The Stones in the Park is a worthy purchase for both the hardcore Rolling Stones fan and the casual viewer. The Hyde Park concert was filmed just two days after the death of guitarist Brian Jones, and the atmosphere is electric. The group rattle through some of their biggest hits (Satisfaction, Jumping Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Women) during the 55 minute concert, climaxing with a rip-roaring, ten minute rendition of Sympathy for the Devil.
This 1969 show is edited to within an inch of its life, cross cutting in a way that didn’t become fashionable until almost twenty years later. While Mick Jagger and co. give it their all, but it’s not just about the band, it’s also about the 250,000 strong audience. It truly is a record of its time.
However, this package isn’t just about the concert – there is much more that makes this an essential purchase. It also includes three songs (Mercy, Mercy, Stray Cat Blues and No Expectations) that were cut from the original show, an episode of World In Action where Jagger talks about his arrest for drugs, the press conference following his release (which is also in the World In Action episode), Stones footage from ’64 and an interview with Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. All good stuff.
The World In Action episode is the highlight, showing Jagger a world (in action) away from his cocky stage persona, and again it shows how different the world was in the 1960s.
Re-mastered visuals and sound (5.1 Dolby) mean that The Stones in the Park looks and sounds glorious. Sure, it’s a tad grainy and in its original 1.33:1 ratio – but I don’t find that an issue at all. Like music? Buy this.