Little Boys Play With Stones (Dog N Cat DAC-093)
Palais Des Sports, Lyon, France – June 9th, 1976
Disc 1 (54:34): Honky Tonk Women, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Hand Of Fate, Hey Negrita, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Fool To Cry, Hot Stuff, Star Star, Angie, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Disc 2 (43:21): band introductions, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Nothing From Nothing, Outa Space, Midnight Rambler, It’s Only Rock And Roll, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man. Bonus track, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON, Canada – June 17th, 1975: Luxury
The Rolling Stones always had a special relationship to France. It was the first country on the continent to embrace them, and it there where they went as tax exiles in 1971. Whenever the Stones tour they make sure to play multiple cities and venues throughout the country and to deliver special concerts. They made their debut in Lyon on March 31st 1966 with two shows at the Palais d’Hiver and played at the Palais des Sport on October 3rd, 1970. The June 9th show in Nice comes right after the four night run at the Pavillon de Paris and like the Paris shows was professionally recorded for possible use on the live album.
That soundboard is the source of most of the releases in the past. But on Little Boys Play With Stones Dog N Cat use the audience recording which first appeared on vinyl in 1984 on Little Boys Play With Stones(Fan Club Release M 21 A/B). This tape had been used in the past to fill in gaps in the soundboard recording, notably the beginning of “Honky Tonk Women,” the end of “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man” on Backstage Unlimited 1976 (Vinyl Gang VGP 203). It is distant and slightly muffled but enjoyable nonetheless. There there is a cut in “Hot Stuff” which cuts off about half the song, a cut at the very end of “Tumbling Dice” and at the end of “Street Fighting Man.”
The performance is a joyful expansion of the Paris shows with the same enthusiasm and commitment to the new material. “Honky Tonk Women” is the opener and sounds a bit stale. The staccato opening is very effective at the the start of the show, but it has a tendency to plot along as it does here. But things pick up with “If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud,” and arrangement honed to perfection and sees Jagger and Billy Preston singing back and forth.
The rest of the first half of the set is devoted to the new songs, something they’ve been doing in their stage act for years. Lyon seem to really enjoy “Star Star”: their cheers are the loudest of the night during that song. “Angie” was added to the set for the first Paris show and would remain there for the next week.
Keith comes up to sing “Happy” and “Tumbling Dice” completes a short two song Exiles set before Billy Preston steals the shows with his two songs. Things are brought back down a bit for the long and intense “Midnight Rambler” where Jagger develops the Boston stranger person into new depth. The last songs are the expected string of hits ending with “Street Fighting Man,” a song partly inspired by student riots in Paris’s Left Bank in 1968.
Dog N Cat include “Luxury” as a bonus track. Taken from a stereo soundboard recording, this was recorded at Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto on June 17th, 1975. It can also be found on We Hope Ya Like Dis One (Vinyl Gang VGP-235), a collection of soundboard fragments from that tour. “Luxury” is a cheerful sounding live ditty and this track exists as an outtake of Love You Live, the Stones’ live album from the mid sevnties which was partly recorded in Paris. The cover of Little Boys Play With Stones is an exact duplication of the vinyl cover including the All-Meat Music moniker. This is the most complete version of Lyon on silver and is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)