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Mick Jagger – Foxy Nights (no label)

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Foxy Nights (no label)

Mick Jagger Foxy Nights is a good follow-up to 2 Nights In Dome (no label) released just after Christmas in 2009.  The new four disc set presents the two Nagoya shows from Jagger’s Japan tour in 1988.  It forms a bit of continuity with the older release because Nagoya directly followed Tokyo on the itinerary and these two shows were taped by the same guy. 

The March 25th show has never been released on silver, and the March 26th show was released by Vinyl Gang many years ago from an older tape source.  The sound quality for both of the new Nagoya tapes is very good to excellent, far excelling anything that’s been produced in the past.  

The setlist is almost the same as the Tokyo show.  Songs from She’s The Boss and Primitive Cool, his two solo albums, are played among many Rolling Stones songs, including many that had not been performed in a long time such as “Bitch,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy For The Devil.”

These shows also are the first to feature background singers for the first time in Mick Jagger/Rolling Stones concert, including Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer.  But the biggest addition to his touring band was guitarist Joe Satriani.  Jagger joined Satriani onstage on January 26 of this year at The Bottom Line in New York, performing Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House.”  The guitarist was hired that night.

Not everyone was thrilled by Jagger’s stage show.  In August 1988, Keith Richards was quoted about Jagger’s Japan shows:  “I thought it was very sad that a high percentage of his show was Rolling Stones songs. If you’re going to do something on your own, do stuff off the two albums you did. Don’t pretend you’re a solo artist and have two chicks prancing around doing ‘Tumbling Dice,’ do you know what I mean? That severely pisses me off.”

Jagger’s solo career is an interesting sidelight in the story of the Stones.  While not as bad as claimed, it is pretty clear that his particular talents really need the other Stones to really work.  Live documents such as this release are great to have given their rarity. 

International Exhibition Hall, Nagoya, Japan – March 25th, 1988

Disc 1 (57:30):  Opening, Honky Tonk Women, Throwaway, Bitch, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Beast Of Burden, Tumbling Dice, Miss You, Ruby Tuesday, Just Another Night, War Baby, Harlem Shuffle, Foxy Lady

Disc 2 (70:14):  Party Doll, Band introduction, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Radio Control, drum solo, guitar solo, Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, It’s Only Rock n Roll, Jumping Jack Flash, Sympathy For The Devil, Satisfaction

The audience recording starts off quite distant during Bill Graham’s introduction of Mick Jagger and for “Honky Tonk Women” and “Throwaway.”  By the time they start “Bitch,” the taper has moved closer to the stage (and the cheering has calmed down), and the rest of the show it is a slightly distant but very clear recording.  There is a tape flip after “Just Another Night.”

Much like the Tokyo shows, the Nagoya audience like the Stones material, but love the new solo material much better.  “Honky Tonk Women” is a good opener, but sounds strange without the rest of the band.  “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and “Miss You” sound very good in their New York cabaret arrangements. 

But “Just Another Night” is the first truly exciting song of the night.  Joe Satriani shreds the audience in the song by adding his blistering talent to the performance.  The somber “War Baby” is very contemplative by contrast.

“Harlem Shuffle” is played in the Dirty Work arrangement but with Satriani adding an 80′s hair metal style gutiar break in the middle.  Poison meets The Rolling Stones!

Afterwards Jagger makes a change in the set.n previous nights “Say You Will” was played, but they play a cover of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” instead.  It is a noble attempt.  Satriani has a lot of fun spitting out the well-known heavy-rock riffs, and Jagger does his best to interject some emotion into the tune.

But Jagger favors “a little bit of country music, I think” which is how he describes “Party Doll.”  He always had a fascination with American country and western music.  This tune is in line with past songs such as “Dead Flowers” and “Far Away Eyes.” 

“Radio Control” is followed by a long Simon Phillips drum solo, one of the best in the business, followed by Satriani’s guitar solo.  A long string of old hits follow, ending the set with “Jumping Jack Flash.”  

Japanese musician Stomu Yamashta joins the band on percussion for two songs, “Sympathy For the Devil” and “Satisfaction.”  (Yamashta is most well known for collaborating with Steve Winwood in the band Go and for writing pieces for film scores such as The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Devils). 

International Exhibition Hall, Nagoya, Japan – March 26th, 1988

Disc 3 (57:11):  Opening, Honky Tonk Women, Throwaway, Bitch, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Beast Of Burden, Tumbling Dice, Miss You, Ruby Tuesday, Just Another Night, War Baby, Harlem Shuffle, Foxy Lady

Disc 4 (71:02):  Party Doll, Band introduction, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Radio Control, drum solo, guitar solo, Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, It’s Only Rock n Roll, Jumping Jack Flash, Sympathy For The Devil, Satisfaction

Foxy Nights is the second silver title with the March 26th show.  An older tape source was pressed many years ago on Foxy Jagger (VGP-128).  This new source has the exact same characteristics of the previous Mick Jagger concerts released.  It is slightly distant from the stage, but is still and excellent three dimensional stereo recording. 

The older tape is used to patch two holes during the drum solo in “Remote Control,” but is otherwise flawless. 

This was supposed to be the final show of the tour, but Jagger and band played one more show on March 28th in Osaka as a make-up for the show that was canceled on March 19th due to his illness.  Nevertheless this is filled with enough of Jagger’s spunk and charm to make it seem as if it were the final night. 

It certainly comes close to being the definitive live Jagger-solo statement of the late eighties.  The pour as much energy into each song as possible.  The real star of the show is guitarist Joe Satriani.  He embellishes the older songs and comes very close to upstaging the star.

One can hear this in searing versions of “Beast Of Burden” and “Tumbling Dice” which again sound more at home in the eighties with in his presence than with Richards.

Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” is again played (and would be played in Osaka on the 28th), and sounds much more confident and polished.   Jagger even comes close to approaching the throaty soul of the famous Hendrix recording. 

“Party Doll” is again introduced as a piece of country music for the audience.  “Radio Control” features Phillips’ drum solo and Satriani’s white man funk as a segue into the apocalyptic “Gimme Shelter.”  A rollicking version of “It’s Only Rock And Roll” and a strangely orthodox arrangement of “Jumping Jack Flash” close the show.  Stomu Yamashta again contributes percussion to the encores, augmenting the beginning of “Sympathy For The Devil” with loud gong smashes.

Foxy Nights is another stellar Stones-related release by the no label people.  Jagger solo is tough to take for many Stones fans, but the Nagoya shows, since they are at the back end of the Japan tour, come very close to achieving whatever artistic vision he was shooting for, and for that this is worth hearing.

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Mick Jagger - Foxy Nights (no label), 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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