Get Your Leeds Lungs Out (Dog N Cat DAC-089)
Disc 1 (59:30): University Of Leeds, Leeds, England – March 13th, 1971: Dead Flowers, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Midnight Rambler, Bitch, band introduction, Honky Tonk Women, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Little Queenie, Brown Sugar, Street Fighting Man, Let It Rock
Disc 2 (52:02): Chalk Farm Roundhouse, London, England – March 14th, 1971 (2nd show): Jumping Jack Flash, Live With Me, Dead Flowers, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Prodigal Son, Midnight Rambler, Bitch, band introduction, Honky Tonk Women, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
The latest pressing of Get Your Leeds Lungs Out on Dog N Cat collects together two very common tapes from The Rolling Stones’ “Farewell” tour in the spring of 1971, just about a month before the release of Sticky Fingers and their tax exile in France. The first disc is the same incomplete Leeds soundboard that has seen countless releases over the last thirty-eight years on multiple formats.
The last silver release was on Get Your Leeds Lungs Out on the Empress Valley-related Halcyon issued in 2006. That version sounds very crisp, clear and lively compared to what DAC is offering here. While DAC-089 is still excellent sounding, it is much heavier than the Halcyon offering and maybe some collectors prefer their Rolling Stones sounding that way.
The University of Leeds hosted many famous acts in the seventies who delivered some of their best shows before an appreciative audience. This tape was broadcast as a BBC Radio special on April 13th and again on May 30th on “Sunday Music” hosted by John Peel. The show was played a month before the release of Sticky Fingers (with the radio broadcast a month after to benefit from from the LPs release), and their playing in these live shows has the same dark, cut throat nihilism.
It is still missing the first song of the set “Jumping Jack Flash,” which is known to have been played based upon a review of the show, and presumably “Live With Me.” The tape cuts in with Mick Jagger introducing the new song “Dead Flowers” and what follows is a brilliant performance all around.
“Midnight Rambler” has a strange sounding, happy introduction before the song gets started. Jagger is very animated during “Midnight Rambler” as he repeats his smut with “go down on me baby.” The new song “Bitch” is referred to as an “uptempo ditty.”
The title of the tape is derived from Jagger’s request before “Honky Tonk Women” for the audience to “get your Leeds lungs out.” But the arrangement of “Satisfaction” is very strange. The ending has two Chuck Berry covers and one of the most aggressive performances of “Brown Sugar” on tape.
Disc two has the second Roundhouse show in London on the following night. This was the final show of the tour before taping an TV special at the Marquee the following week. DAC uses a good audience recording which was utilized on vinyl on London Roundhouse (Trade Mark Of Quality TMoQ 1812 A/B) and British Blue Jam (Contra Band Music CBM 3426 A/B) and appears on the CD title The Lost Marquee Tapes (Vinyl Gang VGP 030) copied from vinyl.
It is a good to very good sounding audience recording of most of the show. “Little Queenie,” “Brown Sugar,” “Street Fighting Man” and perhaps “Let It Rock,” judging by setlists of other shows, are missing.
The performance displays both the elation of playing the final show of the tour but also a hint of melancholy. Beginning with “Jumping Jack Flash,” they reserve their creativity to the slower and sadder songs in the set such as “Stray Cat Blues” and “Love In Vain.” “Prodigal Son” makes an appearance for the only known time and it is a remarkable performance.
Jagger’s annunciation of the lyrics is crystal clear and makes one wonder, given the theme of the song, if he’s thinking about himself. “Midnight Rambler” has a more appropriate beginning in keeping with the long blues. They play the same arrangement of “Satisfaction” as they do throughout the tour before the tape cuts out.
Dog N Cat package this with their high quality inserts with several pictures from the actual Leeds show on the inside (Charlie Watts wearing the “LEEDS” t-shirt). Although it is good to see the Roundhouse show make an appearance, coupling it with Leeds shows a lack of confidence with this label, thinking it can’t stand on its own.
The truth is, since every Rolling Stones collector on the planet has a copy of Leeds this release comes very close to being superfluous. It will appeal to those who must have every DAC release out there, but the Halcyon is still the superior version of the tape.