It’s Just A Kiss Away (Dog N Cat DAC-101)
It’s Just A Kiss Away compiles two new tape sources from The Rolling Stones’ 1970 tour of Europe. The tapes come from the opening night of the tour and one of the final nights in Frankfort. Ostensibly a continuation of the 1969 North American tour, this served also as a promotion for Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, the live souvenir from that tour.
But just as 1969 was The Stones’ transition from being a pop act to being a viable touring live band in the US, so 1970 marked their first tour of Europe since 1967. The agenda was the same however and they retained a similar set as the year before with “Jumping Jack Flash” the opening number, closing with “Street Fighting Man” and with “Midnight Rambler” the big show stopper in the middle.
Several new songs “Dead Flowers” and “Let It Rock” were added to the set while older tunes like “Under My Thumb” and, rather surprisingly, “Satisfaction” were dropped completely.
The tour started in Malmö, Sweden’s third biggest city and close to Helsingborg, the city where they began their 1967 tour of Europe and would continue for twenty-two shows over five weeks. Many of the shows were recorded and have been pressed. Dog N Cat in particular have devoted much space in their catalogue for this tour.
Baltiska Hallen, Malmö, Sweden – August 30th, 1970
Disc 1 (70:04): Jumping Jack Flash, Roll Over Beethoven, Sympathy for the Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Dead Flowers, Midnight Rambler, Gimme Shelter, Live With Me, Let It Rock, Little Queenie, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man
The first night of the tour has been issued before on Sweden 1970 (VGP-032) and Maid in Sweden (VGP-105). Dog N Cat use a new source for the show to emerge recently and the claimed to have cleaned up the tape. It is a distant and distorted recording but clear enough to appreciate the action onstage as it unfolds and has the show complete.
“Jumping Jack Flash” starts off the show and Mick sings the song much closer to the studio recording than he did on the US tour the previous year. It also sounds much like it does on Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, released about this time. “Roll Over Beethoven” is played next, replacing “Carol” in the setlist as the first of the two Chuck Berry covers. Outside of radio broadcasts, this is the first confirmed performance of “Roll Over Beethoven” in concert.
After “Love In Vain” they play “two numbers on acoustic guitars and stools.” Keith’s guitar is buried in the PA mix and after Mick asks the audience “can you hear it?” is it audible. The two songs, “Prodigal Son” and “You Gotta Move” are retained from the 1969 tour but the latter would be dropped halfway through Europe leaving only “Prodigal Son.”
“Dead Flowers,” which was recorded for Sticky Fingers the previous April, receives its premier live performance and after “Midnight Rambler” they play “Gimme Shelter.” This is another hold over from the previous year but would be dropped after this show. It is a strange performance too, sounding as if they were experimenting with a new arrangement of the piece.
“Let It Rock” is another song that receives its first live performance in this show. “Brown Sugar” is also interoduced by Mick as a new song. Of course it was premiered at Altamant, but it’s assumed it was played in the London shows late in December 1969 even though there is no evidence. The show ends with a perfect “Honky Tonk Women” and “Street Fighting Man” and, as was their standard, no encore.
Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany – October 5th, 1970
Disc 2 (74:03): Jumping Jack Flash, Roll Over Beethoven, Sympathy for the Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Prodigal Son, Dead Flowers, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Let It Rock, Little Queenie, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man. Bonus tracks, Altamont Speedway, CA – December 6th, 1969: Jumping Jack Flash, Stray Cat Blues
By the end of the tour the Stones played two nights in the Festhalle in Frankfurt. Dog N Cat released both shows several years ago on Bring On The Dancing Girls (Dog N Cat DAC-016). The October 5th show on the first disc of that set is good to very good and enjoyable but incomplete, missing two songs “Let It Rock” and “Little Queenie.”
DAC used the second tape source for the two missing songs on Dancing Girls, but It’s Just A Kiss Away presents the entire tape. It still isn’t the best, but it sounds much better on this than on the older release.
The concert itself is very good but the band sound tired. The source of the lethargy isn’t apparent in the recording. Perhaps the mediocre quality of the recordings contribute to this feeling. But this comes off as an average 1970 Europe show.
It is also shorter since both “You Gotta Move” and “Gimme Shelter” were dropped by this time. The newer songs, “Dead Flowers,” “Let It Rock” and especially “Brown Sugar” do sound very exciting and are the highlights of the set.
The two bonus tracks are taken from the December 6th, 1969 Altamont show. “Jumping Jack Flash” and the first ninety seconds of “Stray Cat Blues” come from an enjoyable and clear soundboard recording. DAC edit one of the audience tapes for the rest of the second song. The quality of the soundboard is so enjoyable that it raises the hope that this is a teaser for the entire show from this source.
It’s Just A Kiss Away is a good release on DAC but really isn’t essential since these shows are all out in better sound quality on other releases.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)