The Rolling Stones – Live At Leeds (no label)


Live At Leeds (no label)

Roundhay Park, Leeds, UK – July 25th, 1982

Disc 1 (79:47):  Under My Thumb, When The Whip Comes Down, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Shattered, Neighbours, Black Limousine, Just My Imagination, Twenty Flight Rock, Going To A Go-Go, Let Me Go, Time Is On My Side, Beast Of Burden, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Band Introductions

Disc 2 (44:28):  Little T & A, Angie, Tumbling Dice, She’s So Cold, Hang Fire, Miss You, Honky Tonk Woman, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up, Jumping Jack Flash, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones’ Leeds show on July 25th, 1982 was their first in there in eleven years and their first ever in Roundhay Park.  It also is the final show on the European tour, the last Stones concert for seven years, the final time they ever played in Leeds and the final time they played with co-founder Ian Stewart, who passed away of a heart attack in 1985.  

Parts of “Under My Thumb,” “Brown Sugar” and “Honky Tonk Women” were telecast on “Calendar” on British television the following day.  A part of “Start Me Up” was used for the 1984 release Video Rewind, and a part of “Under My Thumb” was telecast on “The One Show” on July 11th, 2012 on the BBC.  

The full show was pressed in 1996 (and reissued in 2004) on Live At Leeds ’82 (A Vinyl Gang Product VGP 010) using a good audience tape.  It has finally seen official release through the Rolling Stones Archive as a download and now, unofficially, on Live At Leeds.  This is a silver pressed no label production of the download.  It has excellent sound quality in very nice packaging with thick glossy cardboard inserts.  

In the promotional interview on the Stones’ website, Jagger himself mentions the significance of the show and noted how “melancholic” it was for him.  Keith Richards mentioned how important he felt it was to go well, to not create negative energy with such a large crowd and how risky they were by playing more obscure covers and originals in the long set.  

There also seems to be many negative comments about this show, pointing out how the playing is very sloppy and rushed.  Although that criticism can be applied to any show from this era, Leeds is no worse than the others and has a lot of charm.  The band know this is the final show of almost two years of touring and are determined to have fun.  

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been here but I hope the wait is worth it for us and for you” Jagger says before “Let’s Spend The Night Together.”  

The more well-known songs fare much better in a big show such as Leeds.  The band sound much more comfortable with “Shattered” and “Beast Of Burden” (featuring a beautiful saxophone melody).  The Tattoo You songs already have a classic sound and songs like “Neighbours,” dedicated to everyone who came from Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, etc, with Jagger calling them all “Neighbours” as an introduction into the song, and “Black Limousine” fare well.  

But the show hits a serious state of stagnation when they play the covers “Twenty Flight Rock” and “Going To A Go-Go,” the rare B-side “Let Me Go” and the ballad “Time Is On My Side.”  The audience lose enthusiasm for these songs and the band seem to sense it by playing slower and more tentative.  

It improves with a great “Beat Of Burden.”  And before “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” he encourages the audience to sing along, to get their [Leeds] lungs out.  And after the band introductions Jagger brings Keith up to sing “Little T & A.”  

Afterwards Jagger remarks that Leeds is the biggest crowd on the tour.  “Angie” is the final slower song played that afternoon.  They continue with the afternoon finale with a long and intense performance of “Miss You,” a version of “Brown Sugar” played at double time, and “Start Me Up” which brings down the house (so to speak).  

“Jumping Jack Flash” closes the show and, after prompting from the crowd, they return for the encore “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”  As they leave the stage Jagger promises they’ll return soon.  But, as things worked out, the Stones wouldn’t play live again for many years and wouldn’t return to Leeds again.  

Live At Leeds is a great no label production.  The front cover artwork is taken off of the Stones Archive site and are printed on thick, glossy, one-sided paper and the CDs themselves are picture discs.  This is a very nice production worth having for the sound quality, interesting performance and historic importance.  

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