The Rolling Stones – Return Of The Marquis De Sade (Mid Valley 511)

Return Of The Marquis De Sade (Mid Valley 511)

Palais Des Sports, Paris, France – September 22nd, 1970

(71:37):  Buddy Guy & Junior Wells with Eric Clapton:  It’s My Life Baby.  The Rolling Stones:  Backstage Report, Jumping Jack Flash, Roll Over Beethoven, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Dead Flowers, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Little Queenie, Let It Rock, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man

The Rolling Stones always had an affinity for the city of Paris.  The French city took to them early in their career.  Several concerts were broadcast on Europe 1 such as the April 18th, 1965 show at L’Olympia (found on Paris Match (Dog N Cat DAC-007)) and on April 11th, 1967 (one of their final live shows with Brian Jones and which is unfortunately undocumented). 

On their first tour of Europe on four years, The Stones played three shows at the Palais Des Sports on September 22nd, 23rd and 24th.  Paris was the only city to schedule more than one show.

September 22nd, the first night, was broadcast live on French radio on Europe 1.  The complete broadcast was recorded off the air and has been released several times in the past, including Paris 1970 (Idol Mind Productions IMP-CD 014) in 1992 and Paris Affair (VGP-127) in 1997.

It is a good mono recording, lacking in significant dynamics but is a good record of the show.  Mid Valley sounds a bit more clean than the other titles.  The radio DJs never stop talking, however, chattering between each song and even during some songs, like in the middle of “Midnight Rambler” and during half of “Live With Me.” 

Mid Valley also include one song from the opening act.  Buddy Guy and Junior Wells opened the three shows for the Stones, and on the first night were joined by Eric Clapton for “It’s My Life Baby.”  Clapton, who was touring the UK as Derek And The Dominoes for the second time, flew over for this one song and returned the next day in time for a show in Brighton the next night.  Clapton’s presence in the song is immediately noticed by both audience and announcers, who start jabbering over Clapton’s wonderful solo. 

The next track is a very short fragment from backstage.  One of the DJs asks one of the Stones (not sure which one) if Clapton will be joining The Stones also.  The answer is in the positive, although Clapton ultimately does not jam.

The Stones deliver a brilliant performance under tense conditions.  Ron Schneider, business manager for the Rolling Stones at the time, recalled:  “Now for Europe at this time…there was violent unrest in many of the cities.  Driving to the Paris show, we had to swerve in and out between overturned burning cars … At the Paris show while I was roaming around back stage, I opened a door behind the stage and walked into a giant room that was filled with black clothed riot gear armed French police. 

“As I stated earlier, another interesting note about the Paris concert:  word got to Chip Monck that the Hell’s Angels were there and one of them had a gun.  We were told that we could spot the Angels because they were shirtless with badges stuck into their chests.  Chip got to them and asked if they had a gun … the guy said yes but it was a starter’s pistol and he just wanted to shoot it in the air … he reconsidered…and then there was the audience in Paris.  All the royalty had come out and they were in the front rows of the concert.”

The opening notes of “Jumping Jack Flash” set the audience (and announcers) off into a frenzy.  The limitations of the tape source lend a strange otherworldly quality to the concert, a dark edge to the songs.  It is especially apparent in “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Stray Cat Blues” and “Midnight Rambler.”

“Honky Tonk Women” sounds strange because Taylor’s guitar seems to disappear.  The show ends with “Street Fighting Man,” the band’s nod to the 1968 riots in Paris.

Mid Valley did a good, comprehensive job with such a rare show.  It’s nice to add the Clapton track and the backstage report.  It’s such a good show, it makes one hope there would be a rebroadcast on stereo radio someday, or if the pre-FM master were to surface.  THAT tape would be the definitive live statement of the 1970 European tour.  Return Of The Marquis De Sade (I’m not sure what the Marquis De Sade has to do with the Stones – and I didn’t even know he left) is packaged in a standard jewel case with nice and thick inserts.  It’s a quality production very much worth having.

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  1. Thanks for the review & I’ll second the hopes that the broadcast will be re-discovered & played on radio soon. It would be nice to have a gig like this in stereo quality especially knowing the situation that it was recorded under.
    The Marquis line at the end made me laugh out loud.


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