“The Greatest Rock N’ Roll Band” in the world, A.K.A. The Rolling Stones, are poised to release a brand new live DVD entitled Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live next week. The DVD was filmed over 2 days during the band’s 50 and Counting tour at London’s Hyde Park where they had also famously debuted new guitarist Mick Taylor in 1969 after the death of founding member Brian Jones. Live concert films loom large in The Stones legacy. Starting with the highly-lauded tour documentary Gimme Shelter in 1970, the band has issued a series of often-stunning, always rocking live films over the years that show why they are one of the top rock bands and concert draws of all time. In celebration of the new DVD’s release we’re counting down the band’s Top 10 concert films so if you like live, sweaty, warts and all rock n’roll in its purest form, do yourself a favor and add them to your rental queue and check them out when you have a chance.
1. Gimme Shelter (1970)
Though not solely a concert film, this documentary of the band’s groundbreaking 1969 tour and its anarchic climax at the Altamont Free Concert isn’t just the Rolling Stones greatest live film, it’s one of the greatest rock n’roll movies of all time. Directed by renowned documentarians Albert and David Maysles, the movie combines exhilarating live performances with behind the scenes footage of the band recording and planning their ill-fated tour denouement which blew up in their faces when audience members were beaten and killed by members of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club who were hired to do security at the all-day free concert.
2. Shine a Light (2008)
Expertly filmed by legendary director Martin Scorsese, this film chronicles the band’s performances at New York City’s Beacon Theater including guest spots from Jack White and Christina Aguilera and is the definite late season Rolling Stones live film.