A U.S.-only release by the Rolling Stones and their first official live album, Got Live If You Want It! was released on November 4, 1966, at the height of the American craze for anything by the Stones (and the Beatles and any other mid-60s British band, for that matter). With an early November release, it was timed to follow the Stones’ U.S. tour from that summer, prelude the Christmas buying season in America, and fulfill a contractual obligation with London Records, the Stones’ U.S. distributor. As “live” albums went in those days, Got Live If You Want It! (the word “Live” is capitalized on the original cover) is an uneven, “doctored” collection of actual live material that was heavily remixed, plus a couple of previously unused studio cuts (“Fortune Teller” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”) overdubbed with screaming teenage girls to offer the illusion of a concert recording. Subsequent releases on CD in the 80s and early 00s further played with the mix and added between-song banter absent on the original LP. They’re just not the ’66 version, though.
- Bottom line
: the original mix is raw and energetic, just like the mid-60s Stones, and includes live versions of eight of the band’s hits from their early years. Despite its obvious shortcomings (which are more evident today than in 1966), it’s still the original version and the one to own, no matter whether you’re a rock (or Stones) purist, a collector of originals, a lover of great 60s live albums, or just a common Stones fan.