WHO ARE THEY? The World’s Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Band, joined by friends and contemporaries like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal and Marianne Faithfull.
WHAT IS THIS? The latest box-set reissue of The Rolling Stones’ famed big top-themed TV special, filmed in a marathon two-day shoot in 1969 but shelved until the ’90s, reportedly due to the exhausted band’s lacklustre, sluggish performance (or the fact that Brian Jones died while it was being edited). This version includes freshly upgraded audio and video, along with a few previously unreleased bonus cuts, topped by a rollicking rendition of Revolution and a jam from Lennon and Ono’s all-star Dirty Mac band.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Pretty much like the last version of this set, with minor variations.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Send in the Clowns. Again.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? With one finger on the fast-forward button.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Historic, uneven, cartoonish, colourful, odd, playful, mischievous, meandering, inessential, creative.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The Stones’ performance isn’t quite as bad as it’s been cracked up to be — but they definitely get upstaged by the twin powerhouses of The Who (ripping through A Quick One) and Taj Mahal (manhandling Ain’t That a Lot of Love).
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘How many times are they going to re-release this thing?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? About as often as you go to the actual circus.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE DINNER, WHAT KIND OF DINNER WOULD IT BE? Reheated leftovers.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Don’t get suckered by the carnies.