The Rolling Stones, in collaboration with Starbucks Inc.'s Hear Music, unearth a collection of hard-to-find b-sides, alternate takes, and live tracks for RARITIES, 1971--2003.
The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger (vocals); Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Ron Wood (guitar); Bill Wyman (bass guitar); Charlie Watts (drums).
Recording information: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York (1971 - 2003); Los Angeles, California.
This grab bag of Rolling Stones gems features B-sides, live recordings, and remixes. Pulling from the somewhat arbitrary time span of 1971 to 2003, the sequencing and selection of the disc don't follow any particular logic, as a ferocious live version of "Live With Me" shares space with a club-ready dance mix of "Harlem Shuffle." Of course, logic has never been a factor in liking the Stones; it's all about the music, the attitude, and the energy, and there is plenty of that here.
The band revisits their roots with covers of old blues and R&B classics like "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" and Muddy Waters's "Mannish Boy," keeping things lean and punchy with a 12-bar, back-to-basics approach. B-sides from the '70s, '80s, and '90s are interspersed with 12-inch remixes ("Miss You [Dance Version]" is a particular highlight), as well as plenty of live versions of Stones classics, including "Tumbling Dice" and "Beast of Burden." Although there are numerous Stones compilations out there, RARITIES is a unique enough jumble of music to please any fan.
What the critics say...
Uncut (p.91) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The tracks] highlight a consistency that's held firm...It still shows the Stones as ever-resourceful, multi-faceted survivors."