EC Was Here (TARKL TCD 002 1/2)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – June 22nd, 1975
Disc 1: Fanfare For The Common Man, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Star Star, Gimme Shelter, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want/Band introduction, Happy, Tumbling Dice, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll
Disc 2: Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Fingerprint File, Angie, Wild Horses, That’s Life, Outa Space, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, Rip This Joint, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash, Sympathy For The Devil, outro
EC Was Here is the second release on the new TAKRL label and the third silver release of the Joe Maloney June 22nd, 1975 New York tape. The previous two releases were Sympathy For God on Tarantura and Sympathy For Slowhand on Dog N Cat. The former was mastered to emphasize the high end with a crispiness surrounding the audience applause while the latter is more bottom heavy with richer bass frequencies. EC Was Here sounds like an identical copy of the Tarantura release. It is very bright sounding with a clipped effect surrounding the cheering and loud cymbal smashes and it is dependent upon personal taste whether or not this is preferable to the other two editions. It comes packaged in a double slimline jewel case with obi strip. The front cover has a good close up photo of the lotus petals in the up position.
Regarding the actual concert, I wrote in the DAC review: This is the first of six nights at the Garden in New York and this run of shows is the longest prolonged engagement of the tour (followed by five in Los Angeles and several cities where they played two consecutive nights). This is the first tour with then replacement guitarist Ron Wood (who wouldn’t become a Stone until December), and the first where they adopted an arena rock mentality. Instead of playing for seventy minutes, these shows regularly reached two hours long. And although the material emphasized newer material (Beggars Banquet to It’s Only Rock And Roll with a nod to the past with “Get Off Of My Cloud”), the range of styles was quite divers. The Charlie Watts designed lotus petal shaped stage that openned and closed on cue, gave Jagger ample opportunity to be the showman and these turned out to be some of the greatest mid seventies arena-rock extravaganzas with something for everybody.
Billy Preston offered his style of soul music for the fans and for the New York shows the Stones even added “Sympathy For The Devil” as an encore with the The Steel Band Association of America thrown in for good measure. Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” starts things off and the stage opens with “Honky Tonk Women” and after “All Down The Line” Jagger taunts, “Are you feeling good? We’re gonna do something, if you can’t rock me, somebody will.” “Star Star” is about “a young lady who got herself in trouble.” They were really up for playing in New York and deliver one of the best shows of the entire tour, except for the encore. “Sympathy For The Devil” hadn’t been performed live since Altamont six years before. Although it looked like a good idea to bring it out for shows in the big cities, this is the first performance for a long time and it shows. Keith switches to bass for the track, and the results are a mess. Jagger forgets almost all of the vocal cues and is out of sync with the rest of the band, and the rhythm section get lost several times during the jam. Clapton plays a solo identical to the studio version, something rarely heard live.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)