The Rolling Stones: Steel Wheels Live (2020)

I really wasn’t going to review this but I got the Snowman to thank as at his site every Friday he posts that week’s New Releases which trust me is a valuable read as I check out what John has posted before I head to the iTunes site to see what has dropped that week.

By the way here’s John’s site below. Give this link a click and a follow..

It was in John’s comments(at his site)  this past Friday when someone remarked that this Stones release featured a killer set list.

The Snowman commented with,

“Yeah, it looks pretty great. I am sure Deke will have a review up by Monday!! Ha!!”

Well, how could I not review it now and post it today which is ironically Monday!

You have to hand it to Mick, Keef, Charlie and Ronnie as they have been busy releasing product during this crazy time. We all know what I mean by the “crazy time” comment correct?

The Stones dropped the single “Living In A Ghost Town” back in April 2020. At the tail end of August 2020, they dropped a deluxe version of there 1973 classic “Goats Head Soup” which is a phenomenal listen especially the live show (Brussels Affair 73) which is tacked on at the end.

And now at the end of September 2020 comes this wicked awesome live release which was recorded on the last date of the massive “Steel Wheels Tour” back in December 1989. Check out that setlist below.

“Start Me Up”
“Sad Sad Sad”
“Undercover of the Night”
“Harlem Shuffle”
“Tumbling Dice”
“Miss You”
“Ruby Tuesday”
“Salt of the Earth” (featuring Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin)
“Rock and a Hard Place”
“Mixed Emotions”
“Honky Tonk Women”
“Midnight Rambler”

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
“Little Red Rooster” (featuring Eric Clapton)
“Boogie Chillen” (featuring Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker)
“Can’t Be Seen”
“Paint It Black”
“2,000 Light Years From Home”
“Sympathy for the Devil”
“Gimme Shelter”
“It’s Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It)”
“Brown Sugar”
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

Ladies and Gents Bill Wyman on the Bass!

I still remember watching this show at the time at a friend’s place as his family had one of those huge satellite dishes at the time that looked more like some kind of NASA operation in his front yard. The Stones made this concert at the time available on PPV.

The Steel Wheels stage was massive! Jagger commanded that stage as if he owned it in which Mick did as the rest of the Stones and their sideman and backing vocalists kept the vibe going throughout the set.

So here we are 31 years later and here’s “Steel Wheels Atlantic City New Jersey”.

27 songs just over two and a half hours long and look at the setlist I posted above!

Look at the special guests that showed up. Axl N Izzy, Eric Clapton, and the late John Lee Hooker.

Just as the other big tour in 1989 which was Paul McCartney. The Stones as Paul did featured songs from there current release so they weren’t resting on there laurels so to speak.

“Steel Wheels” was the name of the studio album at the time which I liked and still do. Five songs from the album are featured as some other hits from the early 80s like “Harlem Shuffle” and “Undercover of the Night” are played.

A pretty wide cross-section of Stones material over the decades.

Listening to the audio of this show you really hear the crowd ramp up when the Stones count in “Ruby Tuesday”. (Love Keefs hacked out backing vocal on it)

One of the coolest tracks is “Salt of the Earth” when Mick tells the crowd that some guys came to New Jersey to get there “tattoos inked up.” Axl delivers a great vocal along with Mick and Keef. Such great stuff and what a stellar track.

Eric Clapton joining on “Little Red Rooster” is great as well as is “Boogie Chillin” with both Eric and John Lee Hooker jamming some old Chicago blues numbers.

Mick is great on this album. His vocals are superb( check out “Sympathy of the Devil”) and how about a shout out to Jaggers harmonica playing on tunes like “Miss You” and the fantastic jam blowout of “Midnight Rambler”!

What I actually enjoyed hearing are tunes like “Brown Sugar” and “Gimmie Shelter” and comparing these versions to the recent live versions on the “Goats Head Soup” edition.

“Gimmie Shelter” from the live 73 is very noticeable as there is no female backing singer and it’s really a wild listen as I always have known that tune as co vocalist lead track.

Give The Stones credit. They are the oldest band on the block but by the amount of productivity they are putting out currently they are still schooling all the other acts which speaks volume about work ethic!



31 thoughts on “The Rolling Stones: Steel Wheels Live (2020)”

  1. Ha!! I am so sorry. I wasn’t trying to put any pressure on you to do a review. You have been so excited about this one I thought you would probably do one…and you did!! LOL!! Great review and it does sound like an awesome set.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice! Caught them twice on the Steel Wheels tour, but no special guests joining them on stage. Living Colour opened, which was way cool. Although critics mocked this tour, calling it “Steel Wheelchairs” and “Steal Dollars,” I thought it was great. Thanks for the post. Rock on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Living Colour is an awesome band, Jeff! What a great show not only once twice. I caught the Stones twice in 94 on the Voodoo Lounge tour. Massive productions.
      What would you call the Stones now if critics called the tour 30 years ago Steel Wheelchairs?? lol
      Thanks for dropping by..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Man, I so wish I could have seen them on this tour with Bill playing bass. One song on Steel Wheels that gets over looked is Sad, Sad, Sad…I love that one…maybe better than the big hit Mixed Emotions.

    How many bands can put together a list like that? Only a very few. I did like Steel Wheels when it was released. The one I remember the most is Tattoo You.

    Awesome review…I downloaded Goats Head Soup and I love what I’ve heard so far. Their tours of 69-72 are worth listening to…that is when they were in their prime.

    Don’t know how the hell I missed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Max..
      That live 73 show is sooo good. When I first heard the mix the first thought that came to my mind was wow did the Black Crowes ever rip off this sound on the Southern Harmony record. lol
      Keef and Taylor are phenomenal on it..
      Agreed Sad Sad Sad is a wicked track.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was their prime man… them and The Who…the decibels, audience, and players were high.

        Straight out rock and roll. I love Keith’s tone…not to mention Mick Taylor…he was the best all around guitarist they ever had.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have Salt of the Earth on an old Guns bootleg called Covering ‘Em! That’s cool, it’s a great version too. This is cool Deke. I’m not the biggest Stones fan in the whole wide world but this looks like a great setlist. Steel Wheels era was huge when I was in highschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t heard of this album, they’ve been busy ! A great track listing probably representing them around the end of their greatest …I wouldn’t turn down seeing them now if they were in town after that pandemic finally goes away, but I doubt they’d still have quite the freshness or energy.

    Liked by 1 person

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