The Rolling Stones – Germany 1970 (Dog N Cat DAC-070)

Germany 1970 (Dog N Cat DAC-070)

Sporthalle, Cologne, West Germany – September 18th, 1970

Disc 1: 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, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man

Germany 1970 collects together two consecutive shows from the Rolling Stones’ obscure but excellent tour of Europe in late 1970. The tapes for both of these shows are fair to good and listenable and offer upgrades over previous releases in one way or another. The first disc is devoted to the September 18th concert at the Sporthalle in Cologne. This tape first appeared on the two LP vinyl release Cologne 1970 (OBR 305 022).

It is incomplete with “Let It Rock” missing, and it contains bonus tracks from the “Top Of The Pops” broadcast in 1971. The earliest compact disc edition was Eau De Cologne (Sounds Shelter SS-101). This too is incomplete with “Let It Rock” missing and they used a poor copy of the tape with extensive speed warble and drop outs.

Finally Vinyl Gang issued this tape on Cologne 1970 (Vinyl Gang VGP 049) with improved sound and three bonus tracks from April 26th, 1964 NME Poll Winners concert at Wembley from a very good radio broadcast.

Dog N Cat is the first release of this same tape source in a decade and offers slightly improved sound quality with improved gain on the high and low ends, and it might be one generation better than the older titles. DAC is also longer than the older release since “Let It Rock” is included for the first time. It is obvious why the older titles left it off since only a ten second fragment from the middle of the song exists on the tape.

Other than the “Let It Rock” issue the show is otherwise complete. The sound quality is a good and clear mono recording. There is notable distortion in the lower frequencies during louder part, but it thankfully never falls to pieces as some tapes do. For a tape its age it is acceptable and provides a good document of the show that night in Cologne.

These two concerts are found right in the middle of the six-week tour of Europe. It began on August 30th in Malmö, Sweden and would end on October 9th in Amsterdam with no dates in England. The set list is similar to that employed on the US tour the preceding year except that “Roll Over Beethoven” replaced “Carol” as the early Chuck Berry cover and “Brown Sugar” was played at every stop while “Gimme Shelter” was played only in the first concert (as far as we know) and “Satisfaction” were dropped altogether.

The two song acoustic set, “Prodigal Son” and “You Gotta Move,” were dropped for these two and the first Paris show on September 22. The former would appear in many of the shows following these, but the latter wouldn’t be played again on this tour. There is a small cut in the tape at the very beginning during the audience noise as the band hit the stage before the opener “Jumping Jack Flash.”

In contrast to 1969, Jagger stretches out the “all right now” as per the studio version. After “Roll Over Beethoven” Jagger says, “thank you very much, danke schoen. We’re very pleased to be back here in Köln.”

“Dead Flowers” was introduced on this tour a year before the release of Sticky Fingers and is an ironic contrast to “Midnight Rambler” which follows, a passive-aggressive song followed by a paean to violent hyper-sexuality. Mick Jagger dedicates “Brown Sugar” to Jimi Hendrix, who died that day in England. There is a tape flip between “Brown Sugar” and “Honky Tonk Women.” Mick’s microphone cuts out about a minute into “Street Fighting Man” and the song is completed as an instrumental.

Killesberg, Stuttgart, West-Germany – September 20th, 1970

Disc 2: 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, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man

The second disc provides the audience recording from the show after Cologne, two nights later at the Killesberg in Stuttgart. This recording first surfaced in 1998 and released on European Tour Stuttgart 1970 (Vinyl Gang VGP 187) with the final song, “Street Fighting Man,” fading out at 2:08. DAC use the same tape as the older title but with the final song complete for the first time, clocking in at 3:48.

This mono audience recording is distant, distorted and disturbing hovering somewhere between poor to fair. It does clear up at the show goes on and the action on stage can be appreciated, but it is still a low fidelity listening experience only for the strong of heart (or strong of ear). This release is a slight upgrade over previous releases, but not by much and it still has limited appeal.

Curiously, the poor quality of the tape actually enhances “Midnight Rambler” with a cloudy, inspired insanity that is very effective. This was The Rolling Stones’ first visit to Stuttgart and the set list is identical to the preceding concert in Cologne. The playing is very deliberate, slow and bluesy with the height coming with amazing versions of “Stray Cat Blues,” “Love In Vain” and “Dead Flowers.”

Mick does very little chatting in this show and instead lets the music do the talking throughout. They deliver one of the heaviest versions of “Brown Sugar” on record. Jagger tries to get the audience to sing along to “Honky Tonk Women” (but doesn’t succeed) and introduces “Street Fighting Man” with an Indian war-cry. This is a great concert and one that deserves a much better recording.

Germany 1970 is the third release of Dog N Cat from this tour and is worth having if for nothing else for the upgraded Cologne tape.

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  1. Addendum: The German shows run about a quarter-step too fast, nothing horrible. VGP mostly seemed to check running speed on their previous releases.


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