Rolling Stones – Wembley High Rollers (Halcyon)

Wembley High Rollers (Halcyon)

Empire Pool Wembley, London, England – September 8th, 1973 (early show)
Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Dancing With Mr.D, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man

Wembley High Rollers was released by Halcyon simultaneously with Steel Wheels Monitor Mix.  All of their other releases have been soundboards and other professional sources, but this is their first use of an audience recording.  The tape for the Stones’ early show on September 8th was released previously on London ’73 (TRASH-03).  Empire Pool on Bad Wizard (BW-8973) used a newer better sounding source.  The only negative is the large cut eliminating approximately half of “Gimme Shelter”.  Timeless ’73 (VGP-373) on Vinyl Gang was released two years ago and was an upgrade to the Bad Wizard and much more complete with the label using an inferior tape source to edit in the gap making it a definitive version.  Wembley High Rollers promise a longer version of the tape which is fulfilled.  For the first time a release has the complete “Gimme Shelter” from the very good sounding tape source.

There is also a small cut in the tape before “Honky Tonk Women” which is handled better on this release than the others.  Halcyon also boosted the volume making the talking on stage and music more clear, further improving it over Timeless ’73.  The sound quality is very good and clear but distant from the stage with some muddiness during more busy passages.  There are some strange fluctuations in sound quality on the Halcyon before “Midnight Rambler” which are not present on the other titles.  Nothing is missing from the tape and its presence is a mystery.  In general this is an improvement although not a dramatic one and the definitive version of this show has yet to be released.  There is a detailed review of the concert for the Vinyl Gang release but in short this is a great document from the Goat Heads Soup era of the Stones and is a very nice companion piece with the Brussels performance.

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