Recorded during their American tour in late 1969, and centered around live versions of material from the Beggars Banquet
-Let It Bleed
era. Often acclaimed as one of the top live rock albums of all time, its appeal has dimmed a little today. The live versions are reasonably different from the studio ones, but ultimately not as good, a notable exception being the long workout of "Midnight Rambler," with extended harmonica solos and the unforgettable section where the pace slows to a bump-and-grind crawl. Some Stones
aficionados, in fact, prefer a bootleg from the same tour (Liver Than You'll Ever Be
, to which this album was unleashed in response), or their amazing the-show-must-go-on performance in the jaws of hell at Altamont (preserved in the Gimme Shelter
film). Fans who are unconcerned with picky comparisons such as these will still find Ya-Ya's
an outstanding album, and it's certainly the Stones
' best official live recording.