Rolling Stones – Welcome Back! (Exile EXM-07A/B)

Welcome Back!  (Exile EXM-07A/B)
Wembley Stadium, London, England – June 26th, 1982

Disc 1 (76:50):  Under My Thumb, When The Whip Comes Down, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Shattered, Neighbors, Black Limousine, Just My Imagination, Twenty Flight Rock, Going To A Go Go, Chantilly Lace, Let Me Go, Time Is On My Side, Beast Of Burden, Let It Bleed, You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Disc 2 (47:26):  Band Introductions, Little T&A, Tumbling Dice, She’s So Cold, Hang Fire, Miss You, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Normally in the seventies when the Rolling Stones toured the US they would tour the UK and Europe the following year.  They broke that pattern with Some Girls in 1978 and the only Stones related appearance afterwards was the New Barbarians set at Knebworth in 1979.  With Tattoo You, they returned to their pattern by following the US tour with one of Europe.  They played three warm-up dates in Scotland and one at the 100 Club in London before starting their first visit to Europe in six years.

Their first show in England was in Newcastle on June 23 and was followed by the two Wembley Stadium shows, on June 25th and June 26th, which would be their first ever at the Stadium and theirfirst London shows in six years.  They were supported by The J. Geils Band and Black Uhuru and were immediate sellouts.

Part of the gig circulates as a professional shot video under title The Waiting Is Over with “Tumbling Dice,” “She’s So Cold,” “Hang Fire,” “Miss You,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Brown Sugar,” “Start Me Up,” “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Satisfaction.”  The audio from this tape was pressed on One Day In June 1982 (CA-003A). 

Welcome Back! is sourced from a complete audience recording of the affair and is thus the first (and only) silver release of the entire show.  There is a bit of disturbance in the tape at the end of “She’s So Cold” but otherwise it is consistent throughout.  Like many audience tapes from this tour, it emphasizes the high frequencies with the drums and bass pushed low in the mix.  The guitars sometimes sound too thin and, since it is an outdoor venue, there is the “breathing” effect on the sound on the tape.  But in general it is a perfectly listenable and enjoyable document.

The setlist is the same as on the other European dates which is almost identical to the Still Lifetour setlist.  Bill Graham is audible at the beginning of the tape introducing the band before “Under My Thumb.”  It’s obvious from the first number they are playing very agressive and trying hard to impress for the important London audience.  

“Shattered” and “Neighbours” are both very tight in this show, as is “Black Limousine” which Jagger calls a “new blues.”  During “Just My Imagination” they get lost in the middle and come close to a breakdown until Charlie Watts gets them back on track.  The oldies set consists of “Twenty Flight Rock,” “Going To A Go Go” and “Chantilly Lace” (written by the Big Bopper according to Jagger which isn’t exactly true).  This would be dropped soon afterwards and replaced by “Angie.”  

“It’s nice to see your smiling faces after all these years” Jagger says before “Let Me Go,” one of only two songs from Emotional Rescue.  While it is true Tattoo You was released to have a new release for these massive tours, their previous LP really seems to have been skipped over in concert performance with few of the songs ever seeing themselves on stage.  This might be due to the anti-disco backlash of the late seventies and early eighties and the Stones figuring the dance oriented album might not be so well received live.

After the band introductions Richards sings  “Little T & A” and is followed by a great version of “Tumbling Dice.”  They get off to a sloppy start for “She’s So Cold” but soon find themselves.  Jagger calls “Hang Fire” about “our country.”  The show closes with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  The taper’s girlfriend worries they might not come out for an encore but the taper assures her they always do before they come out to play “Satisfaction” to close the evening.  Welcome Back! is a solid release by Exile when they were in operation and filling a niche with silver pressed editions of shows not previously available.  They didn’t mess with the tape much so there is none of the metallic whistles that plagues some of their other titles.  For a piece of Stones history, their return to live gigging in England after six years, this is a great one to have.  

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