Live In London (His Master’s Choice HMC007)
(69:39) The Palladium, London, England – December 1st, 1968: stage noise, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Darlin’, Sloop John B, California Girls, Do It Again, Wake The World, Bluebirds Over The Mountain, God Only Knows, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, All I Want To Do. The Astoria, Finsbury Park, London – December 8th, 1968: Darlin’, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Sloop John B, California Girls, Do It Again, Wake The World, Aren’t You Glad, Bluebirds Over The Mountain, Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, Good Vibrations, announcement, God Only Knows, Barbara Ann
DVD: 1968 European Tour
i’ve had the chance to listen to this set today & give it it’s comparison against the Dumb Angel release of 2001. the first thing you’ll notice is the chatter at the beginning this is a previously unheard portion of tape that features the Beach Boys, various stage hands & possibly the Palladiums promoter – expressly the Promoter & Mike Love chatting about the songs that are on the set list for that night & a little musical noodleing including the theremin & some guitar licks. the same for the Astoria tape that precedes Darlin’ at first i though this might be soundcheck material as there’s no evidence of audience noise but as Wouldn’t It Be Nice is about to kick in the audience quickly fades in.
the previous Dumb Angel tape was marred by tape problems during the start of Wouldn’t It Be Nice – a series of tape chews & fluctuations in sound. on this new tape then the chews are all gone but the fluctuations persist. notable on both tapes is the distortion on Carl’s voice – i presume this was done at the mixing desk while the performance was being taped & only lasts a few seconds nothing to disrupt from the fun of an explosive performance. the only other problem with this tape is the terrible MC-ing by Mike Love which i’m sure you’ll all remember from the first release. thankfully he dosen’t do his Yoko bit all over the songs but it’s frustrating to think that he was given free reign to babble his way through the quiet bits.
the sound itself in contrast to the Dumb Angel set is a much fuller sounding tape. it’s a little deeper, a bit richer & more “surround” but does feature a little more ambient hum than the first tape.
all in all i preferred the HMC version – it has a bigger, better sound & is longer at the beginings & includes announcements not heard elsewhere ( the HMC is longer by around 5 mins but that includes the stage noise featured at the beginning.
HMCs second disk – the DVD of the 1968 European Tour has also been bootlegged before ( i’ve heard, although i haven’t seen it before, then the sound hasn’t been synced properly. ) HMC have got a great release on it’s hands again with a great transfer of the film to DVD & awesome sound. unfortunately the producers have not added a menu to his DVD but have spliced the film in to 30 different chapters none of which make any sense to me to be honest as the film is shot in a spliced style & features, to my ears, some rather enticing rarities – including soundcheck jam sessions. because of the eclectic style it’s difficult to pinpoint if the sound COULD be synced enough but from the clips i’ve watched it seems to work well enough. it’s certainly been more enjoyable than the Marianne Faithful narrated “The Beach Boys In London” film.
do i need to tell you about the packaging? it’s the usual hard backed HMC book with liner notes “borrowed” from Keith Badman’s Beach Boys Diary book, brilliant full colour picture sleeves from around the world & a European tour 1968 itinerary.