Rolling Stones – Philadelphia (Dress Rehearsals) Special 2 (SODD 100/101)

Philadelphia (Dress Rehearsals) Special 2 (SODD 100/101)

JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA – August 29th, 1989

Disc 1 (71:10):  Start Me Up, Bitch, Shattered, Sad Sad Sad, Undercover Of The Night, Harlem Shuffle, Miss You, Tumbling Dice, Ruby  Tuesday, Play With Fire, Dead Flowers, One Hit (To The Body), Mixed Emotions, Honky Tonk Women, Rock And A Hard Place

Disc 2 (77:11):  Midnight Rambler, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Little Red Rooster, Before They Make Me Run, Happy, Paint It Black, 2000 Light Years From Home, Sympathy For The Devil, Gimme Shelter, It’s Only Rock And Roll, Brown Sugar, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Jumping Jack Flash

Volume two contains the complete soundboard recording for the August 29th, 1989 rehearsal in JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.  This tape also appears on discs four and five of the  Dead Man Cumming boxset (where it is attributed to Foxboro, MA), and was also released on Better Than The Real Rebirth (Vague 001/002).  The sound quality of the recording is the same as the first rehearsal and SODD remastered the tape to emphasize the higher frequencies, something which they do for almost all their releases.  The sound is really nice on this release.  

The second rehearsal was played in front of dozens of fans in the pouring rain and playing in front of a small audience means the band play much better and sound more lively in this rehearsal.  They again play the entire set for the opening night of the Steel Wheels tour including “Shattered,” which was only performed on opening night and then dropped for the rest of the 1989-1990 tour.  It also sounds like they’re having much more fun on stage.  Mick Jagger jokes after “Sad Sad Sad” “you’re a wonderful audience, the best yet!”

Working on the arrangements is interesting to hear.  Keith said at the time “Over the years, you develop a simplified road version of a song that you get used to. But this time, we thought, Let’s go back and listen very carefully to the records to find what we were originally going for when we made it. All the subtleties and the half bar jumps. We thought we ought to do the songs up proud and have the things that were on the record. And once you go back and research what you did, you say, Well, the reason we did it like that is because we had these voices or because we had these horns. That’s why we have the enlarged line-up. ‘Tumbling Dice’ without the voices is kind of bare.”  However, they weren’t as strict as they said they were since pianist Chuck Leavell plays a prominent part mix, adding another dimension to “Midnight Rambler” (for example).

Both rehearsal tapes are genuinely fascinating documents and are worth having.  And since they’ve not been released often this is a good chance to pick them up.   

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