings of 3 of the 4 club shows in their entirety, in addition to the documentary, and audio recording. And while the tracklist of this audio disc does read a lot more like a greatest hits collection, it does contain a number of previously-un-officially-released recordings from those shows, most notably their bizarrely-somehow-brilliant cover of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” from Amsterdam, and their strangely-greatest-song-ever, Americana gospel “Faraway Eyes,” from London.