Friday, May 28, 2010

Music DVD Review: The Rolling Stones -- Rare and Unseen

Now Available to Own

In the words of former Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman – dubbed “the historian of the band” since he's the one who remembers dates and places – it was much nicer to perform for audiences as they aged since initially they just wanted to see the Stones and then as time went on, they wanted to listen to the music.

However, the folks from MVD Visual's Rare and Unseen Collection are hoping that after more than four decades of Rolling Stones fever, fans will still want to see more of Mick, Keith and the rest of the guys in this alternatively fascinating yet at times haphazardly pieced together sixty-four minute work.

Without the benefit of going in chronological order or establishing the type of place-markers of date and location that no doubt Wyman or others could've assisted with, this collection of rare footage simply moves in far too many directions at once. Therefore, unless you are an amateur historian of the band and know all of its present and past members, it can get pretty confusing pretty quickly as we wonder who is talking or where they are in the timeline of the albums, the singles, or the many evolutions of the band.

Inter-splicing photos and clips of the group alongside interviews and text bubbles here and there, while the presentation fails to make this one recommendable to anyone other than die hard fans, for those who dig the Stones, there's enough contained in the piece to fascinate you.

In a key sequence, it includes some nice contradictory moments for Mick Jagger taking one stance on an issue one moment before it cuts to a scene a few decades later (moving from black and white to color) where he decides to ignore his stance and speak up about politics, illustrating the way that the band has aged right along with its audience in terms of maturity, responsibility etc.

In the short spin we see Mick Taylor's admission that Jagger could be a bit difficult to footage from Jagger's marriage to Bianca to the differences in touring from playing “rinky dinky rinky” joints with a “big” crew of thirty guys to finally waiting until 1998 to play Russia, which had banned their performances for decades.

And throughout there's enough substance to keep you interested even if you have a hard time feeling invested in the documentary when we simply view sound free film of Mick Jagger at a Red Carpet event or spend time during a drug trial interview that doesn't make a whole lot of sense without the context.

Overall, a mixed bag of footage transferred as well as can be expected considering the age of some of the pieces included, The Rolling Stones Rare and Unseen may be worth a casual look for a die hard fan but casual ones are sure to fail to gain any real satisfaction from it after all.

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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.
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