Copenhagen 1973 (no label)
Brøndby Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark – October 7th, 1973
Disc 1, early show: Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, Doo Do Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, 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, Star Star, 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, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
By the end of the European tour in 1973 the Rolling Stones played two shows at the Brøndby Hallen in Copenhagen. Both of the concerts were recorded from different sources and this release presents both shows from that day. Tapes from these shows have been in circulation for many years dating back to the days of vinyl with Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen (No. 006). The sound quality of the different tapes vary but are all quite listenable. Debate exists about the proper sequence of the two shows. There is no internal evidence indicating which is the early show and which is the late, but they can be distinguished by the different song played in the sixth slot of the set list. It has been commonly assumed, and the manufacturers follow this line of reasoning, that “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” was played in the early show and “Dancing With Mr. D” the late.
In May 2008 a new tape source appeared labeled the early show and has “Dancing With Mr. D” on it. So now Stones collectors are now convinced that the reverse is true, so that “Dancing With Mr. D” is the early show and “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” is the late. All of the previous compact disc releases including the new release Copenhagen 1973 follow the former, so what is on disc one is the late show and what is on disc two is the early show.
The late show on disc one is the more popular of the two shows, first appearing on the rare German LP Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen with “Happy” omitted. On compact disc this tape appears on Are You Ready Copenhagen? (AYR 13.38.17), Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen (Vinyl Gang VGP 006), and on Grateful Grateful Copenhagen (Shaved Disc TSD 009/10) with the tape of the early show. The sound quality of the main tape source used on this release is good to very good but distant and distorted. The distortion increases a bit from “Honky Tonk Women” to the end of the tape. A second tape source is used in “Star Star” for eight seconds from :51 to :59 and for five seconds between “Midnight Rambler” and “Honky Tonk Women.”
Like the two previous tours, the show begins with an energetic “Brown Sugar” followed almost immediately by “Gimme Shelter.” Keith Richards’ spot is very early in the set as Jagger says mysteriously, “We’re gonna get Keith up to sing, from the film of the same name, ‘Happy.” After “Tumbling Dice” they play a “new song” set with three numbers from Goats Head Soup. “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” is one of the better songs from the album and an effective live piece. Although it began the tour as a regular part of the promotion of the new album, this song made fewer appearances than the others and would be played only one more time on this tour after the late show in Copenhagen. “I just need my mic stand and we’ll do another one off the new album. Thank you kind sir. I’ll tell you what we’ll do. We’ll do a new song for you and this one’s called ‘Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo.’ Now we gotta get the tempo right.” Mick then hums the opening melody as Keith on guitar and Billy Preston join in on clavinet.
The funky interlude in Copenhagen isn’t as good as earlier in the tour, sounding quite repetitive. Taylor is an amazing blues guitarist but seems to draw the line at funk. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” features a sax solo by Trevor Lawrence that is a precursor to those played by Ernie Watts on the 1981 tour lending jazz cabaret feel to the piece. “Midnight Rambler” is the show stopper as Jagger enacts the drama and attempts very hard to encourage the audience to participate in the song, following his whoops and shouts. They whip the audience into a frenzy with the closing numbers “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man.”
The early show on disc two has seen fewer commercial releases than the late due to the poor sound quality of the old source. It was issued on Grateful Grateful Copenhagen (Shaved Disc TSD 009/10) with the other Copenhagen show and on Greatest Dane (Vinyl Gang VGP 045) with bonus tracks from the September 7th Wembley show. The new source is much closer to the stage with minimal audience interference. It is very clear and captures the atmosphere perfectly. The older source is used for the first thirty-six seconds (with the introduction and the opening of “Brown Sugar”) and for some crowd noise between “Midnight Rambler” and “Honky Tonk Women.”
After the opening announcement they begin the show with “Brown Sugar.” Jagger’s mic isn’t on and the first line of the song is rendered inaudible. “Gimme Shelter” contains the apocalyptic rumblings in this good recording emitting peals of doom from the stage. Jagger turns “Tumbling Dice” into a gospel review with interjections of “when you’re feeling down, everybody needs a little help” in the song’s duration. “Star Star” sounds fun but “Fun City” in the first verse and “New York” in the third are changed to “Houston” for some reason. Mick is out of breath afterwards as he introduces the next song “Dancing With Mr. D.”
After a gentle “Angie” Jagger says, “We’re gonna do one more sad song for you. We’re gonna do a sad song for everybody who hasn’t gotten over anybody.” Again the song is transferred from a Mick Taylor solo spot from previous tour to the jazz-like saxophone arrangement. Preston’s organ augments the chaos that is “Midnight Rambler” adding another layer of chill to the already violent piece. “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man” follows in quick succession and there is a full minute of audience cheering before the tape ends with the classical music over the PA. Overall the early show is just as effective at the late and is a great one to have in this recording. Copenhagen 1973 is packaged in a double slimline with various photos from the tour and given the sound quality and presentation is another worthy release from this great tour and is worth having.
I ended up ordering this two disc set and wasn’t disappointed: both very listenable tapes used to produce this decidedly “less expensive than DAC” release.
I only wish the folks behind this release would put out more vintage Rolling Stones shows on pressed disc.
Other Rolling Stones tape upgrades (or new source tapes) have surfaced on the internet in the past year, although perhaps not quite as good quality as these two Copenhagens…still worthy of release I’d wager.