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The Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane
DVD Review

(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
June 3, 2013
The Rolling Stones

Review by Andy Argyrakis

The ongoing celebration for The Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary continues with the brand new Blu-ray/DVD documentary "Crossfire Hurricane," though it's certainly not limited to mere conversation. Plenty of tunes permeate the main program, along with previously unreleased bonus performances from the band's earliest years together, which make for a compelling overview, even if the method is a little unconventional.

Yes, all of the surviving players are interviewed, but rather than being pictured on the screen, their comments are simply inserted as audio over the scenes that unfurl across two hours. While director Brett Morgen certainly does an admirable job of interspersing the two (after the guys apparently forbade video cameras in their twilight years), it still results in a slightly disjointed experience that makes members seem distant from the story being shown.

Thankfully once fans can get beyond the format, "Crossfire Hurricane" tells the key aspects of The Rolling Stones' story spanning the original British Invasion to becoming the world's greatest rock and roll band, accented by mounds of never before seen footage (private plane travel, out of control audiences, drug busts, etc.) Naturally, the most interesting moments come from the most salacious scenarios, like the death of original guitarist Brian Jones and the Altamont concert tragedy, but by no means does the music take a back seat to the debauchery.

Just for the record though, this technically isn't a five decade spanning set as the milestone anniversary might imply, instead spending the entire time cruising through all the major tales and tunes from the 1960s and '70s. In other words, those wanting to hear about '80s and '90s rebirths will have to hope for a sequel, but at least tipping the scales towards the Stones' most influential years cuts out much of the trendy fluff that followed.

The true treats for longtime fans come during the special features segment, which include nine full performances from events like the "The Arthur Haynes Show" in 1964 and the NME Poll Winners Concerts in 1964 and 1965. Youthfully exuberant versions of "Not Fade Away," "The Last Time" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" aren't just icing on this collection's cake, but help bring the rarely rivaled story of excess, experimentation and artistry full circle.

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The Rolling Stones - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI Sept. 2005
The Rolling Stones - Concert review - Chicago, IL Sept. 2002
The Rolling Stones - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI Feb. 1999
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Mick Taylor - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI Sept. 2000

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