Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! — recorded in 1969 over two nights at Madison Square Garden — is the last official live document of the Rolling Stones in their swaggering Sixties prime; it’s also one of the great live albums of all time. Expectations were high for the band on its 1969 tour, the Stones’ first in the U.S. in three years, and their first outing without guitarist Brian Jones, who had died that summer. They delivered in spades. Keith Richards and new guitarist Mick Taylor combined for angry workouts on Ya-Ya’s’ “Midnight Rambler” — the album’s bluesy nine-minute masterpiece — and a stark, rubbery “Sympathy for the Devil.” Mick Jagger and Richards pull apart Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie” into a raunchy romp, as if to prove they had fully mastered the rock form.
This three-disc remastered Ya-Ya’s includes the original in all its gritty glory. Disc Two is a five-song EP from the same shows, with acoustic performances — “Prodigal Son” and “You Gotta Move” — from Richards (playing a resonator guitar) and Jagger. The third disc is an unexpected treat: blistering sets by openers B.B. King plus Ike and Tina Turner (doing an outrageously steamy take on Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”). And serious rock geeks will enjoy the final flourish: the original Rolling Stone review, by Lester Bangs.