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The Rolling Stones – Rockin’ At The Forum 1975 Last Night (SODD 036/037)

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Rockin’ At The Forum 1975 Last Night (SODD 036/037)

The Forum, Los Angeles, CA – July 13th, 1975

Disc 1 (76:29):  Fanfare For The Common Man, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Star Star, Gimme Shelter, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Happy, Tumbling Dice, band introduction, It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll

Disc 2 (78:20):  Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), Fingerprint File, Angie, Wild Horses, That’s Life, Outta Space, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, Rip This Joint, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash, Sympathy For The Devil

The July 13th, 1975 concert is the final of five at the LA Forum for the Rolling Stones in the middle of their Tour Of The Americas. It is also the most well known with two separate, excellent sounding audience recordings that have been in release since right after the actual performance. In 1975 Idol Mind issued this show on two separate vinyl LPs. Who Went To Church This Sunday?: 1975 Tour Of The Americas, Pt. 1 and Charlie Watts And His Fabulous Rolling Stones: 1975 Tour Of The Americas, Pt. 2. Afterwards, in 1976 Moonstone Records combined the two on a double LP called 1975 Tour Of The Americas.

Some tracks from this show also appear on the vinyl L.A. Friday on Dragonfly, along with some tracks from the July 9 and July 10th shows. There are also 3LP sets under the name of 1975 Tour Of The Americas documenting the complete show. These vinyl titles were in constant release for fifteen years until the first compact discs carrying this show arrived on the scene. The vinyl were sourced from the first tape source which was confiscated, along with the stampers, in a raid in 1979 from the woman behind Idol Mind. The compact disc releases are sourced from Mike Millard’s excellent recording.

The masters have never been used (for any Millard sourced release), but come from a first generation from the VHS cassette tape. Among the earliest CD releases of this show are I Never Talked To Chuck Berry (Part 1) (Silver Rarities I.C.P A 202 7) and I Never Talked To Chuck Berry (Part 2) (I.C.P A 203 5) on the old Silver Rarities label.  Live In L.A. 1975 (Headliner 005) is a one disc in very good sound quality but obviously incomplete.

Starfuckers (Flashback Productions 04900119 01), You Can’t Rock Me (Stones Of Fire SOF 9005A/B), and The Complete LA Friday Tapes (Dandelion DL 036/037/038/039) are all releases from the early to mid nineties who issued the tape in excellent quality. Idol Mind again released this on L.A. Forum 75 (IMP-CD-026/027) and it can be found on Forum, Los Angeles, July 13th 1975 (RS 1/2). Vinyl Gang used this tape on three separate releases beginning with L.A. Friday 1975 (VGP-082) that was re-released as Who Went To Church This Sunday with the same matrix number. It was included on the discs five and six of The Lost Millard Masters (VGP-340) released in 2003 and also containing the July 11th and July 12th tapes.

Tarantura issued the tape on Fanfare For The Bootleg Man (Tarantura TCDRS-4-1/2/3) and Empress Valley use the tape for the 2001 box set Whores, Cocaine, And A Bottle Of Jack, a nine disc set with all of the LA Forum shows. Empress Valley subsequently re-released this show on a three CD set also called Whores, Cocaine, And A Bottle Of Jack (EVSD-43/44/45). Rockin’ At The Forum 1975 Last Night on the SODD label is the latest release and, according to their press release, utilize a copy from Millard’s VHS tape. This generation surfaced about two years ago and it does sound great.

Some claim this is the best sounding audience recording to emerge from the seventies. It is arguable, but it is one of the top ten tapes. The actual concert is as strong as the others in Los Angeles in 1975. The tape picks up during the “Fanfare For The Common Man” backing tape with the electronic rhythms underneath. This was played while the Chinese dragon made is way around the venue before the lotus shaped stage opened up to the strains of “Honky Tonk Women.”

The Stones have the auxiliary musicians on stage with them including the horn section of Steve Lawrence, Stave Madaio, Bobby Keys and Ed Davis, the same ones who joined them on the previous two tours. Billy Preston also supplemented the sound and plays several of his own songs later in the set. It is interesting that the horn section is minimized compared to the previous three tours in favor of Preston’s keyboards.

“If You Can’t Rock Me” is the first song played from the latest LP It’s Only Rock N Roll and is segued with “Get Off Of My Cloud” as it would be for the whole of this tour in 1976 in Europe. “We’re gonna do this song about a girl from New York who got herself in a difficult position…position number thirty-two, c’mon please” Mick says before “Starfucker.” For the female vocalization in “Gimme Shelter,” the annoying horns from 1973 were replaced with synthesizer and sounds much better.

It is before “Tumbling Dice” where Jagger gets into his famous rap about church, where he asks, “who went to church this Sunday? Nobody here went to church today? Everybody who went to church today say yeah.” There is a sizable applause. “I think you’re lying. I don’t believe a word.” Someone close to the taper says, “I’m in church now.” “I think Billy went to church today. Did you go to church today, Billy? Yeah?”

Afterwards there is a long delay because of Wood’s malfunctioning, out-of-tune guitar and Jagger introduces the band earlier than he normally would. “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” is the one radical in the set list, most of the time appearing but other times not. This arrangement has the clavinet replacing the horn section and includes a subdued funk workout in the middle. “Fingerprint File” is one of the highlights of the tour and is the source for many dramatic images of Mick strumming the rhythm guitar before going to sleep on stage at the song’s conclusion. “Angie” and “Wild Horses” are the two slow ballads before giving way for Preston’s two numbers.

He was playing before his hometown and receives a thunderous applause and gets the place riled up for the finale of the classics beginning with “Brown Sugar.” “Jumping Jack Flash” is the official closer but for the New York and Los Angeles concerts they came back for “Sympathy For The Devil.”  The song was semi-retired after 1970, but was given these special airings.

The Stones were joined onstage by the Steel Band Association Of America to add to the jam as they all marched around the stage before the leaves of the flower petal closes on them all. SODD is limited to five hundred copies and two hundred come with two bonus cdrs containing the audience recording of the June 22nd, 1975 Madison Square Garden show. Outside of the big sets on Vinyl Gang and Empress Valley, this is probably the best way to now obtain this show. The sound quality is outstanding as should be expected from a Millard tape and this title is worth seeking out.

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