Swiss Made (Tarantura TCDRS-8-1, 2)
Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland – June 15th, 1976
Disc 1 (39:26): Opening, Honky Tonk Women, If You Can’t Rock Me, Get Off Of My Cloud, Hand Of Fate, Hey Negrita, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Fool To Cry, Hot Stuff, Star Star
Disc 2 (53:57): You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Band introductions, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Nothing From Nothing, Outa Space, Midnight Rambler, Brown Sugar, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
The Rolling Stones hit a strange adolescence in the mid-seventies. Intent on developing past their blues roots and build upon their classic work, they incorporated the sounds of Caribbean culture into their music. They weren’t completely successful but even their lesser songs are interesting on some level and the concerts during this time were a lot of fun.
When they toured Europe in the summer of 1976, the highpoint were the four Paris shows in early June. Those concerts contributed a television special and much of the live album Love You Live. A week later they played in the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. They first played in Zurich nine year before on April 14th, 1967. They skipped Switzerland altogether in 1970 and played three shows in Bern in 1973.
The recording of the June 15th show in Zurich is a very good to excellent stereo audience tape. It is complete except for a small gap after “Midnight Rambler” which is filled by another tape. It first was released in 1985 on the 2LP Get Off Of My Stone. The only silver disc to have any part of this show is Seid Ihr Wach? (Vinyl Gang Product VGP 098) with “Street Fighting Man” as a bonus track.
About two and a half minutes of “Honky Tonk Women” were included in a news telecast on Zurich television which can be found can be found on Through The Past Darkly: Sucking in the 70′s and 80′s (Apocalypse Sound AS 164). The audio is dubbed over from the studio recording, but it has excellent shots of Mick Jagger dressed in his red and white pajamas with headdress.
Swiss Made on Tarantura is the first and only silver pressed version of the complete show. It has a really nice, natural and full live sound with minimal remastering applied by the label. It’s a real treat to hear.
The performance itself is mixed. At times the band sound very tired and sluggish and others they blaze through the material with much energy. Perhaps the excitement of the Paris gigs caught up with them, but the opening “Honky Tonk Women” crawls across the stage with little enthusiasm.
But things pick up fast with a magnificent “If You Can’t Rock Me” and “Get Off Of My Cloud” medley. After Jagger greets Zurich they play many of the songs off of the new album Black And Blue. “Hand Of Fate” hits a nice groove but “Hey Negrita” is troubled and difficult to sit through. It’s melody is very clunky and hard to digest, but guitar bridge has some nice moments.
After The Temptations cover “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” they follow with two more new songs. “Fool To Cry” seems to test the audience’s patience, but “Hot Stuff” gets them moving and creates quite a stir. During the previous week they followed “Star Star” with “Angie,” one of the sad and slow songs. But it was dropped for this show so they continue with “You Gotta Move.”
Jagger cracks several jokes at the band’s expense before introducing Keith Richards to sing “Happy.” After “Tumbling Dice” Billy Preston has his two song set, “Nothing From Nothing” and “Outta Space.”
The band return to the stage for the second long epic of the night “Midnight Rambler.” Teetering on the brink of disaster, there are several major flubs which prompt Jagger spit expletives during the middle solo. It has its chilling moments, however, when Jagger grunts in response to Woods and Richards guitars.
The finale of the show starting with “Brown Sugar” works very well. “Street Fighting Man” is stretched to unbearable intensity before closing the night.
Swiss Made is packaged in a gatefold cardboard sleeve with several photographs from the tour on the artwork. Tarantura have done what the no label people have been doing for years: identifying Rolling Stones shows that have been released on vinyl in the past but never on CD and producing really nice editions for the collection. The performance is uneven but still very enjoyable and worth having and Tarantura have made a very nice title to have.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)