Well, what we got here is a few videos of the Stones showing the change in four key years, from 1968 to 1972. These was the transformation from the Brian Jones era to the Mick Taylor era. I chose these because the quality is good on all three. The first one is from the Rolling Stones Rock 'n' Roll Circus. It was originally filmed for a TV special, it didn't get an an official store release until 1996. It also featured Jethro Tull, The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and The Dirty Mac, a hastily formed supergroup with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards (on bass!), Mitch Mitchell, Ivry Gitlis (violin) and Yoko Ono ("vocals"). The Stones performed six songs on the show, but I'm only including one because it kind of shows the door starting to close on Brian Jones. His attendance at recording sessions was getting sporatic, his behavior more erratic and his contributions to the band getting to be less frequent. Drugs. Showing him on stage during "Sympathy For The Devil" playing only maracas, I had all sorts of jokes lined up. "Man, that cat could play anything, even maracas!" "Hey, one-upped by a Monkee, Davy Jones could do the maracas AND sing." Jones was clearly on his out. He died less then seven months later.
The next cip is from 1971, the song "Midnight Rambler". Including this one because it just shows that every band, including one at the top of their game, can drag a song out to a length that is totally unnecessary. The studio version of "Midnight Rambler" is already long, over six minutes, but they tack on another three minutes here and it is not needed. But, hey, back with two capable guitar players, there are a few tasty licks.
The last clip is from the film "Ladies and Gentleman, the Rolling Stones" a film of their 1972 U.S. tour. Before I go further, that one big truth: Jumpsuits do not look good on anyone. There are a few obvious exceptions (mechanics, astronauts, race car drivers, Devo), but, man. Particularly the tight jumpsuits. That's fucking REO Speedwagon mentality right there. Blech! And yet, from Elvis, to Jagger, Steven Tyler, fucking Ted Nugent! It's one shark jump after another. It's just fucking awful. And exhale. Anyway, this one because your rarely see Keith Richards singing "Happy" and even more rare is seeing him sing it right around the time it was released. The transformation is complete. This was the last time the Stones really mattered. In just a few years they'd lose Mick Taylor, pick up Ron Wood, lose Bill Wyman, and get Darryl Jones. This leads me to another damn tangent. Why isn't Darryl Jones an official Rolling Stone? He's toured with them and recorded with them since 1993...I just did a search. It's fucking money. That is still a bad answer. How about some respect? Man, fuck them.
The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil at YouTube Rock 'n' Roll Circus, 1968
The Rolling Stones - Midnight Rambler (Live, Marquee Club) at YouTube 1971
The Rolling Stones - Happy (From "Ladies & Gentlemen") at YouTube 1972