Bunnies, Bombs, Busts & A Princess (Halcyon)
Forest National, Brussels, Belgium – October 17th, 1973 (early show)
(67:08): Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Dancing With Mr. D., Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
The Rolling Stones’ early show on October 17th, 1973 in Brussels is the one of the most popular and duplicated Stones concerts over the last forty years. Originally recorded to be a live album, the Stones and their new record company ran into legal problems with Decca, their old label, which aborted those plans. Instead, excepts from this (and the September 9th, Wembley show in London) were broadcast over syndicated radio courtesy of the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Bunnies, Bombs, Busts & A Princess is an old boot on a new label. The Halcyon label is an offshoot of Mid Valley which itself is related to Empress Valley, mostly known for their Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton titles. Although some Rolling Stones titles also are pressed on Empress Valley, Halcyon was created to create definitive versions of some of the best sources available. This and Get Your Leeds Lungs Out, the often-released March 13th, 1971 soundboard, are the first two. Halcyon carry no catalog number: the label is enough. The inserts are on high quality paper with purple stars holograms and a photo from the gig in the inside.
Previous releases of this material on vinyl are Reverse Blues on Beakon Island, Brussels Affair 1973 on Vinyl Virus (VV LP 010 A-B-C-D), The Rolling Stones: European Tour 1973 Trade Mark of Quality (TMQ) RS 561-A/B, West Germany Box Top Records (RS 561-A/B), Rolling Stones European Tour ’73, Instant Analysis Records, Bedspring Symphony (A Box Lunch and Meat Whistle Live in Concert) The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label (TAKRL 1941-A/B), East and West Excitable Record Works (4508-1), Keith Richards and His Rolling Stones 2LP Wizardo Records (WRMB 336-A/B/C/D), Nasty Music A Singers Original Double Disc SODD 2-012 A/B/C/D, A Tour De Force 2LP Saturated Recordworks (2S701), Rock Out Cock Out Great Live Concerts (GLC 211 A/GLC-211-B), Europe ’73 2LP Royal Sound (RS 002), The Rolling Stones Europe ’73, Cat Records, Volume 1 & 2 (RS002-A/B/C/D), and Satellite Delayed a 2LP set on Sound Board Inc (1 SBMG 73).
CD releases include The Lost Brussels Vinyl Gang (VGP 088), Nasty Muzik (VGP 252), Nasty Music Nasty Remixes (VGP 002 SODD 012), Brussels Affair 1973 on Chameleon Records (CHAM 8812), Europe ’73 (RS 002 (VGP 011)), Brussels Affair – Definitive Edition! on Rattlesnake (RS 015/16), Midnight Rambler on Great Dane Records (GDR CD 8911), and Thrills In The Night on Blue Eyes Records.
These different releases are sourced from different KBFH broadcasts from 1974 and 1987 where the Brussels material was mixed with some tracks from Wembley in London on the same tour. This new release on Halcyon contains all of the Brussels material from the soundboard alone with no mixing from other sources.
Unfortunately this is still incomplete since “Star Star” isn’t included between “Tumbling Dice” and “Dancing With Mr. D” (for obvious broadcast reasons). Regardless this does sound as complete as possible. Some people claim this is one of the best, if not THE best Rolling Stones concert ever and they have a strong case. If for anything else this tape shows how important Mick Taylor was to the band at this time and how strong his influence became in the band. They weren’t into playing ROTE performances but every one sounds different from the next.
Of particular note is the closing of the show with some of the most intense “Rip This Joint”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man” on record. Overall this makes the bloated list of releases for this show even longer without any significant progress. Nothing short of the complete and unedited soundboard from this show will be definitive. However for a new project this is a very “safe” release and it does sound fantastic. Perhaps newer collectors will benefit from this, or those who have an inferior source from the past.