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Rolling Stones – Fuckin’ Wonderful (Empress Valley EVSD399/400)

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Rating: 2.5/5 (2 votes cast)

Fuckin’ Wonderful (Empress Valley EVSD 399/400)

Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX – October 31st, 1981

Disc 1 (61:17):  Take The A Train, Under My Thumb, When The Whip Comes Down, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Shattered, Neighbours, Black Limousine, Just My Imagination, Twenty Flight Rock, Let Me Go, Time Is On My Side, Beast Of Burden, Let It Bleed

Disc 2 (55:54):  You Can’t Always Get What You Want, band introduction, Little T & A, Tumbling Dice, She’s So Cold, All Down The Line, Hang Fire, Miss You, Start Me Up, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Star Spangled Banner

Empress Valley criticize labels who use their Led Zeppelin soundboards and make improvements on them.  However they were guilty of the same act regarding the Rolling Stones 1981 Tattoo You soundboards.  Many shows were initially released by Dog N Cat only to be copied.  Fuckin’ Wonderful is a straight copy of the first two discs of Executive Action (Dog N Cat DAC-022) with identical sound.  DAC presented the two Dallas shows on four discs but EV focuses upon the Halloween performance, which is the better of the two.  The sound quality is excellent on this and it is a good alternative to the DAC.

Both of the Dallas shows were afternoon affairs beginning at twelve noon. With this being their first trip to “the big D” (in Mick’s words) since 1975 and occurring over the Halloween weekend with audience members in costume, the band were determined to have fun.  It must have been a bizarre sight to see audience members dressed in Halloween costumes and Mick praises them several times throughout the show. “We’re gonna spend the night trick-or-treating in the lobby of the hotel, so if anybody who wants to come is welcome. You know which hotel it is anyway. What’s the matter Keith? You lost your guitar” he says before “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and trying to explain the delay. It’s at this point where the rains begin and continue throughout the afternoon. “We play rain or shine so get your umbrellas out” Mick laughs.

“You are sweet and beautiful. And so well dressed. There are some fucking nice costumes out there I tell you” before inviting the audience to sing the chorus to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. I think the arrangement of this track, with Ernie Watt’s saxophone replacing the guitar solo, is a big improvement. Throughout the years they experimented with horns and it really works on this tour. It adds a midtown Manhattan nightclub feeling which is really fun and are not intrusive or out of tune like in 1972-73 (where “Gimme Shelter” is ruined).

The band continue despite concerns about the equipment: “I hope this equipment lasts…She’s so cold and I’m so wet” Mick says before “She’s So Cold.” Before the final song “Jumping Jack Flash” he says, “At least we get a bath”. The final encore “Satisfaction”, along with “Waiting On A Friend” earlier in the set, were dropped probably because of the weather. It’s an interesting and dramatic performance with the poor weather bringing out the best in the band.  EV use high quality glossy paper inserts for the artwork and overall did a good job in copying the Dog N Cat.   

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Rolling Stones - Fuckin' Wonderful (Empress Valley EVSD399/400), 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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