The Golden Era 1969-1974 Vol. 2 (SODD-094)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – July 18th 1972
(79:29) Brown Sugar, Bitch, Rocks Off, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Love In Vain, Sweet Virginia, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, All Down The Line, Midnight Rambler, Band Introductions, Bye Bye Johnny, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man, Honky Tonk Women
The Boston Garden 7-18-72 concert was released on original silver label issue by Vinyl Gang Product [VGP-020] as “They’re Really Rockin’ In Boston”, on CD-R issue by Pignose Records [PGN 089] titled “Jailhouse Rock”, on the Exile label [EXM-09A/B] called “Midnight Gamblers” and, finally, on Dog n Cat Records [DAC-026] titled “Jailhouse Rock”.
I compared SODD-094 to DAC-026 for this review and found the SODD to be brighter, livelier, louder, more distorted and offering an enhanced audience feed for the same source. The SODD packed significantly more gain but, my tendency was to go with the old adage, “less is more” in this case.
CMR webmaster, gsparaco, reviewed DAC-026 on 11-4-05 and eloquently writes: “‘Jailhouse Rock” documents one of the more absurd and surreal experiences on the Rolling Stones’ 1972 North American Tour. When their flight from Montreal to Boston was diverted to Warwick, Rhode Island, they had an altercation at the airport which lead to Mick, Keith, and three members of the tour’s entourage (Stan Moore, Marshall Chess and Robert Frank) being arrested and jailed. Through the efforts of Boston Mayor Kevin White, who both spoke to the crowd at the Garden and to the Rhode Island governor, the band were finally released. Rolling Stone reported “With the crowd perched on the backs of the Garden chairs, the Stones hit the stage at 12:45 AM and plowed into ‘Brown Sugar’ to open up. The show developed loosely – and at times bordering on sloppiness. Charlie Watts, in particular, seemed exhausted. Mick, while displaying all his moves – the struts, the curtsies, the kisses, the confetti and the ciao-ciao waves – was not in his best voice. The performance ended at about 2 A.M. with ‘Street Fighting Man’.”
Disc one of this set uses the second tape source to have surfaced for this show. The older source was used for the previous releases including “They’re Really Rockin’ In Boston” on Vinyl Gang (VGP-020) which was rather poor and cut between the songs. Earlier this year the Exile label also released their set featuring this newer source called “Midnight Gamblers” (EXM-09A/B). “Jailhouse Rock” sounds much warmer (Exile tend to master tapes to sound very harsh), speed corrected and with a corrected and complete ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’. The reports of the band’s sluggish performance are accurate. Mick Jagger makes several references to the delay. “We’re sorry we’re late but you know why we’re late. We were thrown in jail for several hours. We’re so sorry you had to be kept waiting” he says before ‘Rocks Off’. Before introducing Keith and ‘Happy’, Mick tells the audience, “We’re very pleased to be in Boston. Much better than Warwick. Thank you to the mayor who helped us get out of jail”. They do give a commendable effort, but the show loses any steam by the time they play an uninspired version of ‘All Down the Line’. The tape is clear enough to be very enjoyable and is an interesting piece of history to own…Overall this is a very good release and the best these tapes will sound until something better is found. DAC don’t make a mess with the tapes and like to create very smooth sounding titles.”
SODD-094 sounds hollow to me reflective of listening to a concert in a tunnel. The gain will provide instant gratification for measured softer passages but will, unfortunately, lend to listening fatigue with sustained uninterrupted listening. The inserts and graphics are attractive and soft on the eyes. I prefer DAC-026 which clocks in at 79:46 and offers a more balanced sound with a bit of a tighter low end. One always has the option to “compensate” for the lack of gain, as compared to SODD-094, by simply turning the volume up. SODD-094 does provide the more vibrant audience sounding feel to it. DAC-026 is of course a 2 disc release which also includes the complete 7-19-72 Boston Garden show for the following evening.