Oakland Coliseum Arena 1969 FM-SB (SODD-029 & bonus CD-R)
Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA – November 9th, 1969 2nd Show
Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Love In Vain, Live With Me, Gimme Shelter, Little Queenie, Satisfaction. Bonus tracks: Brown Sugar (Shelley 11\18\71 Hot Rocks Version), Wild Horses (Shelley 11\18\71 Hot Rocks Version)
Bonus CDR Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI – November 24th, 1969: Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Under My Thumb, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Little Queenie, Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man
Oakland Coliseum Arena 1969 FM-SB contains a fragmented soundboard recording of the famous November 9th late show in Oakland. An excellent quality audience recording of this show is the source for the famous Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be, but this comes from a recording that is thought to have been made by Bill Graham.
This tape was first booted on vinyl in Germany and is the source for the earliest CD release, Hangout (World Production Of Compact Music D 047-2). Oakland ’69 (Audifon AF 005) and Oakland Sixty-Nine (Vinyl Gang Product RS-692 VGP-003) are two more recent releases of this show. It is a clear and enjoyable, but is also very primitive sounding.
Further, there is a layer of hiss over the music which, if anyone attempted to remove, would completely ruin it. This raw recording was probably made only for Graham’s personal archives with no intention of radio broadcast or for use by London for Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, the official live album souvenir of the 1969 tour.
It doesn’t contain the complete show because “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Carol,” “I’m Free,” “Under My Thumb,” “Midnight Rambler,” “Honky Tonk Women,” and “Street Fighting Man” are missing. There are cuts between each song, the very beginning of “You Gotta Move” is missing and the very end of “Satisfaction” is cut off. This release on SODD comes from the same source as the others and the sound quality is comparable. Thankfully they didn’t try to improve the tape with excessive remastering but instead chose to leave the tape alone.
Bill Graham himself broadcast this tape on KSAN in San Francisco on October 29th, 1972, the same month the late, great Tom Donohue became program director for this progressive station. The existence of this tape is as much a testimony to the Stones as it is to the glory days of free form radio in the late sixties to the late seventies.
Stations like KSAN in San Francisco and WNEW in New York were not beholden to the rigid programming of the AM top-40 format and the presentation of rock and roll was as much of an art form as the music itself. Hearing music, even from popular bands, out of the context of the proscribed hits was more common then than now.
Hearing a soundboard recording this raw sounding, and of a show that isn’t the best, is unheard of today. Although this is a classic concert and everyone should have a copy of the audience recording in the collection, this is still a good example of the Stones sounding very raw and tentative.
This is the band’s first tour of the U.S. in three years and their first with new guitarist Mick Taylor, and it sounds as if the band were still getting acquainted with one another. It is apparent on the first song on this release “Sympathy For The Devil.” Although this version is good it is far from the versions played on the east coast by the end of the tour. The acoustic set is very good though and it is nice to have a very clear recording of the Rev. Robert Wilkins classic “Prodigal Son.”
“You Gotta Move” hadn’t even been recorded yet and this is a stripped down, basic rendition. The studio version on Sticky Fingers and during the Tour Of The Americas is much better. The band seem to experience equipment problems half way through “Live With Me” when Jagger says repeatedly “I think we got a problem…I think we got a problem.” Jagger speaks about an echo on his voice before “Gimme Shelter.”
SODD include two bonus tracks. Both “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses” come from the initial pressing of Hot Rocks on November 18th, 1971. The copies can be identified by the word Shelley and the date 11-18-71 scratched into the trail off on the vinyl. (Shelley refers to the poet Percy B. Shelley whose poem “Adonis” Mick read as a eulogy for Brian Jones at the Hyde Park in July 1969).
These tracks have been included on various CD releases including Bright Lights Big City (VGP-307). “Brown Sugar” is much closer to the original demo heard in the hotel room sequence in the film Gimme Shelter but lacks the saxophone, and “Wild Horses” has more reverb on the vocals. There are two hundred copies of the bonus CDR with the audience recording from Detroit on November 24th, 1969. This tape appears on the CD release Live From Detroit 1969 (Minotauro Records 1405-A). It hasn’t been released many times so the bonus makes it worthwhile.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)