Rolling Stones – Southern Quotations (no label)

Southern Quotations (no label)

Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC – June 26th, 1978

Disc 1 (79:55):  Honky Tonk Women, Star Star, When The Whip Comes Down, Miss You, Lies, Beast Of Burden, Just My Imagination, Respectable, Far Away Eyes, Love In Vain, Shattered, Tumbling Dice, Happy, Sweet Little Sixteen

Disc 2 (79:54):  Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash.  Civic Center, Lakeland, FL – June 10th, 1978:  Let It Rock, All Down The Line, Honky Tonk Women, Star Star, When The Whip Comes Down, Miss You, Beast Of Burden, Respectable, Far Away Eyes, Love In Vain, Shattered, Tumbling Dice, Happy, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man

Southern Quotations is an interesting Rolling Stones silver title.  It presents two tapes from the 1978 Some Girls tour taken from the deep south.  The first of the two, from Greensboro North Carolina, was released on the vinyl boot Southern Quotations (Smilin’ Ears SE 27722).  This is the first time this show has appeared on silver pressed CD.  The master cassette is lost so the manufacturers transferred it from a pristine vinyl copy with no hint of its origin. 

The sound quality is fair since it is distant from the stage and contains noticeable distortion in louder passages the sound quality improves a bit with “Shattered” to the end.  It is listenable and, once one gets past the limitations, can be appreciated.  The first two songs of the show, “Let It Rock” and “All Down The Line,” are missing and “Just My Imagination” fades out in the end.

Some argue that Greensboro is the worst show on a generally mediocre tour.  While there could be some merit to the argument, listening to this tape doesn’t really support that.  It is a briskly paced show with very little interaction from Jagger and the audience.  The opening five songs on the first disc go by very quick, slowing down for a languid “Beast Of Burden” (which Jagger pronounces “beast of buuuuuuuuuuuuurden.”)

“It’s great to be back in the south” Jagger says before “Far Away Eyes.”  “It gives us an excuse to do a country number.”  His intonation suggests extreme sarcasm as he sings the song.  On “Love In Vain” Wood plays the solo with a heavy vibrato. 

“Shattered” was the most popular song from the album in Greensboro judging by the amount of requests made within earshot of the recorder, and they react loudly when it comes up in the set.  The show ends with the double shot of “Brown Sugar” and “Jumping Jack Flash” which is most common for this tour.

The bonus on disc two is the opening show of the tour on June 10th in Lakeland, Florida.  This is a fair to  good recording which first surfaced on vinyl on Saturday Night Live (Burden Records SNL 10 3 A/B) and on pressed disc on disc one of We Ain’t Sugar (VGP-335).

Since it is the opening show of the tour, Lakeland is the live debut of much of the Some Girls material.  In fact all but “Lies” and “Just My Imagination,” both of which would debut the following night in Atlanta, were first played in Lakeland.  After playing four songs featured heavily on previous tours, the first debut of the evening is “When The Whip Comes Down” followed by a fun but sloppy version of “Miss You.”

“Shattered,” the final new song played in the set, is also sloppy with a big missed cue in the middle but the audience don’t mind at all and respond with a loud ovation.  “You’ve been a fucking great audience, you are a great audience…it’s great to have a great audience since this is the first show of the tour.” 

The final songs are much more confident.  “Tumbling Dice” has a very loud Ian Stewart piano presence in the mix.  “Brown Sugar” and “Jumping Jack Flash” close the show and the band reward Lakeland with a very rare, quick version of “Street Fighting Man,” played only three known times (Lakeland, New Orleans and Passaic).  Southern Quotations duplicates the old Smilin’ Ears artwork on the front.  The back of the LP is reproduced on the flip side of the front cover.  Overall this is a nice production with very rare material and is recommended.    

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