Rolling Stones: ‘The Silk Sheet of Time’ – From the Vault The Marquee Club Live in 1971

by | Jun 27, 2015 | 0 comments

The most current edition to the Rolling Stones From the Vault live series is a concert performed
in the intimate confines of the London, England Marquee Club in the Spring of
1971. Filmed for American television the performance finds the Stones in
stellar road shape as they had just concluded their UK tour. The small crowd
numbered only in the hundreds and featured many of the band’s contemporaries including
former Yardbirds Clapton and Page. The video and audio of this fine performance is rainy day jamming today in the ‘rock room’.
This was an exciting time for the band spotlighting what
many consider to be their finest line up and most incendiary musical moments.
The band had their legendary LP Sticky
in the can for a release a month after this featured March 26th
performance and used the opportunity to showcase a few of those tracks for the
assembled crowd of lucky fans and VIP’s.
Long available on bootleg, this new official release
combines the remastered soundboard recording and newly restored footage in a
nice package with a couple of added bonusus to make up for the brevity of the
main performance. The band is made up the usual suspects including Nicky
Hopkins joining Ian Stewart on keys and the expected combo of Jim Price and
Bobby Keys making up the wailing horn section. Beside a few muffed notes and  some humorous slowing clock timing issues, this release gives the ‘rock room’ exactly what it wants out of the Stones. Ragged and right rock and roll always on the edge and continuously striking hard.
 The performance begins with Ian Stewart banging on the black
and whites while Jim Price introduces the band over the driving opening riff of
‘Live with Me’. Richards has a couple days of growth on his mug and looks like
he is in the midst of a great time. ‘Live with Me’ coagulates as all the members
drop into place introducing a thrilling and definative opening song.
Highlights include a swinging Bobby Keys solo and a buttery clean tone Keith
Richard’s follow up. 
The great thing about this release is that it captures the
legendary sound and aesthetic of Sticky Fingers  in a live setting. The guitar tones of both Taylor and Richards are chill inspiring during this show. Mick Taylor garnishes every song in tinsel and gold as
his SG peels thick slabs of sound sweet as honey and cool as ice. Charlie Watts
is the man per usual keeping the train on the tracks and offering structure to
the flighty excursions of Richards. Wyman, the sturdy framework also assists Watts in his hog tying
of Jagger and Richards numerous flights of fancy.
‘Dead Flower’s leaves mud on the floor after flinging its
back country accusations. The feathery arrangement is augmented by Richards joyous
harmonizing on the chorus and Taylor’s continuously artistic riffing.  Jagger’s vocals are on point and he does more
singing and less shouting which is always a good thing. Jagger sets the groove
with hand claps and the band plays a practiced version of the song that
obviously developed its deep roots while being performed on the UK tour.
The obvious highlight of the recording is ‘I Got the Blues’
that follows, as Jagger stretches for notes and hits them, and Richards lets
himself go submerging his strumming into a jambalaya of familiar blues quotes.
Dual horns are moaning and groaning shadowing Jagger’s lament. Richards again
sings harmony with Mick offering up inspired and soulful moments of note. Bobby Keys blows heartily on his
sax what is an organ solo on the studio recording and is the cause of numerous
moments of magic during the performance.
Revealing the band’s obvious affinity for Mr. Chuck Berry, the
version of ‘Let It Rock’ that follows requires gloves to touch. Knifing and staccato
riffing slices and dices underneath the huffing and puffing horns. Jagger spits
out Berry’s lines like an prospective British MC, flaunting his tail feathers as Taylor
and Richards stitched licks drive him to greater ass shakin’.’Keef’ is firmly in his element here and his solo spots are ace.
Perennial highlight ‘Midnight Rambler’ leaves no room for
contemplation of the previous rock display as Jagger sounds the late night harp
and the band circles under the stations only street torch. Mick blows some
sweet blasts throughout the song but also makes a humorous aside on the footage
when he blows a sour note. Otherwise this ten minute version picks up steam
nicely and contains significant contributions by everyone involved. Mid song a groovy trading
of riffs takes place between Taylor, Jagger and Richards before falling into
the central rap where Jagger moans, ‘Go down on me baby’. After some cool on
stage interactions, the outro jam detonates just how ya want it to and  becomes a high
speed runaway freight.
The Stones in full glory then unfurl into ‘Satisfaction’, a version
highlighted by a unique arrangement and the discovery of an alternate vocal
delivery and melody by Jagger.  Richards warm
island delivery of the once fuzzy and famous lick, as well as Watts laid back
banging offer a wonderfully performed and melodically pleasing rendition. Mid
way the horns begin to offer their own interjections, nudging the tempo to accelerate and
almost morphing the tune into its usual arrangement.  Jagger and the horns soon after enter a call
and response that fans the flames and finally get Jagger the love and attention
he is so desperately seeking. Very cool and inspired video and audio of an oft played classic.
‘Bitch’ follows after being firmly satisfied and offers a
horny Jagger exclaiming what sounds like ‘hot dog’ after some of the heated
horn blasts. Richards stays with the muted blanket covering his clean tone that
he has played with all night and let’s go with a nice solo spot filled with stabbing
percussive licks. An awesome performance and quintessential Stones.‘Brown Sugar’ follows quickly and sweetly acting as a part two to the pair of Sticky Fingers rockers and closes the
show fittingly. The song had not yet become the huge track it is today and at this time its
single release was still a month away. Richards is enthusiastic as all get out in his playing
and you can tell on the video he knows he and Mick have created a great f*@kin’
song and hit it out of the park.
Included as a ‘bonus’ on both the DVD/Blue Ray as well as
the CD version are two alternative takes of “Bitch’ and “I’ve Got the Blues’
which each offer their own special moments of note. Bonus video includes a worthwhile
performance of the band miming to ‘Brown Sugar’ as well with Mick’s pink suit an
element of special interest.
All of the familiar classics and the couple of rarities
found on the new Rolling Stones From the
release are played with attitude and panache. Having a capture of one
of their finest era’s in such quality is sure to be a welcome addition to any
collection. Fans that are familiar with the famous performance may not rush to
check it, but to finally have it realized in official capacity is worth the
investment. The sound and video upgrades are noticeable and the price is
reasonable. Dig it.


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