The Rolling Stones – No Security

No Security (1998)

A-

1. Intro 2. You Got Me Rocking 3. Gimme Shelter 4. Flip The Switch 5. Memory Motel 6. Corinna 7. Saint Of Me 8. Waiting On A Friend 9. Sister Morphine 10. Live With Me 11. Respectable 12. Thief In The Night 13. The Last Time 14. Out Of Control

 

The anti-Stones live album Stones live album! Of the innumerable mega-tour mementos the Stones have released over the past couple of decades, this is the only one you can get through without hearing them bluster through “Brown Sugar” and “Satisfaction” for the 87,965th time like a bunch of smarmy arena whores and starting to wonder what the hell the goddamn point is besides, you know, beating the cash cow to death. Instead, No Security, culled from the ’97-’98 Bridges To Babylon tour, makes a point to avoid all the obvious hits/pyrotechnic cues and instead is comprised only of songs that they’d never released on a live album before (or hadn’t in a very long time). Thus, the tracklist is littered with totally unexpected nuggets, all of which are outstanding selections that cover the full range of the Stones’ output, from the warm and poppy (“Waiting On A Friend!” Motherfucking “Memory Motel!” Yes!!) to the evil and dangerous (a fantastic version of “Gimme Shelter” and, holy crap, “Sister Morphine”). And you know what? From end to end, they sound great playing them. Certainly better than they had on any live album since at least Love You Live. Who would’ve guessed? The bootlegs I’ve heard from this tour aren’t exactly my favorites; Ronnie had lapsed into alcoholism during the tour and his guitar was virtually inaudible in the mix. You can hear him here, and even though he’s not at his best, it barely matters because Keith is still a master and sounds better than ever. Really. And so does Mick, whose singing is just terrific throughout. You’d think a bunch of old men would sound stupid playing “The Last Time,” but all I know is that this version is about 100 times better than the one on Got Live If You Want It! Plus they play all the best songs from Bridges To Babylon and they all sound better live. A jammed out “Out Of Control” makes for a strong set closer, and an enthusiastic Argentinean crowd turns “Saint Of Me” into a stadium-wide sing-along like it was “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll” or something! And there are guest spots! Dave Matthews partially mars “Memory Motel” because he sounds like a cat strangling himself with a ball of yarn, but Taj Mahal fares much better on a feel-good cover of “Corinna” (the same song that Dylan covered on Freewheelin’).

I guess there’s not much more to say about this one, since it’s essentially just another motherhumping Stones live album. But this one’s different. It’s good. Real good.