The Rolling Stones had been off the road for two long years before their 1969 American tour in support of Beggar's Banquet. During that time Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had been arrested on trumped-up drug charges, Their Satanic Majesties Request had failed to deliver, Brian Jones had left the group (and later died) and Mick Taylor became their new guitarist. They also recorded some of the finest music of their long career.
The tour was a long time coming, and up until Altamont it had been a complete triumph. They packed large venues all across the country and in many ways laid the groundwork for all arena tours that followed. This was also the time when bootlegs started popping up in record stores, most notable Live'r Than You'll Ever Be, which was taken from a 1969 Stones show in Oakland. The obvious move was to release their own live album from the tour. Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! was taken from shows in Baltimore and New York, though some of the vocals were touched up later in the studio. The Stones have released many live albums since this one, but none have sounded quite as vital.