Fanfare For The Common Man (Screamer-05032-035)
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, June 11th & 12th, 1975
Disc 1 (51:58): Intro., Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, If You Can’t Rock Me – Get Off Of My Cloud, Star Star, Gimme Shelter, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Happy
Disc 2 (74:56): Tumbling Dice, Luxury, band introduction, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Fingerprint File, Angie, Wild Horses, That’s Life, Outa Space, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, It’s Only Rock N Roll, Rip This Joint, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash
Disc 3 (54:42): Intro., Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, If You Can’t Rock Me – Get Off Of My Cloud, Star Star, Gimme Shelter, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, band introduction, Happy, Tumbling Dice
Disc 4 (68:32): Luxury, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Fingerprint File, Angie, Wild Horses, That’s Life, Outa Space, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, It’s Only Rock N Roll, Rip This Joint, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash
Fanfare For The Common Man is another massive comprehensive set from the Screamer label. Since their debut several months ago they have specialized in producing affordable sets of some otherwise hard-to-find material and even releasing new tape sources on occasion. This new Rolling Stones release isn’t new by any means.
Screamer copied the first four discs of the Vinyl Gang six disc set Boston Tea Party (VGP-334), a set that also includes an incomplete audience recording from Cleveland on June 14th for some inexplicable reason. The first two discs cover the June 11th show. A better sounding but incomplete second source exists for this date that was released as Luxury In Boston (VGP-190). Screamer choose completeness over sound quality by using the complete but lesser sounding second tape source. We have a loud and noisy tape that is quite distant from the stage.
The audience noise doesn’t drown out the music, but the mic picks up this one girl to the right who is determined to carry on a conversation through the entire concert. The Stones’ performance is very tight. “If You Can’t Rock Me/Get Off My Cloud” is energetic and “You Gotta Move” is extended on this tour. The audience follows every twist and turn of “Midnight Rambler” and the final four songs are very strong. I just wish it was better recorded.
Discs three and four have the complete June 12th concert. The sound quality of this recording is significantly better than the previous. It’s full of dynamics and perfectly balanced and sounds like the same person who captured the Pink Floyd concert four days later at the same venue. It’s wonderful to hear. Unfortunately the Stones sound like they are just going through the motions in the first half of the concert. Perhaps they were hung over.
But the only times they manage to rise above mediocrity are the solos in “Gimmie Shelter” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Things improve with “Fingerprint File”. The song sounds like a well oiled funk groove machine and both band and audience finally wake up and sound interested. “Angie” and “Wild Horses”, a couple of “sad songs” in the words of Jagger, follow. But the real star of the show is Billy Preston. He’s able to generate a tremendous amount of energy with his two songs.
Preston raises the roof off the Garden and literally saves the show for the Stones. The excitement carries on to the final song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and you have to think the Stones are very thankful to their guest for saving them on this night. Screamer advertise this as being direct from the master tapes (aren’t they all?) The tapes do sound good and this release is a reasonable way to pick up these two concerts if you don’t already have them.