The Rolling Stones – Altamont (Dog N Cat DAC-019)


Altamont (Dog N Cat DAC-019)

Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, The Sun Is Shining, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Under My Thumb, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Gimme Shelter, Little Queenie, Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man

The Stones’ infamous free concert for the people of San Francisco is one tape that really needs to be in everybody’s collection.  So much meaning has been attached to this concert, ranging from the end of hippy idealism to a manifestation of demonic activity to tell tale signs of a CIA-Nixon mind control conspiracy, that it lends itself to being a classic experience.  Despite all the negative vibes surrounding this show, there are some highlights like the stage debut of “Brown Sugar”. 

Although this was captured for posterity in the film Gimme Shelter, the only way to enjoy the complete performance is on the very good audience recording.  There is a mic visible in the film and some have speculated that this audience recording is from that source.  It isn’t the best recording (the rhythm section gets lost constantly), but is a clear record of the event including audience reaction to the mayhem. 

The result is that after a rough start and having to interrupt “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Under My Thumb”, the concert itself gathers some momentum and produces a pretty good performance.  Altamont, one of the new releases on Dog N Cat, is a two source mix.  The audience source used on The Killer Festival (Vinyl Gang VGP-113) is used through “Brown Sugar”. 

The second source, a poor AM radio French broadcast picks up on the middle of “Midnight Rambler” and continues to the end with lots of DJ commentary between tracks.  Listening to this source doesn’t add anything to the show and really isn’t necessary (unless you can understand the French).  So the previous release on Vinyl Gang remains the definitive version and recommended version of this important concert.

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  1. Interesting to hear DAC’s new Altamont release and whether it stands up well against the recent Godfather title which, though generally well received is a bit thin sounding.


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