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The Rolling Stones – Stoning The Coliseum (Godfather Records GR 605)

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Stoning The Coliseum (Godfather Records GR 605)

Oakland, CA. Alameda County Coliseum, November 9, 1969. Second Show. 

Introduction / Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Carol / Sympathy For The Devil / Stray Cat Blues / Prodigal Son / You Gotta Move / Love In Vain / I’m Free / Under My Thumb / Midnight Rambler / Live With Me / Gimmie Shelter / Little Queenie / Satisfaction / Honky Tonk Women / Street Fighting Man [ 74:45 ] 

Towards the end of 2010 a new source appeared for the second Rolling Stones Oakland, November 1969 show. Originally premiered on D&C’s “Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be” which also featured the evening’s opening acts plus the original FM soundboard source of Bill Graham’s & the old TMoQ source from years ago.

The Don has gone for a pared down effort presenting us with just the Stones set ( As the opening supports sets were fragmentary then it would seem that their inclusion would be like that of the bonus to the anniversary release of “Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out!” – Only worth the effort for the überfan. ) which, unlike previous releases of this show is complete – right from the introduction to the end of Street Fighting Man. 

It has been suggested that the tape used for this release is marred by its distance from the stage but even in it’s current state it sounds fantastic. There do appear to be a couple of fluctuations in volume within the first couple of minutes of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” but this could be due to the age of the tape or the volume being set as the Stones kick off.

While it’s a mono source, the tape also sounds open towards the end of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” For instance, as the guitar fades, it sounds as if you’re standing within the audience. A good set of headphones will take you right in there. 

He apologizes for the lateness of the bands arrival before the band roll in to “Carol” – The foremost instruments that are heard are Bill Wyman’s truculent &; Mick Taylor’s burning guitar parts – His soloing tonight is magnificent. Throughout all this Jagger’s vocals are clear enough for every word that’s sung – he’s obviously found his knack again based on the excited laughter that he emits various times throughout the track.

Straight into a crunchy, sharp “Sympathy for the Devil” – Jagger’s take on Charles Baudelaire’s writing or steal from Mikhail Bulgarkov’s recently translated novel “The Master & Margarita”. Building up his showmanship Jagger really enunciates the lyrics rather than slurring or drawling them. Towards the end the instrumentation clears to a simple & quiet crawl before racing back with a roar while Jagger unleashes his whoops & howls. It’s a basic trick that musicians have been using for years but it never fails to build anticipation for whats about to build. 

“Stray Cat Blues” is the infamous live variant where Jagger, tongue firmly in cheek, brings his conquests age down to 13 years old, obviously wishing to toe the line where these matters were concerned, he also wanted to bring the focus back “To the ladies .. ” The Ribald tone of the track either engendering his fascination with them or repelling them.  

Stools are brought out to the stage for the band to seat themselves for the acoustic section of “Prodigal Son” & “You Gotta Move”. The clear form of the tape ensuring that we hear Jagger’s scat singing between verses but also that there’s a little ambient air on the tape. This isn’t too distracting but is noticeable most on the longer sections of silence on the tape.   

“Love in Vain” brings back the electric guitar & a chance for Jagger to raise his voice again. Nearly splitting hairs at the space left by his beloved as she boards the train. A fact that he acknowledges when the song ends. 

“I’m Free”, the 1965 track by the Stones, is a crawling, slouched, feline rendition of this track. A quiet solo by Taylor lacing itself throughout the middle section while the rest of the band plod, velvet underground like, throughout their motions. 

Announced as ‘Under my crust .. Ok, Oldies but goodies’, “Under My Thumb” is now free of the various volume problems that plagued the previous recordings of this track & sounds all the better for it 

Another ‘New one’ from ‘Beggars Banquet’ – “Midnight Rambler” finds Jagger in full str-ec-hed out phrases American mode. Pausing at the most violent points of the song for prurient effect. “Everything new, I hope you don’t mind us doin’ things that are new .. but we tend to groove on new things just a little bit, y’know .. Rock ‘n’ roll, here we go” “Live With Me” follows & would have been one of Mick Taylor’s introductions to the band the song have been written & recorded in May. It’s one of there briefest tracks tracks tonight. 

“Gimme Shelter” would be the last of the most recent tracks tonight. Thankfully, as it’s not augmented by Merry Clayton, then the instrumentation comes into it’s own & brings it’s own demonic qualities – a stunning percussion section blusters through Charlie’s jazz chops spilling over through the rumble ready bass while Mick Taylor’s wild guitar dueling with Keith intensifies with each beat.

The house lights are brought up at Jagger’s request so he can see the sparkle of the audience before the band wheel out the oldies twofer of “Little Queenie” & “Satisfaction” – The first featuring none of the drop outs of earlier recordings before the “Arse shaking” begins in earnest as the Stones sprawl throughout “Satisfaction” to the audiences obvious joy. Mick Taylor has been waiting for this too as his wild, screeching guitar solo really lets loose & blows holes in the air.  

The final two tracks for tonight “Honky Tonk Women” & “Street Fighting Man” are preceded by a request from Jagger for help as the band are a little hoarse by now & could do with the help  of the audience. I shouldn’t think there wasn’t a fan in the room that couldn’t sing these word for word. 

Through Charlie’s force – 9 stomp through the end of “Honky Tonk .. ” to the turned-to-eleven spirit of “Street Fighting Man” the band really break out all the forces & stamp their enthusiasm on to the night. The tape continues on a good 25 – 30 after the band have finished to feature the noise of applause, the stomping on the floor that heightens that gesture & even includes the first bars of the closing music – A tradition that seems to be lost on a lot of todays performers. 

The packaging is nothing below the Don’s usual fantastic standard. A beautiful portrait of Jagger on stage highlighted by blue stage light & the delicate pinch of he pink scarf that he’s wearing on the cover while the back features a poster for the concert that dressed the other releases of this show.

Inside we have more stage & promo shots ( Including the “A drug free America .. ” shot from 1972 ) – The negative Kodachrome shots in this instance are fantastic studies of singular shots – hike this time we’re treated to a mini poster that features an entrancing photo of Jagger on stage showing off to the crowd while the reverse features a blurred image of a top-hatted Mick, and unawares Keith & Charlie under a listing of the 1969 American tour dates ( Rightly omitting Altamont which, rather than being part of the headlining tour, was a stand-alone concert all of its own. )

If you have to have everything in one place then the D&C compilation will suit your needs. If you have them already then the Godfather has seen you right for this show. A fantastic piece. 

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The Rolling Stones - Stoning The Coliseum (Godfather Records GR 605), 3.3 out of 5 based on 9 ratings

9 Comments

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  1. Profile photo of solly
    solly says
    August 31, 2013, 9:44 am

    I have been listening to The Swingin’ Pig release of this show since 1990. I picked this title the other day. Glad I did. This is one sweet recording! The best version of this concert I’ve ever heard, and its the complete show. This is a boot that’s in for plenty of repeated spins.

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  2. Profile photo of Lordbud
    Lordbud says
    March 8, 2012, 3:51 pm

    The good old two audie source matrix. The impressed-ness is mostly because of the original TMoQ tape used, with the alternate source spliced in where needed, per the dime download. The true 2nd source has a better instrument mix although a bit distant. The 2nd source is still being seeded.

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  3. Profile photo of pookie
    pookie says
    July 27, 2011, 5:44 pm

    Excellent audience recording; superb for the era.
    Michael

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  4. Profile photo of jerrythebarman
    February 20, 2011, 10:56 am

    Okay, here’s his notes:”I have no idea how many different sources are circulating for this show in addition to that
    used on the classic vinyl bootleg. This recording has the start of “Live with Me” missing
    due to the tape side change; perhaps this is the easiest way to distinguish it. I feel
    certain that this has made it into the trading pool already, but i don’t see it on the tracker
    and it was requested, so here it is.”

    I listened to the Godfather title again last night and I’m inclined to think it’s actually the matrix that someone else posted on Dime which uses the old TMOQ source and fills in the gaps in the old source with the “new” source. There is an edit in Under My Thumb, where an inferior-sounding source is used for a few seconds and the fact that Live With Me is complete would imply that it’s the old source used for that song. Also, I haven’t compared this with the original source (haven’t had time lately) but, to me, it sounds like the old source. The first thing I thought when I put it on was, “Wow, this sounds as good as the old source” and then, “hmmm, this sounds very much like the old source”. If that is the case, I’m happy to have this anyway, as all I had for this classic show was the old VGP release of the partial soundboard and a vinyl copy of Live’r. So, regardless, this is the most complete version of the show….and I could be completely wrong in thinking it’s mostly the old source w/ the new to fill in the gaps. Am I making any sense?

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  5. Profile photo of gsparaco
    gsparaco says
    February 20, 2011, 5:09 am

    Could you post the guy’s comments from Dime? I listened to the new source on DAC and there is no cut at the beginning of “Live With Me.” I don’t have the Godfather so I can’t listen to it.

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  6. Profile photo of jerrythebarman
    February 19, 2011, 10:04 pm

    I’m enjoying this release very much as well. The only thing that confuses me is that the person who originally shared the new source on Dime stated that it could be identified by the fact that the intro of Live With Me was missing. That is not the case here and I don’t here any edits to indicate the old source was used to complete the song, so….is this definitely the new source on the Godfather title?

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  7. Profile photo of wgpsec
    wgpsec says
    February 19, 2011, 2:54 pm

    While I have a limited Stones collection (mostly Taylor era soundboards from the Halcyon label), I very much enjoyed this title from Godfather. I was pleasantly surprised with the sound.

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  8. Profile photo of LedMan
    LedMan says
    February 12, 2011, 8:10 pm

    I was considering the D&C release because I really wanted to hear and have this fantastic source on silver. Then I heard that Godfather was planning on issuing this new source and glad I waited. This new tape is slightly distant but clear as Stu mentions above. I can hear every word out of Jagger’s mouth without headphones and sounds like he and the boys are having fun in Oakland. I prefer the “Taylor” years and this in no exception. Excellent show and balanced source and hard to believe this was taped here and in “69” in this quality!

    Thanks to the taper for sharing this gem and hope this isn’t the only band and show he or she recorded! I need to hear a Blue Cheer live source in this quality….

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  9. Profile photo of LedMan
    LedMan says
    February 9, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Excellent review and can’t wait to see and hear this new source!

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