The Rolling Stones: From the Vault – Hyde Park Live 1969 (Blu-ray Review)

Rolling Stones `From The Vault` is a series of live concerts from The Rolling Stones archive which are getting their first official release. `Hyde Park 1969` is the latest addition to the series. It was one of the most highly anticipated gigs of 1969 and it delivered on all the promise and then some. On July 5, 1969, the Rolling Stones hosted their iconic free concert in London`s Hyde Park. Having taken two years off from the road, the show was conceived as the beginning of the band s big return to the live stage. It was also planned as an introduction of their hot new guitar player, Mick Taylor. The former disciple of British blues legend John Mayall had been inducted into the Stones just a month prior. Over 400,000 delirious fans of all ages gathered into the park for the concert. The Stones` concert in London’s Hyde Park would pay homage to the late Brian Jones and usher in the new and extraordinary era of Mick Taylor (1969-74). Bring The Concert Experience Home With Brilliant Picture and Superior Surround Sound

Rolling Stones

The Show  

This now legendary concert performance by The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in 1969 was to be their crown achievement at that time but was sort of scaled back in the wake of their founding member Brian Jones’ death use 2-days prior. Since they already had committed to the free show they carried on. Whether they were in their right minds on not or just fighting back the grief is any one guess. They had a show to do and there was no stopping it. Fans began showing up to the event the night before and slept overnight at the park but by morning thousands had already descended onto the grass at the base of the stage.

The band conducted interviews behind the scenes and their security liaison would have a talk to the Hells Angels about securing the venue and keeping watchful eyes on the crowd and to make sure no one was accosted or got hurt. The official tally in attendance was to be 250,000 fans. Some may or may not have been in their right minds due to whatever mind-expanding drugs they were on (their dancing, if you can call it dancing gives it away).

This program was filmed for television and in doing so runs only 55 minutes, with interviews included, so it’s a shortened set, and it’s also out of order, with exception the closing song. The full set list ran 15-songs deep this Blu-ray only has 8 songs. I would say that the running time and shortened set contribute to the average rating that I’m giving it. It’s also not one of their best and polished sets. Mick Taylor was making his guitar debut and the band seemed to just go with the flow. Jagger was Jagger and Keith was Keith although very much in the background. Charlie Watts surprisingly hit those skins with utmost conviction – at one point he is smashing on them and you can see him yell out COME ON! To say that this is a raw performance would be an understatement.

I have only ever seen one other of these From the Vault shows (Hampton Coliseum – REVIEW HERE) and I preferred that one but that show is much more polished. Hyde Park is more punk-ish and garage than anything. It is worth watching at least once, though.

Set List

Midnight Rambler

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

I’m Free

I’m Yours & I’m Hers

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Honky Tonk Woman

Love In Vain

Sympathy For The Devil


Rolling Stones


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080i

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Clarity/Detail: The film looks as good as it can considering the source it was taken from. Contrast is steady and sharpness levels are on point, with only minor edge enhancement and aliasing here and there. One must consider the source on a release like this.

Depth: You will feel like you’re part of the crowd and that’s a good thing. The crowd is mellow and this transfer showcases that in almost every frame.

Black Levels: It’s a daytime concert, with only few instances of nighttime scenes, mainly the ones from the folks sleeping at the park site. Those levels were fine.

Color Reproduction:

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones were natural and wait until you see the many-sunburned folks out there. Either it’s a sun tan or a bar tan.

Noise/Artifacts: The film is 45 years old, so there are many instances of dirt, debris, hair, etc., but it is what it is.


Rolling Stones


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, LPCM Stereo 2.0

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics: It’s an open toss up between a full surround sound option and a stereo option – both in 24-bit audio but I’ll say that the stereo track offers the better option. The instruments are nicely balanced and so are the vocals, even more so when the thrashing begins.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE reacts nicely during scenes of low-end bass on the 5.1 option.

Surround Sound Presentation: The crowd sounds great and there is only an instance or two of feedback and echoing that swirl the soundscape. It’s nothing major.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is fine during the interview segments and you can understand most of the slurring unless Jagger moves the microphone away.


Rolling Stones



Rolling Stones


 Make no mistake, The Rolling Stones are a great band, but I’m thinking that due to the loss of Brian Jones two days earlier, they were just not their organized selves. Some will say that they were never organized but you can tell that this performance wasn’t their tightest. It was a bit sloppy but the 250,000+ in attendance didn’t care and neither did I. The Blu-ray has adequate technical specifications but zero special features, which will bring the rating down a notch. If you’re a fan of the band than this Blu-ray release is a no-brainer but they have released better Blu-ray material before.




The Rolling Stones: From the Vault – Hyde Park 1969 is released on

Blu-ray & DVD July 24, 2015!


Rolling Stones


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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