This remarkable performance was filmed for US television in 1971, shortly after The Rolling Stones had completed their 1971 Farewell Tour of the UK, and a month before the release of the album Sticky Fingers. The gig marked the first time tracks ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Dead Flowers’, ‘Bitch’ and the rarely performed ‘I Got The Blues’ were showcased live; four tracks taken from the Sticky Fingers album. The line-up at this time was Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman.
From The Rolling Stones The Marquee – Live in 1971, here’s “Midnight Rambler”.
They’re at the height of their powers, with Mick Taylor taking them to some incredible places. This version of the song features some remarkable harp playing by Jagger, as well as Keef’s playing slowly giving way to Taylor as the song builds. All supported by that remarkable rhythm section, of course.
The intimacy is perhaps the coolest thing about the clip, though. They performed this in front of a small club crowd, mainly friends, and you can tell they’re totally relaxed and into the moment. Like I said, remarkable.