Editors’ Notes With the advent of the Big Rock Show in the 1960s came the companion Big Rock Live Album: Within a year or two of the Stones releasing Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! in 1970, The Who, Allman Brothers, Cream, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad, and Joe Cocker all had them, and by the end of the decade it wasn’t uncommon for live albums—think Kiss, Peter Frampton, and Cheap Trick—to outshine their studio counterparts.

Did you need proof that The Rolling Stones could sound as powerful onstage as they did on record? Here you have it, with unusually untamed Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger banter to boot. The addition of Mick Taylor earlier in the year—after the firing and then sudden death of Brian Jones—gave the band a more elastic, improvisational edge: Taylor had come from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (where he’d replaced Peter Green, who replaced Eric Clapton) and, at just 20, probably had more experience with improvisation than the rest of the Stones combined.

Keep in mind that some of the stuff on the band’s set list—“Live With Me” (a Taylor standout) and “Midnight Rambler,” and “Love in Vain”—wouldn’t come out on Let It Bleed for another couple of weeks, while the bulk of the rest marked the first time an audience of that size heard music from 1968’s Beggars Banquet onstage—a shift worth noting because of how much the band had evolved since the last time they’d toured. “I think I busted a button on my trousers,” Jagger says after “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” ”Hope they don’t fall down. You don’t want my trousers to fall down, now, do you?!” As though he’d left any doubt as to what was hiding inside.

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