The Rolling Stones – We All Miss Charlie So Much (Empress Valley EV 1517/1518)

The Rolling Stones, ‘We All Miss Charlie So Much’ (Empress Valley EV 1517/1518)

Disk 1: Intro / Street Fighting Man /  It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll / ‘Here’s To You, Charlie’ / Tumbling Dice / Under My Thumb / 19th Nervous Breakdown / Wild Horses / You Can’t Always Get What You Want / Living In A Ghost Town / Start Me Up / Honky Tonk Women (60:34)

Disk Two: ‘Band Introductions’ / Happy / Slipping Away / Miss You / Midnight Rambler / Paint It Black / Sympathy For The Devil / Jumping Jack Flash / Gimme Shelter / Satisfaction / outro (75:11)

The Dome At America’s Center, St. Louis, Missouri, USA 26th September 2021

It didn’t take long for the first show of the Stones return to be announced or to show up on silver disk – While there might have been a couple of quick CD-R releases, we, as usual, are generally concerned with the pressed CD. We reviewed No Label’s double disk release and also Goldplate’s triple disk release in tandem. It wouldn’t be right to miss out Empress Valley’s effort – Another two disk budget edition in a slimline case. 

It is, of course, a case of the same (old) song. All of these releases were drawn from the same recording – from the intro (Amy Winehouse’s cover of ‘Valerie’ plays over the PA before the lights dim and Charlie’s percussion floods the airways all the way through to the snap, crackle and pop of the fireworks at the end of the show. The sound of the show is absolutely terrific – Obvious audience noise but the sound is so clear it verges upon being a soundboard matrix was there not the slight echo bounce of the stadium. 

It’s a great gig. Any nervousness regards Steve Jordan joining the crew is set aside as he fits right alongside the existing Stones, meanwhile they cement the new relationship by playing better than the past few years tours – focused, alert and flashy – the change, though unfortunate, and the pandemic, seem to have lit a fire under the band and they’re running the stage as well as they can now, rewarding the attendees for their patience. 

A great if slim visual look to the cardboard sleeve, shonky title aside, the text is good and clear, very easy to read and the silkscreen disks are just a joy to behold. 

You could pick up any version of this set and you’d be happy – For the full deal, I’d argue that the Goldplate set would be best, it’s a toss up for the audio between the Empress Valley and No Label versions however – completists will complete, no doubt, though! 

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