The Rolling Stones – European Tour Live 1970 (No Label)

The Rolling Stones, ‘European Tour Live 1970’ (No Label)

Introduction / Jumping Jack Flash / Roll Over Beethoven / Sympathy For The Devil / Stray Cat Blues / Love In Vain / Dead Flowers / Midnight Rambler / Live With Me / Let It Rock / Little Queenie / Brown Sugar (53:12)
Live at Grugahalle, Essen, West Germany, 7th October, 1970.
GSparaco, with his review of The Godfather labels, “West German Roll Over” marked up the history of the original “European Tour 1970” Rubber Dubber LP prior to it’s advent in the CD age as ‘Midnight Ramblers’. Rather interestingly for what can be termed as a classic bootleg, it hasn’t been reissued many times on silver-disk – Comfortably VGP and Godfather records appear to have done the job to satisfaction (excuse the pun) and apart from a Captain Acid refresh in 2013, it’s taken another 10 years for the No Label gang to decide it could be retooled again.
This time, administered a remaster by Graf Zeppelin, the team have given this special, old bootleg a slight dressing up – Like a new tie, a dry cleaned suit or a polished pair of shoes, the upgrade is unlikely noticeable unless you’ve spent a long time with it before – Due to the way it was recorded, there are little uneven elements to the source. For instance, the fact that the audio relies on Keith’s guitar and Mick Taylor’s falls a soft second, Charlie’s drums slap rather than thump. Nothing to do with the mastering but without it, I think it would be a far more spindly affair.
But then, it’s a rare tape of a vintage era, the musicianship is exemplary – Any one in their right mind would have been happy to have sat in on any of these shows, no less be happy to be listening to a relatively clean recording of the band on CD in the year 2023.
In comparison to the Godfather recording it sounds less loud but also less boxy and a little less high-end – The harmonies On ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ for instance are slightly more diminished, Charlie’s drums a little less wet. Both recordings have their pluses – The GR recording a bit more bassy which I tend to prefer, the piano a little more apparent in the mix but Graf have done their best to leave a more sustained sound.
Due to the source being from an original LP, the gaps are left in from the end of each side rather than chopped and faded in. This gives a lovely feel to the presentation though and, because you don’t have to get up and turn the LP, it’s a lot easier on the knees, so double win! The changes are smoothly done too, no bumping or jarring, neat crosses between platters. It sounds really smooth – REALLY smooth.
Big props to the artwork team too – Much like their other productions – ‘We Didn’t Really Get It On Until Detroit’ for example, the look of the original LP is kept as close as possible to what it was with original label reproductions inside, colour images of the tour poster and tickets  and a very nice, clean appearance for the tracklisting.
The first pressing of this CD sold out on pre-orders before it was released, the second pressing can’t be far behind though for this set. It’s rough, rowdy and raw but one show that you’ll want for your collection – a disk that strides the line for fans and completists and one that you need.

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