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The Rolling Stones: Some Girls — Live in Texas ’78 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 85 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 21, 2011
  • List Price: $19.98

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The Rolling Stones: Some Girls - Live in Texas '78

Purchase The Rolling Stones: Some Girls — Live in Texas ’78 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:5/5]

The greatest rock and roll band in the world just might have proved their case on this hot July night in Fort Worth, Texas 1978. Touring for their album Some Girls, a hip and revitalized musical statement that found the then 16-year-old veteran band both revitalized by the sounds of the day – punk, new wave, disco – and re-inspired by their old influences – r&b, blues, country – the tour would reflect this new inspiration and new energy. The shows were stripped down, straightforward, no-nonsense affairs that picked up on the raw energy of punk that was sweeping through the musical scene, and, I might add, had quite a bit of that late-70’s coked up vibe as well.

The band’s future hanging in the balance, Keith Richards having just been picked up on a drug bust, The Stones took the stage at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth Texas. A wall of guitars blitzed from the stage as the band tore through the opening “Let it Rock,” moved on to the Exile on Main Street track “All Down the Line” and then launched into a chunky sounding “Honky Tonk Women,” Jagger getting a rise out of the Texas crowd by rearranging one of the lyrics, “I laid a divorcee somewhere in Dallas.” After Goats Head Soup‘s “Star Star” would come a seven track block of songs from Some Girls. From the rip-roaring, punkified, “When the Whip Comes Down” to the neo-soul of “Beast of Burden,” itself sounding like an attitude laden bird-flip rather than the plaintive croon of its studio counterpart, through the jacked-up “Miss You” to the hyperactive “Shattered” this 1978 show is one of the most energetic, perfectly played, raw, and sublime pieces of rock and roll one can ever hear.

For fans who were with the Stones from the very beginning, perhaps Some Girls doesn’t seem like a classic Stones album, but for someone like me who came to the band later (I was six years old when Some Girls was released), it is right up there with Exile on Main Street, Beggars Banquet, and Sticky Fingers. That, some years later, the recording sessions for Some Girls would yield one of the band’s most recognizable hits, “Start Me Up,” from Tattoo You, is proof of the brilliance that was taking place during that period. This live document of that tour is a must have for any rock and roll fan.

Track List:

  1. Let It Rock
  2. All Down The Line
  3. Honky Tonk Women
  4. Star Star
  5. When The Whip Comes Down
  6. Beast Of Burden
  7. Miss You
  8. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
  9. Shattered
  10. Respectable
  11. Far Away Eyes
  12. Love In Vain
  13. Tumbling Dice
  14. Happy
  15. Sweet Little Sixteen
  16. Brown Sugar
  17. Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The show was originally filmed in 16mm and it has been fully restored and brought to high definition in a 1.66:1 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Eagle Rock. I’m always perplexed by the decision to transfer something sourced from film to high definition at 60Hz rather than a true 24Fps, but that is what we have been given. The image itself does look rather film-like, there is certainly a lot of grain still present in the image. It has been cleaned up nicely as well; source damage is hardly an issue apart from a few specks that can be seen here and there. Overall color is inconsistent, partly due to the stage production and partly due to the low resolution of the 16mm film. A lot of times color is washed out, other times it is very dark. Motion isn’t overly film-like because of the frame rate and there are a few places where some motion artifacts can be detected, but I’d say it looks quite good for what it is.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Remixed and remastered from the original multitracks by Bob Clearmountain, The Rolling Stones: Some Girls – Live in Texas ’78 comes to Blu-ray in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit) and Dolby Digital 5.1. The audio sounds superb, particularly in the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The Stones are not a band that is ever going to have resounding amounts of low end, but this mix makes them sound very punchy, with excellent instrumental separation as well. Keith Richards’ guitar is the loudest, placed distinctly in the right front channel. Ron Wood is in the left channel a bit lower, being brought forward in the mix for solos and such. Mick Jagger’s vocals are loud and clear in the center, never dropping too low in the mix while Charlie Watts thumps authoritatively with a mild stereo spread. The surround channels capture some of the ambience of the performance space and the crowd noises helping to expand the soundstage a bit, but it is not overdone. The LPCM 2.0 mix virtually mirrors this surround mix minus the surround channels, and while it does sound just a bit more confined, it is almost as good. The only issue I have with the PCM version of the mix is that the high frequencies sound a little more tweaked and harsh that in the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mastering.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Excellent extras add to the value of the disc here. Kudos to Eagle Rock for including the Saturday Night Live performances and a skit with Mick Jagger and Dan Aykroyd plus a brief report from a 1978 20/20 on the band and a brand new 2011 interview with Mick Jagger discussing the show and tour.

The supplements:

  • Mick Jagger Interview 2011 (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:14:56)
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Tomorrow with Dan Aykroyd & Mick Jagger
    • Beast of Burden
    • Respectable
    • Shattered
  • ABC News 20/20 Interviews with The Stones

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

There is a lot of replay value in this Some Girls – Live in Texas ’78 disc from Eagle Rock. In the Rolling Stones canon, I’d place it right up there with Ladies and Gentleman…The Rolling Stones as far as concert performances go. Great sound, excellent performance, and high energy make this truly one of the best. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005OGYH9U[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
The Rolling Stones: Some Girls - Live in Texas '78

Purchase The Rolling Stones: Some Girls — Live in Texas ’78 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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