Mighty Chroma Logo
Mighty Chroma Logo

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Eagle Rock's Blu-ray of The Rolling Stones is highly recommended for fans, with historic yet imperfect A/V.

    Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones on Blu-ray delivers a strong HD transfer despite its source's limitations, with varying clarity, contrast issues, and occasional noise, yet maintains a pleasing color scheme and natural, historically significant visuals.

  • Audio
  • The Blu-ray's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 shines with dynamic, balanced sound, outperforming LPCM 2.0 and weak Dolby Digital 5.1, despite some mix and clarity issues with full band play.

  • Extra
  • Insightful footage & interviews: Tour Rehearsal (SD, 12 min), revealing interview on Old Grey Whistle Test (SD, 6 min), & a detailed 2010 Mick Jagger Interview (HD, 10 min) with multi-language subtitles.

  • Movie
  • Eagle Rock's Blu-ray of 'Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones' captures the raw essence of the band's 1972 tour, offering purist concert energy without frills, a must-have for classic rock fans.

    Video: 64

    Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" is brought to the home audience on Blu-ray by Eagle Rock Entertainment, encapsulated in an MPEG-4 AVC encoding at a 1080p transfer, which operates within a 1.82:1 aspect ratio. As one delves into the technical aspects of this release, it is imperative to note the inherent limitations posited by the original source material. Though the discrepancy in fine object detail and inconsistent lighting conditions pose a challenge, particularly pronounced during on-stage sequences, the robustness of the high-definition transfer is undeniable. Close-up shots display varying degrees of clarity and the overall visual presentation is marred occasionally by fluctuating contrast levels, especially noticeable in scenes heavily populated by the audience. However, these minute shortcomings are largely offset by the pleasing color palette and a modicum of noise reduction that, while detectable, does not detract significantly from the viewing experience. The natural, albeit dated, appearance of the video serves as a testament to the diligent efforts of Eagle Rock Entertainment in preserving this iconic concert film.

    Navigating through the technical landscape of this Blu-ray presentation further reveals challenges attributed to the original filming conditions. Utilizing 16mm cameras without a predetermined filming strategy resulted in erratic focus and softened object edges, exacerbated by the dynamic movements of both the band members and camera operators. The consequent upgrade to 35mm film introduces a prominent grain structure, reflecting both the filming medium's character and the transition's limitations. Visual elements linger between extremes; colors range from dull to occasionally vibrant under colored lighting, while blacks often meld into the shadows, obscuring details. Contrast levels remain underwhelming, contributing to a generally flat image portrayal.

    Despite these technical impediments, the visual fidelity of "Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" achieves a level of quality that, considering the circumstances, could be deemed commendable. Historically significant, the video presentation blurs the line between technological confines and documentary valor, delivering an experience that is both historically poignant and aesthetically grounded in its time. The viewer is ultimately provided with a Blu-ray rendition that encapsulates a pivotal era for The Rolling Stones, enriched by the intrinsic value of its content over the imperfections of its visual composition.

    Audio: 71

    The "Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" Blu-ray audio presentation offers viewers three distinct audio tracks: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0, and Dolby Digital 5.1. Opting primarily for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 for its superior quality, the track delivers a wide dynamic range and an excellent balance between Mick Jagger's potent vocals and the robust instrumental backings. The track excels in rendering the guitar solos with a crispness and organic texture that admirers of the band will appreciate. While the bass is notably well-rounded and the high frequencies are kept in check without overemphasis, the overall mix is free from any audio imperfections such as pops, cracks, or dropouts, ensuring an immersive listening experience.

    Experimentation with the LPCM 2.0 track reveals a slight reduction in the dynamic expanse found in the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Tracks like "Love in Vain" indicate a missed depth and intricacy on the LPCM 2.0, notable in its guitar entries when compared to the richer layers offered by the DTS 5.1 option. However, in selected cases, the balance might slightly edge towards LPCM 2.0, albeit lacking the full-bodied sound of its DTS counterpart. On the other end, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track falls behind, unable to replicate the depth and authenticity present in the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, marking it as the lesser choice for audiophiles seeking to engulf themselves in the Stones' sonic landscape.

    The intricacies of the band's performance highlight the limitations and strengths of each audio mix. Instrumental arrangements occasionally blend into a less distinguishable mass in the all-encompassing session that slightly undercuts individual contributions, notably Bill Wyman's bass which, despite its standout moments, particularly in "You Can't Always Get What You Want", frequently recedes into the background alongside Charlie Watts' drums and Keith Richards' guitar. However, Mick Taylor's guitar solos and Bobby Keyes' saxophone consistently pierce through with clarity. Despite these minor discrepancies in instrument separation and clarity, devoted fans may find a preference for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track’s ability to faithfully reconstruct the concert’s electric atmosphere, placing them center stage amidst iconic performances.

    Extra: 56

    The extra presentation of the Blu Ray "Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Stones, albeit with a focus heavily tilted towards Mick Jagger's experiences. The 'Tour Rehearsal' footage, although raw, provides an exclusive sneak peek into the band's preparation process, featuring performances of "Shake Your Hips," "Tumbling Dice," and "Bluesberry Jam" – a real treat for fans craving more than just the polished concert experience. The 'Old Grey Whistle Test Interview' and 'Mick Jagger Interview 2010' further enrich this release, offering insights into the making of Exile and reflecting on both the tour and this restoration. Despite its brevity and the missed opportunity to hear from other band members, the technical detail provided by Jagger adds substantial value, complemented by multi-language subtitles. This extra content is essential for dedicated fans and those interested in the technical aspects of concert restoration.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Tour Rehearsal: Raw footage from a rehearsal session, including performances of "Shake Your Hips," "Tumbling Dice," and "Bluesberry Jam."

    • Old Grey Whistle Test Interview: Mick Jagger discusses the making of Exile on this British television show.

    • Mick Jagger Interview 2010: A detailed reflection on the tour and the restoration of Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, with a focus on technical aspects.

    Movie: 71

    Eagle Rock Entertainment's release of "Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" on Blu-ray serves as a crucial milestone for both music enthusiasts and collectors alike, delivering, yet again, a high-caliber music release to an eager market. Hinging on the raw energy and historic momentum of the Stones' 1972 tour for the "Exile on Main Street" album, this film captures the band during an era-defining period. Shot across four nights in Texas, it eschews the distractions of backstage antics and fluff interviews, focusing squarely on the band's onstage prowess and musical energy - delivering iconic performances of "Brown Sugar," "Gimme Shelter," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" among others.

    Technically, the film presents a blend of directness and intimacy, encapsulated through its 16mm original footage, which enlarges to 35mm to bring theater viewers closer to the Stones' kinetic live performance. Despite the lack of Merry Clayton's counterpoint on "Gimme Shelter," and Mick Taylor's notable absence, the concert film skilfully exhibits the Stones' diverse musical influences - from the countrified twang of "Dead Flowers" under the sway of Gram Parsons to the Motown groove of "Tumbling Dice." The film’s sound mix, particularly designed for the original QuadraSound audio in select theaters, aimed to encapsulate the enveloping live experience, with this release offering a remastered clarity that brings viewers into the heart of the performance.

    The Blu-ray itself is presented on a single 25GB disc, with straightforward access to content devoid of any preamble through promotional advertisements, lending itself to an excellent user experience that highlights its region-free status. This release not only serves as a testament to the lasting impact of Eagle Rock Entertainment on the Blu-ray music scene but also as an archival peek into a pivotal moment in rock history, laid out for both long-time fans and newcomers with an interest in the genre’s raw, unpolished roots.

    Total: 64

    Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" on Blu-ray is an essential addition to the collection of any self-respecting aficionado of the iconic rock band. Presented by Eagle Rock Entertainment, this release brings a pivotal moment in rock history into your living room with a level of clarity and vibrancy that only Blu-ray can provide. Its pricing strategy hits a sweet spot, making it accessible to both die-hard fans and newcomers intrigued by the band's legendary status. While some may critique the audio-visual (A/V) quality given the high standards of today's Blu-ray releases, it's important to acknowledge the time period of the original footage. The 1970s were not known for their pristine recording techniques, especially for live concert footage, yet this release manages to capture the raw energy and unparalleled charisma of the Rolling Stones during their zenith.

    The importance of "Ladies & Gentlemen" cannot be overstated. For those seeking a portal into the Rolling Stones' electrifying live performances of the '70s, there simply isn't a better visual document out there. Eagle Rock Entertainment's meticulous attention to restoring and presenting this concert film places viewers right in the midst of the Stones' exhilarating tour life. Despite some limitations imposed by the original filming conditions, the essence of the band's live prowess is undiminished, providing both a historical snapshot and a rock 'n' roll thrill ride.

    In conclusion, "Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones" is a monumental Blu-ray release that bridges generations, connecting the raw energy of 70s rock with today's technology. Though the A/V quality may reflect its era's constraints, this should hardly deter any viewer. On the contrary, it adds an authenticity and charm to the viewing experience. This release is not just recommended; it's celebrated as a vital piece of music history made readily available for longtime enthusiasts and curious newcomers alike. It stands as a testament to the band's enduring appeal and the unforgettable era they helped shape.