Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Rolling Stones Get ‘Totally Stripped’

On June 3, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Totally Stripped by the Rolling Stones. This collection features the Stones going back to the source of many of their favorite tracks, creating new stripped back versions. Selected material from studio sessions and shows presented here formed the Stripped album of 1995.

Totally Stripped will be available as a DVD or SD Blu-ray containing the newly revised documentary of the same name, as well as part of a DVD and CD or DVD and LP package featuring the documentary and single CD  and two LPs compiled from live shows. There will also be a DVD and SD Blu-ray Deluxe Edition with a 60-page hard-cover book set containing five discs, boasting hours of previously unavailable music, including three complete shows made available for the first time ever.

These reimagined versions lose none of their impact and emotional heft, and in fact connect with listeners in a different way. Totally Stripped itself is a brand new version of the documentary of the same name, which tells the stories of the two 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) that make up this project. The Deluxe Edition contains a CD of favorites drawn from across the live shows and three DVDs featuring, for the first time, ever each of those shows in full.

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 3-5, 1995] and in Lisbon [July 23-26], and a trio of live shows in July 1995 at small concert venues in London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Keith Richards commented, “There’s something about playing these small venues, the immediacy of it.  Also we can keep God out the band, because on big gigs he sometimes turns up as rain or wind.”

As Mick Jagger said at the time, the aim was to “take the best element from [MTV] ‘Unplugged’, the intimate thing of it, without actually doing it completely unplugged.”

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.