The Rolling Stones – Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (Eagle Vision) CD/DVD REVIEW

44624_1285578Sweet Summer Sun may very well be the worst album by a major act ever unleashed on a hapless public. It’s certainly the worst live album.

This triple disc set (two CDs and one DVD) captures The Rolling Stones performing at London’s Hyde Park 44 years to the day from their famous (free) 1969 Hyde Park gig. The performances throughout are awful, with Jagger missing more notes than he hits, and the band sounding as geriatric as they look.

270988-empThe session musos rescue less-performed gems like ‘Ruby Tuesday’, ‘Paint It Black’ and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, but all the classics – ‘Street Fighting Man’, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, et al – sound like a club-footed mess, and the surprisingly poor quality of the audio is disgraceful: even the disco groove of ‘Miss You’ loses all its hi-hat sizzle and bass ballast in the mushy mix. This is primarily a visual spectacle, and a limber Jagger prances and preens with abandon on the DVD. GARY STEEL
2 stars

Note: This mini-review was rejected by the publication that commissioned it, but I want to make one thing clear: I’m not slagging them off for doing so. This is the modern world, and magazines (more than ever) rely on advertising to survive. Had they printed this review, they may well have faced the wrath (or possibly the withdrawal of much-needed advertising) from promoters. This is the world we live in. Thank goodness for the blogosphere.

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  1. I have to agree Gary, I saw this on TV a few days ago and it was a total disincentive to go and see them live on their upcoming tour. Compare it to the recent ‘bootleg’ official live releases and they sound and look like a shell of their former selves.

  2. Good on you for being honest. Sadly quite a few hi-fi/music publications out there seem to give “Glowing Reviews” to their advertisers products. Everything seems to be a 4 or 5 star review.

    Also you would be justified in slagging them off. You were asked to write a critical review and presented them with an honest opinion about some geriatrics that should have retired 20 years ago. If they wanted to write some safe waffly, inane review they could have got the office junior to type up 100 words of crap.

  3. “Sweet Summer Sun may very well be the worst album by a major act ever unleashed on a hapless public. It’s certainly the worst live album.”

    This sentence alone, makes the the review totally worthless from the outset and impossible to take serious. To start a review by calling a release the ‘worst ever’, proves that the reviewer is not going to unleash a detailed critical review at all, but are taking the easiest way out and slaughter it, just to get it over with. Maybe the publication felt that way too?

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