The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is the fifth release of The Rolling Stones music by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records (who gained control of the band's Decca/London material in 1970) after the band's departure from Decca and Klein. Released in 1996, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is a live album that captures the taping of their ill-fated 1968 TV special, which was not broadcast until decades later.

Seeking an original way to promote the newly released Beggars Banquet, The Rolling Stones concocted the idea of recording a live extravaganza of music with a circus theme. They also invited guests to perform, among whom John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), The WhoEric Clapton (fresh from the break-up ofCream), Taj Mahal and Mick Jagger's then-current girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, all took part. Specially for the occasion, Lennon, Clapton, Keith Richards andMitch Mitchell (of The Jimi Hendrix Experience) would form a one-time alliance entitled The Dirty Mac.

Recorded on 11 December into the wee hours of the following day, the final results of most acts was positive, except for The Rolling Stones' performance (including the first ever appearance of "You Can't Always Get What You Want"), which they themselves felt was somewhat flat in places and lacked spark, especially when compared with both The Who's standout performance of "A Quick One While He's Away" and The Dirty Mac's rendition of The Beatles' "Yer Blues". Consequently, The Rolling Stones shelved the project with the intention of working on it further. However, with Brian Jones' death the following July, the project was left to gather dust.

After years of delays, ABKCO finally issued The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus and a tie-in home video of the event in October 1996 and it reached #92 in the US. In 2004, a DVD edition was released.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [1]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.

No. Title Performing artist Length
1. "Mick Jagger's introduction of Rock and Roll Circus"   0:25
2. "Entry of the Gladiators(Julius Fučík) 0:55
3. "Mick Jagger's introduction of Jethro Tull"   0:11
4. "Song for Jeffrey†" (Ian Anderson) Jethro Tull 3:26
5. "Keith Richards' introduction of The Who"   0:07
6. "A Quick One, While He's Away(Pete Townshend) The Who 7:33
7. "Over the Waves(Juventino Rosas) 0:45
8. "Ain't That a Lot of Love" (Homer Banks, Willie Dean "Deanie" Parker) Taj Mahal 3:48
9. "Charlie Watts' introduction of Marianne Faithfull"   0:06
10. "Something Better" (Gerry GoffinBarry Mann) Marianne Faithfull 2:32
11. "Mick Jagger's and John Lennon's introduction of The Dirty Mac"   1:05
12. "Yer Blues(Lennon–McCartney) The Dirty Mac 4:27
13. "Whole Lotta Yoko" (Yoko Ono) The Dirty Mac, Yoko Ono, and Ivry Gitlis 4:49
14. "John Lennon's introduction of The Rolling Stones"  
15. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"   The Rolling Stones 3:35
16. "Parachute Woman"   The Rolling Stones 2:59
17. "No Expectations"   The Rolling Stones 4:13
18. "You Can't Always Get What You Want"   The Rolling Stones 4:24
19. "Sympathy for the Devil"   The Rolling Stones 8:49
20. "Salt of the Earth"   The Rolling Stones 4:57
"Salt of the Earth" features the original Beggars Banquet music track with new live vocals
† "Song for Jeffrey" ("A Song for Jeffrey") features the original This Was backing track with live vocals sung by Ian Anderson.

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Year Chart Position
1996 The Billboard 200 92 [2]
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