The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped

WSR Score4.5
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Eagle Rock Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Jim Gable, David Mallet & Christine Strand
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped contains two Rolling Stones studio sessions and three live shows (The Paradiso in Amsterdam in May 1995, L'Olympia in Paris, and Brixton Academy in London in July 1995). Following the “Voodoo Lounge” tour, The Stones released Stripped, an album of reconsidered, pared back renderings of some classic Stones tracks, and also a couple of carefully chosen covers. The album mixed new studio versions of tracks with some live songs. The tracks that made up Stripped were taken from two studio sessions that took place in Tokyo (March 3 to 5, 1995) and in Lisbon (July 23 to 26), and a trio of live shows in July 1995 at small concert venues in London, Paris, and Amsterdam. This collection is built on the power of lyric and melody, and the material here feels somehow simpler yet potent, as the songs stand on their individual timeless quality rather than on the production techniques and technical expertise that generally come as part and parcel of being the biggest band in the world. This collection features The Rolling Stones going back to the source of many of their favorite tracks, creating new stripped back versions. The track listing on the CD is “Not Fade Away”—Amsterdam, “Honky Tonk Women”—Paris, “Dead Flowers”—Amsterdam, “Faraway Eyes”—London, “Shine A Light”—Amsterdam, “I Go Wild”—Paris, “Miss You”—London, “Like A Rolling Stone”—Amsterdam, “Brown Sugar”—Paris, “Midnight Rambler”—London, “Jumpin' Jack Flash”—Paris, “Gimme Shelter”—Amsterdam, “Rip This Joint”—Amsterdam, and “Street Fighting Man”—Amsterdam. Along with the SD Blu-ray there is a CD. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a 20-page color booklet.

The 1.33:1 1080i unconverted AVC picture is sourced from standard-definition material in black and white and color and in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Essentially, this is a documentary and the image quality is varied from poor to mediocre. The muddy color footage is interspersed with decent studio black-and-white video segments. The concert footage is impacted by intense stage lighting, which renders fleshtones unnatural. But then, despite the mediocre quality, this is really about the telling of music history and the music. Fans will not be disappointed. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is also varied in quality, but the studio music sessions are beautifully recorded and dynamic and pristine. The concerts are less articulate and pristine in fidelity, but then the excitement and music transcends the mediocre sound quality. The live concert recordings at times do sound pretty good, and Charlie Watts' drum kit always punches through. No matter how varied in sound quality, this is The Rolling Stones caught in the intimacy of relatively small venues. In either case, the sound occupies a wide soundstage with strong energized surround envelopment. (Gary Reber)