Totally Stripped (CD + DVD)

The Rolling Stones

Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2016

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The massive Voodoo Lounge tour may have been a little too much for even the Rolling Stones. Their next project, 1995’s Stripped album and documentary, went in a different direction, cutting out a lot of the frills and extras and returning to basics.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Now, a little over two decades later, they have returned to that project with the release of Totally Stripped, which gathers live tracks from their club performances in London, Amsterdam, and Paris and combines them with a reworked documentary. Please note that there is also a deluxe version with four DVDs, which presents each show in its entirety, but this review is for the basic release.

The CD is a nice presentation of the obscure and the well-known. Songs such as “Not Fade Away,” “Dead Flowers,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” and “Rip This Joint” combine with “Honky Tonk Women,” “Street Fighting Man,” Midnight Rambler” and “Brown Sugar” to make it a career spanning experience.

The music is not as stripped back as the title would suggest. Bassist Darryl Jones, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, a full brass section featuring sax player Bobby Keys, and backing singers Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler are all on hand. It is the small club venues that give the music a laidback and intimate feel, and when Ronnie Wood switches to acoustic guitar, it all takes on a very different feel.

The documentary is one of the better ones the band has produced. The banter finds the members relaxed and the music is truly stripped down to basics. Songs such as “The Spider And The Fly” and “Wild Horses” are very different from their usual presentation. The film is a nice look into a band moving in a different creative direction.

Totally Stripped is a nice look at a short and unique period in the career of the Rolling Stones. The production is crisp, the music is excellent, and the band is engaged. It is a nice trip back in time.

Rating: B+

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