21 August 2006, gsparaco @ 6:57 pm
The Great Lost Live Album (Dog N Cat DAC-047)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – July 25th, 1972 (late show)
The three day long finale of the Stones’ 1972 tour in New York is quite rightly legendary. Between the first New York show on Monday, July 24th with Truman Capote dancing on stage and Bob Dylan in the audience and the Wednesday show on July 26th, the final show of the tour on Mick Jagger’s twenty-ninth birthday, the Tuesday concerts have been seriously neglected. In the reams of newspaper and magazine articles documenting the event these concerts on Tuesday are scarcely mentioned. A lack of aural documentation also cast these shows in a shroud of obscurity that only recently has been lifted. The only fragment to surface are ”Brown Sugar” and “Street Fighting Man” shown on ”The Dick Cavett Show” along with a backstage interview with Jagger. These two tracks were released on Happy Birthday Mick on Montserrat Records (BRCD 1918) and the Touring Party 1972 box set on Rattlesnake (RS 048-054).
In 2004 a good but incomplete (missing “All Down The Line”) tape surfaced and was quickly booted on New York New York on Exile (Exile 33/34/35) followed by Cold English Blood Runs Hot by Vinyl Gang (VGP 372) and lastly (Five English Gentlemen Spend A Day In A) New York Garden on Darthdisc (FAP-007/008/009). All of these three disc sets issued the tape with an audience tape of the afternoon show. The Vinyl Gang also ran at the wrong speed. The Great Lost Live Album documents the second audience source for the Stones’ second show on July 25th to surface in three years. The sound quality is a noticeable improvement over the first tape source with much more clarity although it is still not the best listening experience. The tape becomes a little muffled during “Tumbling Dice” but clears up by the end and some deterioration in “All Down The Line” that lasts to the end of the tape is evident.
Ellen Willis mentioned in the August 12th, 1972 issue of the New Yorker “Tuesday night’s concert had a subtly different quality from Monday night’s. The evening was cooler, and the audience was more warmly and less outlandishly dressed, and more subdued, though it must be understood that ‘subdued’ in the context of a Rolling Stones concert is a purely comparative term. Part of the sound system kept going off with a great electronic crackle, but it had come on for good by the time the Stones got to ‘Love In Vain,’ which is a slow blues by Robert Johnson and is one of the two songs written by others which they performed (The second was ‘Bye, Bye, Johnny,” by Chuck Berry.) On Tuesday night, the high quality of the Stones as musicians was more apparent.” The problem with the PA isn’t noticeable in this recording and either the author got the show wrong or the tape is too poor to have picked it up.
Willis is correct about her assessment of the show being more subdued than the others. Some say the Stones should have stopped the tour in Philadelphia since the New York shows illustrate the fatigue of the band. Regardless of opinion this is still a solid show and this release is one of the better audience tapes from this tour. As a bonus DAC include two tracks from the June 25th early show in Houston. “Happy” and “All Down The Line” first surfaced on the DVD Ladies & Gentlemen on 4Reel productions and allegedly come from a broadcast of ”The Old Grey Whistle Test”. They are in excellent mono with fade-outs at the end. There is no mention of the date, city or venue on the tape so we have to take their word on it. There is no reason to doubt its attribution to that date and is a good fragment to have and hopefully more will surface in the future. The Great Lost Live Album is a good release by Dog N Cat and is a definite upgrade from the previous releases of this concert.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)