In the multi-fractured musical landscape of time, even "the world's greatest rock and roll band" found themselves in a precarious position in 1978.
Joe Strummer and the Clash had declared "No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977," and subgenres like punk, funk, disco, new wave, reggae, and even early rap threatened and questioned the very existence of the '60s classic rock warhorses, now seen as bloated and out of step (though - let's be honest - none of those style would ever be dominant). And with Keith Richards adrift in a sea of drug charges and addiction and the band inactive, many thought it was just the right time for the Stones to sink.
However, instead of running from change, the New York-living/Studio 54-going Mick Jagger embraced new sounds and styles. The band emerged with Some Girls, one of their best records, recently reissued with bonus tracks.
Feeling energized and hungry to prove something, the ensuing tour was no-frills/no-effects, as this DVD from the July 18, 1978 show in Forth Worth, Texas shows (the band would play the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston the next night).
Bounding out on stage in a yellow jacket, black parachute pants, a floppy red hat, and a T-shirt that said "Destroy" with a Nazi swastika, Jagger led the band blasting out with Chuck Berry's "Let it Rock" and tunes both familiar ("Honky Tonk Women") and a little more obscure (the raunchy "Star Star [aka "Starfucker"]) to set the pace.
The Stones then make the ballsy (or crazy) move of showcasing seven songs of the 10 tracks from Some Girls in a row. At the time of the show, the album was sitting at number one on the charts, and it's likely the audience knew most of the numbers (including great performances here of "Beast of Burden," "Miss You," "Imagination," and the country-fried "Far Away Eyes"). Ron Wood's guitar work stands out, as does Charlie Watts' skin-thumping.
And it's in this set that Jagger seems his most feral, knowing that while the old hits were more familiar, he really had to sell the new material, causing him to dance, prance, point, and shimmy even more so than normal (though his theatrics don't overtake the music, as they often have over the years).
A slew of numbers including "Tumbling Dice," the Richards-sop "Happy," "Brown Sugar," and a raucous "Jumpin' Jack Flash" followed. In the end the Rolling Stones turn in a set as fat-free as Jagger's torso and answer any critics who had written them off as washed-up and irrelevant.
Bonus features include an illuminating 2011 interview with Jagger on the Some Girls era (including his copping to making some questionable fashion choices), the band's Saturday Night Live appearance with three songs and a skit where Dan Aykroyd (as Tom Snyder) interviews Jagger, and a Geraldo Rivera-anchored profile on the group for 20/20. The deluxe version also includes a CD.
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