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Rolling Stones with Eric Clapton – Champagne And Sex (Mid Valley MVR 105/106)

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Champagne And Sex (Mid Valley MVR 105/106)

Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA – October 19th, 1989

Disc 1 (66:49):  Start Me Up, Bitch, Sad Sad Sad, Undercover Of The Night, Harlem Shuffle, Tumbling Dice, Miss You, Ruby Tuesday, Angie, Rock And A Hard Place, Mixed Emotions, Honky Tonk Women, Midnight Rambler

Disc 2 (72:36):  You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Little Red Rooster, Before They Make Me Run, Happy, Paint It Black, 2000 Light Years From Home, Sympathy For The Devil, Gimme Shelter, It’s Only Rock’n Roll, Brown Sugar, Satisfaction, Jumping Jack Flash

Champagne And Sex on Mid Valley contains an excellent soundboard recording of The Rolling Stones’ October 19th show in Los Angeles on the Steel Wheels tour.  It was previously released on Mixed Emotions (Bugsy BGS 1993-5/1-2), twice on Vinyl Gang with Get Back To Los Angeles 1989 and At The Max To The End (Get Back To LA 1989) (both with the same catalogue number VGP 087), Live At The L.A. Memorial Coliseum (Moonlight ML 9644/45) missing “Mixed Emotions,” and on 19 Nineteen (The Rolling Stones With Eric Clapton) (Mid Valley 185-189), a six disc set with the Los Angeles show on the first two discs, the December 19th Atlantic City show on three and the sixth disc with “Brown Sugar” and “Carnival To Rio,” two Rolling Stones sessions with Eric Clapton.  Champagne And Sex was issued in 2003 with the Los Angeles show alone in the same sound quality.  Although a video was produced, this sounds like a legitimate soundboard recording with the instruments up front and the audience noise pushed way back in the mix. 

The focus of attention, besides the excellent performance, is Eric Clapton’s guest appearance with the Stones.  The liner notes on the back cover state:  “Eric has a long history with the Stones.  They started in the music business pretty much at the same time and also played the same venues in the early sixties…Eric has often played with them as well.  He played on sessions for Beggars Banquet, although the recordings remain unreleased.  He joined them on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1975 for an inspired version of Sympathy For The Devil before going a few blocks down the road to record a spirited Carnival To Rio with both his band and all of the Stones.  Sadly it remains unreleased…He joined the Stones on stage three times in 1989 on their Steel Wheels tour.  One of these, in Atlantic City,  was broadcast on television.  Eric’s guest spot on Little Red Rooster also appeared on their live souvenir album from the tour.  One of the other shows he joined the was in Los Angeles.  Once again, he plays some hot licks and solos throughout Little Red Rooster.”

The show is hot by early tour standards and the set list follows the normal patten.  The newer songs played in the early part of the show followed by the classics.  They include songs from the Brian Jones era which hadn’t been played and even give the live debut of “2000 Light Years From Home” with a clever segue into “Sympathy For The Devil.”  The opening numbers are played briskly and it is only until after a scintillating “Harlem Shuffle” does Jagger greet the audience, saying:  “How you feeling Los Angeles, you feeling good tonight?  But have you got the stamina to take all this shit, one act after another?”

There is a hint of nervousness with the new material when he introduces the mega-produced “Rock And A Hard Place” when he says, ”We’re gonna do a few new songs.  How do you like the new songs?  If we don’t do any new songs we’ll never end up with any old ones…that’s deep” and when he encourages the audience to sing along to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by asking, “How are your smoke-filled lungs tonight?  It really gets to me.  You have some singing in you?  I don’t want to push you into something you dont’ want to do.”  This song segues directly into the cover “Little Red Rooster” and Clapton’s presence isn’t announced until he takes his solo in the middle.  The show closes with the expected classics including a devastating version of “Gimmie Shelter” which is so intense that Mick has to single out Fisher who blows her lungs out.  Mid Valley package Champagne And Sexin a fatboy double jewel case instead of a slimline double and include a four page insert with the tour dates and photo of the gig.     

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Rolling Stones with Eric Clapton - Champagne And Sex (Mid Valley MVR 105/106), 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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