End Of Europe 1976 (Exile EXCD-23/24)
Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria – June 23rd, 1976
Disc 1 (52:04): Honky Tonk Women, If You Can’t Rock Me-Get Off My Cloud, Hand Of Fate, Hey Negrita, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Fool To Cry, Hot Stuff, Star Star, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Disc 2 4823: Intros, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Nothing From Nothing, Outta Space, Midnight Rambler, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, Brown Sugar, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
The Rolling Stones’ 1976 tour of Europe ended with two dates in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, their first appearance in a communist country since visiting Poland in April 1967, and at the Stadthalle in Vienna on June 23rd. Two tapes exist for this show. One was used for an earlier Exile release Happy for You (EXCD-016/17) and Starfucking in Vienna 76 (TMQ 23676). End Of Europe is the second Exile release of this show and for this they use the second tape source which was also used on Tour of Europe ’76 (Blue Danube Records RST 761/762).
The sound quality of this tape is fair to good, taped a fair distance from the stage. Musically it is thin but ultimately clear enough to give a good idea of the atmosphere of the show. Vienna is the closing night for what was their longest tour of Europe and what would be their last for six years and a party atmosphere pervades the set.
The tape begins right before they are announced and start playing “Honky Tonk Women.” The short “If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud” medley is played for one of the final times. It would be played in Knebworth in August and be dropped. The transition between the two numbers sounds terribly exciting.
As does “Hand Of Fate” which is one of their greatest riff driven grooves and always sounds tremendous live. It would be played in Knebworth and El Mocambo then disappear for until the Licks tour. Before “Fool To Cry” Jagger tells the audience that they are going to “sweeten it up a bit.” And the final new song of the set “Hot Stuff” is, according to Mick, “where we came in…shake it up.”
In the latter half of the show, after playing “Tumbling Dice” Jagger tells Vienna he wants to send them home with Billy Preston before his two song set. The closing finale starts with a fun version of “It’s Only Rock And Roll,” sounding more like an anthem, and an intense closer “Street Fighting Man.”
The sound quality of Exile may be an improvement depending upon one’s tastes. The label boosted the volume slightly but didn’t ruin the tape with any artifacts of their work to spoil the recording. Exile produced several excellent Rolling Stones releases and this is one of them. The packaging is high standard with several tour photographs on the artwork inserts. While Vienna is not one of the more famous shows from the era and this isn’t the best sounding tape, this is a good title to for Stones collectors.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)