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Rolling Stones ‘Honky Tonk Women’ Live in Texas ’78 – Song Review

Some Girls
Eagle Rock Entertainment

The 1978 tour that followed the release of the Rolling Stones‘ ‘Some Girls’ album is to many as legendary as the album. Reviews of the new ‘Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live in Texas ’78′ DVD have been exceptional. Without the pictures however, one misses the magic.

The most glaring fault with this audio-only version of ‘Honky Tonk Women’ is the over 40 second long introduction. The Stones no doubt used that to get the crowd revved up for a song that was already 10 years old by then.

It’s not difficult to imagine fans salivating for that next guitar lick and the eventual lead in to Mick Jagger‘s vocals, but without the visual it just sounds repetitive.

Somehow live recording hasn’t improved in the 30 years since this audio was put to tape. Engineers capture the sound as fans hear it, not as artists want fans to hear it. It’s a little pixelated and Jagger sounds a little bit drunk.

But when you’re standing up amongst tens of thousands of other Stones fans at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas everything sounds a little pixelated and everyone sounds a little drunk. The haphazard delivery is what makes live albums (or DVD’s in this case) so special. They’re imperfect, but fueled by raw emotion and maybe a few unmentionable habits.

So while one can’t get the full experience of what it was like to be in standing in the Texas heat that July (the arena may have had air conditioning, but come on … you know you would have been sweating like a lunch lady), you get a lot closer with this three-and-a-half minute Rolling Stones classic than you’ll get with many modern live recordings.

As it did on this tour, the band’s simplicity wins you over. Minus one-half star for changing the lyrics to pander to fans in Dallas. It’s disappointing to learn that’s been going on for over 30 years.

3.5 Stars

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