Munich At Least (Dog N Cat DAC-066)
Olympiahalle, Munich, West-Germany – September 28th, 1973 (1st & 2nd Show)
Disc1, early show: Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, Dancing With Mr. D, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
Disc 2 evening show: Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, Dancing With Mr. D, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
The surfacing of the new audience recording for the Rolling Stones’ early show in Munich on September 28th, 1973 gives the Dog N Cat label an opportunity to give both shows that day the premium release treatment. The first disc contains the new tape source which was first released by the Singer’s Original Discs label on An Afternoon In Munich (SODD 028). The recording in and of itself is good but is a bit thin and with a weak drum sound since only the cymbals are heard with any clarity. But the tape is also an enjoyable record of the show in distinction to the older tape source was is very distant and hasn’t been issued much. On Munich At Least the Dog N Cat label attempt to fatten the sound by increasing the lower frequencies. They lose the wonderful dynamic of the audience’s cheering throughout the show, but the music is slightly better defined.
DAC also edit in five seconds of the older tape source between “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Midnight Rambler” at the site of the cut to provide continuity, and there is about five more seconds after “Street Fighting Man” during the fade out which contains a bit more of the prelude to Act III of Wagner’s Die Walküre and someone from the Stones’ stage crew saying on stage, “give it up for the Rolling Stones.” Dog N Cat is an improvement over the SODD release in terms of completeness, but the question of sound quality is a subjective judgment. The SODD release blares out of the speakers with tremendous excitement at the beginning of the set and captures very well the energy of the performance. The Dog N Cat, on the other hand, does sound noticeably cleaner.
The evening show on disc two has seen wider circulation on commercial labels and is better known. It is an average sounding audience recording and can be found on Olympia Hall 1973 (Digger Production DP 9303) which uses this tape source, but “Street Fighting Man” fades out. From The Vault (Vinyl Gang VGP 100) uses “Brown Sugar” and “Gimme Shelter” from this tape and Satellite Delayed (Vinyl Gang VGP 273) is a copy of the Digger Productions release but has a complete “Street Fighting Man” making it the most popular version of the Munich show. Compared to the latter, Munich At Least still has noticeable levels of distortion, but Dog N Cat sounds brighter with a less boomy lower end. The gain is about the same, but DAC is much cleaner than the only VGP version. Some collectors note that DAC might be a little too clean, bordering on being piercing in the upper frequencies, and that DAC slowed the tape down to closer to the correct pitch. The tape flip between “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Midnight Rambler” has been smoothed over with a repeat of Jagger tuning up his harmonica making the transition between the songs somewhat smoother.
The evening show matches the intensity of the first with the same exact set list. At least parts of the concert were filmed by German ARD TV and were shown on the May 30th, 1976 “Kätschap” programme, which has snippets of “Brown Sugar,” “Gimme Shelter,” and “Street Fighting Man.” It must be assumed that more of the show was filmed, but whether or not it still exists is another question. The tape begins with the promoter announcing the band by saying, “Und hier ist jetzt die Rolling Stones!” The opening three songs are played at a fast pace with again Jagger handling most of the vocals for “Happy.” He also favors a low, rough intonation to many of the lyrics. “Tumbling Dice” is played very slowly with the rhythm section digging deep into the song’s groove.
Afterwards Jagger announced they will play “Two new ones, three new ones, four new ones. The first is called ‘Starfucker.'” The centerpiece of these shows are “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which is a nine minute long epic with slide guitar by Taylor, and “Midnight Rambler” which takes its time to get going in this show. “Honky Tonk Women” sounds particularly bluesy in this show before the medley of hits that closes the show. Munich At Least is packaged in a double slimline jewel case and has a dramatic stage shot on the front cover. The back and insert have a very strange picture of Jagger where he looks diabolical. This is a good opportunity to pick up the new tape source for the early show and visit again the late show in an attractive edition.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)