Comeback To England (Dog N Cat DAC-073)
Wembley Empire Pool, London, England – September 8, 1973 (early & late show)
Disc 1, early show: Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Starfucker, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Dancing With Mr. D, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
Disc 2, late show: Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Starfucker, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Dancing With Mr. D, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
Comeback To England must be one of the most cynical and blatant rip off releases by Dog N Cat. Just a couple months ago they released Nasty Songs (DAC-065) that contains the excellent quality audience recording of the September 8 Wembley early show paired with the July 26 1972 show. On this new release they give the Wembley early show another title in the exact same sound quality, and this coming just after SODD released their version of the that concert.
This time DAC pair the early show with the harder to find audience recording of the evening show. Since there is really no connection between the London and New York shows, this is what they should have done in the first place.
And it is the second disc which is intriguing since there have been very few releases of this particular show. It can be found on the vinyl LPs Comeback To England Vol. 1 (Underground Records) and Live In London. Comeback London ’73 (Alley Cat) on CD has the latter eight songs from this tape with seven from the following evening’s show with “Street Fighting Man” fading at the end.
Comeback To England on Vinyl Gang (VGP 033) is another silver release but again has only seven songs. The complete show can be found on a couple of cdr releases: The Wembley Tapes 1973 (Real Sounds 10-11-12-13) and London September 8 1973 – Empire Pool. Comeback To England is valuable since it is the first silver release of the entire evening show.
The sound quality of the evening is unfortunately well below that of the afternoon. It is a distant, muddled, thin sounding recording that contains a lot of echo and loses the bottom end. Distortion is present in some of the more busy passages surrounding the horn section especially. Technically this is a two-source mix.
The first half of the show up to “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo” is sourced from the old LP, and the second half comes from the tape source. The tape cut in right before the first verse of “Brown Sugar.” Mick Taylor takes the lead in “Gimme Shelter” and add in a longer guitar solo at the end. It is so ferocious and terrifying that even Jagger gets out of the way and lets him go. Taylor again delivers an excellent and emotional solo on “Angie,” emphasizing themes in the music the original studio track only hinted at.
“Dancing With Mr. D” sounds particularly nasty, but “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo” loses some steam compared to the version played that afternoon. The extended funk workout section isn’t as intense nor does Mick tell everyone to get up off their asses.
“Midnight Rambler” lasts for twelve minutes and even though the sound quality is worst on this, the aggression comes through nicely represented on the angry sounding harp that floats above the fray. The show ends strongly with another classic version of “Street Fighting Man” that really makes one wish the latter half of the show, indeed the entire concert, were recorded better.
Comeback To England is a good silver release of two excellent shows, however since DAC already released the afternoon show before this should have been a single disc release with the evening show only.