The Rolling Stones‘ Rock and Roll Circus is being released as a four-disc deluxe box set which features the event on blu-ray (for the first time). There will also be a 3 LP vinyl version, featuring extra tracks not previously broadcast.
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was shot over two days in December 1968 and featured guests such as The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull and the impromptu supergroup The Dirty Mac (which featured John Lennon, Keith Richards, Mitch Mitchell, Eric Clapton and, on bag, Yoko Ono) in addition to the original lineup of The Rolling Stones.
Shot in a north London television studio by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, (he would shoot Let It Be shortly after) The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was a concert filmed with the band themselves as on-screen hosts in addition to performing. The audience were made up of fan club members and it was ostensibly meant to be a BBC TV special for the Beggars Banquet long player. But Brian Jones left and then died, and so the film wasn’t properly released for 28 years.
In terms of this reissue, the limited deluxe edition is a multi-format package consisting of blu-ray, DVD, 2CD and a 44-page book with David Dalton’s original 1969 Rolling Stone essay and photographs by Michael Randolf.
Bonus material includes the late concert pianist Julius Katchen, three additional songs by Taj Mahal and never before heard recordings of The Dirty Mac performing The Beatles classic, ‘Revolution’ and the aptly titled track ‘Warmup Jam’. Released for the first time on Vinyl as a 3 LP package, the soundtrack is also available as a standalone 2CD set. Note: the blu-ray is not available separately it’s only in the box (for now, at least).
The stereo version on the CD and vinyl is a “new mix” while the blu-ray offers a Dolby Atmos surround mix. ABKCO are claiming that this is “the first archival concert film to be mixed using” Atmos. There’s also commentary tracks by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tony Richmond, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Yoko Ono and Marianne Faithfull, as well as an on-camera interview with Pete Townshend.
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