The Tour Of Europe ’76 (Godfather GR 227/228)
Les Abattoirs, Pavilion de Paris, Paris, France – June 6th, 1976
Disc 1: Opening, Honky Tonk Women, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Hand Of Fate, Hey Negrita, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Fool To Cry, Hot Stuff, Star Star, Angie, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, band introduction, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Nothing From Nothing, Outa Space
Disc 2: Midnight Rambler, It’s Only Rock And Roll, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man. Bonus tracks: Cherry Oh Baby (Les Abattoirs, Pavilion de Paris, Paris, France – June 7, 1976), All Down The Line (Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany – April 29, 1976), Sympathy For The Devil (Earl’s Court, London, England – May 23, 1976), Satisfaction, Around And Around, Little Red Rooster, Stray Cat Blues, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Dead Flowers, Route 66, Wild Horses, Rip This Joint, Country Honk (Knebworth, England – August 21, 1976)
There have also been many releases and can be found on the vinyl Paris Par Excellance (Aux Abattoirs) (Devil’s Disciple Records), which has seven tracks. Compact disc editions include Paris Aux Printemps (TSP-CD-126-2) (with bonus “Cherry Oh Baby”), Exile Aux Abbatoirs (Great Dane 9106), French Made Live In Paris 1976 (Terrapin TR 206/7), Les Abattoirs (ABCD 2731), Les Abattoirs Paris 76 (Speedball Company SBC 002-2), Pavilion De Paris (Sister Morphine Morph 030) and as part of an eight disc set on with all four Paris concerts on Exile A Paris (PGN 122).
Vinyl Gang released it twice, on Vive La France (VGP046) and on French Made 1976 (VGP 258). The last release is by Dog N Cat in 2004 on French Made (Dog N Cat 009). Compared to the Dog N Cat edition, Godfather is much louder and clearer. It has much more life to the tape whereas the DAC is a bit dull.
Godfather does lack the three-minute introduction that was cut most likely to preserve space for the bonus tracks on disc two. Ultimately the June 6 tape is a very good to excellent mono video soundtrack. A lesser sounding tape is used for the final minute of “Star Star.” There is at 2:58 in “Hot Stuff,” a cut after “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Street Fighting Man” fades out at the end.
These shows occur right in the middle of their tour of Europe. Whereas the Tour Of The Americas emphasized Ron Wood’s introduction to the band and the songs from It’s Only Rock And Roll, on these dates the mid seventies experimentation on Black And Blue is emphasized. The Stones take a chance and bunch all of the new stuff within the first half hour of the show, potentially alienating their fan base.
Stylistically the band covers much more ground in this set list than on previous tours and their sound is topped off by Mick Jagger’s barking and slurring the words to such an extent that the lyrics are very hard to decipher.
His voice borders on becoming an abrasive instrument onto itself to try to bring the band up to a contemporary “punk” aesthetic.
After the opening “Honky Tonk Women” they play the “If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud” medley they introduced the previous year. “Hand Of Fate” from the new album is a true gem of a song with a brutal groove underneath the providential lyrics.
Hey Negrita,” with its syncopated follows followed by the Temptation’s cover “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” The two Billy Preston songs, “Nothing From Nothing” and “Outa Space” are a nice diversion, but by this point the Stones were confident enough with Wood to not rely upon him. They are a nice diversion however.
“Midnight Rambler” sounds strange with Preston carrying the tune on the clavinet at the beginning. the same can be said for “Brown Sugar” which has a different kind of swagger than on previous tours with his contribution. Wood plays a very fast guitar solo in this song which many thought was overdubbed for Love You Live, but the raw soundtrack reveals otherwise.
The bonus tracks are an excellent addition and present a version of very song played during the year. “Cherry Oh Baby” from Black And Blue was played only in the June 7 Paris concert and is sourced from an excellent soundboard recording. “All Down The Line” played only at the first two shows of the tour in Frankfurt, and this version comes from the second. This comes from the second show.
“Sympathy For The Devil” was played as an encore at four of the six Earl’s Court shows in May and Godfather chose an audience recording from May 23. This is the only audience sourced used in this collection and the sound quality is merely fair, but gives an idea of how the track sounded. The final ten songs come from a video soundtrack from the Stones’ appearance at the 1976 Knebworth festival. They wanted to stretch out a bit and they delivered perhaps their longest ever concert.
Most of songs were all heavily featured in previous tours but are all rarities in 1976. Curiously two of them, “Little Red Rooster” and “Round And Round,” would be recored in March 1977 in Toronto for inclusion on Love You Live. The final track “Country Tonk” is merely thirty-five seconds of Jagger singing the first lines and asking anybody if they remember it.
Godfather packages this title in a tri-fold cardboard gatefold sleeve with many photos from the Paris concerts. Also included is a four-page insert and a miniature reproduction of the tour poster with an itinerary on the back. The label has the wrong date, labeling this June 4th instead of June 6th. Although the Paris tape has seen numerous releases, the improved sound quality, the packaging and the generous helping of bonus material makes Tour Of Europe ’76 Revisited stand out from the others.