The Rolling Stones Release 'Flashpoint'
Flashpoint is a live album by British rock band The Rolling Stones.
It was released in 1991, having been recorded throughout 1989 and 1990 on the mammoth Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour. It was the first live album by the group since 1982's "Still Life" (American Concert 1981).
Flashpoint was recorded across North America, Europe and Japan, Flashpoint is also the first Rolling Stones release of the 1990s and, unlike previous live sets, includes two new studio tracks: "Highwire" and "Sex Drive"; the former was released as a single earlier in 1991 and was a comment on the Gulf War.
Although the live selections are mostly familiar hits mixed in with new tracks from Steel Wheels, Flashpoint also includes songs like "Factory Girl" from 1968's Beggars Banquet and "Little Red Rooster", originally a #1 UK hit single in 1964, featured here with special guest Eric Clapton on guitar.
Flashpoint was also The Rolling Stones' final release under their Sony Music contract, with the band signing a long-term and lucrative worldwide deal with Virgin Records in 1991—where they remain presently—all, that is, but Bill Wyman. After thirty years with the band, the 55-year-old Wyman decided that he had other interests he wanted to pursue and felt that the size of the Steel Wheels project and tour was fitting to bow out with. Although he would not officially announce his departure until January 1993 during which time the rest of the band repeatedly asked him to reconsider—he had talked about leaving the band for at least ten years. After his departure, Ronnie Wood was finally taken off salary and made a full member of the Rolling Stones partnership, 18 years after he joined the band.
Flashpoint was released in April 1991 and was generally well-received—with "Highwire" becoming a rock radio hit—and managed to reach #6 in the UK and #16 in the US where it went gold.
Two songs, "Rock and a Hard Place" and "Can't Be Seen", were only included on the CD and cassette versions.
In 1998, Flashpoint was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records.
Ferociously live, Flashpoint thunders against the cynical Zeitgeist of which Ellis's monster is but the darkest example. Now, with concerts packaged as lip-syncing stunts and MTV pantomimes, it's startling to hear rock & roll so craftily passionate – and from players whose ages hover near fifty and who come trailing chains of history, myth and cash.