I have it! It's ...well, it's worth having!
Bill Board | God's Wrath, Ohio | 07/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, this is a faux-leather packaging of the live cd "Flashpoint" with an additional "collectible" cd. First things first, "Flashpoint" is the very last performance by Bill Wyman (totally, completely, absolutely irreplaceable - although his "replacement," Darryl Jones seems to have actually "focused" the Stones. Not the same as with Bill, but a quite different band, and not at all bad, either). OK, the "collectibles:" they are 1) "Rock and a Hard Place II," a discofied version of that song; 2) "Miss You IV," another discofied song, the very song which, far as I'm concerned, robbed the Stones of ALL credibility thereafter; 3) "Cook Cook Blues," a......uh...."B Side" to "Rock and a Hard Place"; 4) "Everything Is Turning To Gold," the ABSOLUTE TREASURE of this set, along with #7 "Fancy Man Blues," below; 5) another discofied "tune," "Winning Ugly," which (I'm really, really ashamed to admit this) I actually...like; 6) a live version of "Beast Of Burden," and my question, why wasn't ths boring song included on the "StillBorne"...I'm sorry, on the 1981 live album "Still Life?"; 7) "Fancy Man Blues," originally the "b side" of "Mixed Emotions." This song, despite the absence of Ian Stewart, could have easily appeared on "Exile On Main St," the ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT; 8) a discofiied "Harlem Shuffle VI"; 9) "Wish I'd Never Meet You," a boooooooooooring "b side" of "Terrifying"; and 10) a discofied "Mixed Emotions IV." There it is, folks. "Everything Is Turning To Gold" and "Fancy Man Blues" are true, undiscovered gems. The rest, save "Beast" are...disco. Buy the ticket, take the ride, folks..."
Collectors Take Note
J P Ryan | Waltham, Massachusetts United States | 12/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Flashpoint" (1991) may be a minor item in the Rolling Stones' vast and rich body of work, but the original edition (as opposed to the 1995 Virgin reissue), especially coupled with "Collectables", is worth checking out if you already own a lot of Stones albums. The live portion of "Flashpoint" captures, in almost clinical sound, the band's 1989 - 90 tours. The Stones had not performed in public since 1982, having undergone a midlife crisis of sorts. Charlie Watts, in his mid-40s, became addicted to heroin and amphetimines; Ron Wood too was heavily dependent on freebase cocaine. And Mick Jagger, encouraged by Sony's Walter Yetnikoff, recorded a pair of minor solo albums, one ('She's The Boss') well-produced dance/funk, while a second ('Primitive Cool"), perhaps Jagger's artistic nadir, was a misguided, slickly produced effort that barely reached the top 40 in Billboard's album chart. Charlie Watts issued the first of several highly regarded jazz albums. Keith Richards, too, made two (superb) solo albums). Obviously this attention to projects outside the band, as well as the death of 'sixth Stone' Ian Stewart, led to rumours that the end of The Rolling Stones was indeed near. So when they finally returned to the US in 1989, to great fanfare, it seemed a very different kind of tour from their previous international jaunt of 1981-82 - with two new keyboardists whose function was less to provide backup than to keep shows tightly structured, it was obvious The Stones were a little nervous, and were playing it safer than they'd ever had, or would again, with regular touring throughout the last fifteen years evidence of a band relaxing into a more assured and vital band of master musicians enjoying themselves and defying time in between various near catastrophes.
"Flashpoint" sounds canned, slick, and heavily edited, and aside from a couple gems ('Factory Girl') is perhaps their least satisfying live set.
The original 1991 album, however, offered two new studio tracks, both quite good, as well. 'Highwire' is a neat rocker seemingly protesting the Gulf War but on closer examination conveying classic Stones ambivilance, with the same refusal to offer easy answers that made 'Street Fighting Man' so remarkable two decades earlier. And 'Sex Drive' is a five minut funk bomb, a tribute to James Brown, especially Brown's 'Sex Machine' - but here's where collectors may want to pay attention. The version of 'Sex Drive' included on the Virgin remaster from '95 is the 4:32 'dirty hands' mix originally included on the 'Sex Drive' CD single release. I still prefer the original 1991 original (released on Sony), longer and more sinuous. Many don't know about the switch, but for now the original version is long out of print.
As for "Collectables", it's a mixed bag. The songs included here that were later used on the 2005 'Rarities' set are thankfully full length versions (i.e. 'Miss You', 8:35 rather than 7:33 - etc.). And many of the "Rarities' tracks faded early so as to squeeze 15 songs onto a nearly 80 minute disc. As for the dance mixes, some are dated, others hold up. 'Winning Ugly' is especially powerful. Finally, this may not be a major or classic Stones album, but there is enough to warrant investigation from serious fans."