The Rolling Stones, “Love You Live Mixes 2016” (Idol Mind Production IMP-N-026)
Love You Live Mixes 2016; Hey Negrita / Hot Stuff / Star Star / You Gotta Move / Angie
“From S.F. To Paris” 2016 transfer; Band Introductions / Happy / Tumbling Dice / Nothing From Nothing / Outa Space / Midnight Rambler / It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll / Brown Sugar / Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Street Fighting Man / Outro (69:30)
Uploaded to the internet in March 2016, these new ‘Love You Live Mixes’ were originally produced in 1982 and stored away for 35 years, constituting of 5 brand new tracks including three never before heard songs from the 1975/1976 tour. After last years ‘Foxes From The Boxes’ studio mixes, these were the next big thing to come from sources that even devout collectors weren’t privy to.
The poster for these recordings, a ‘Gracious Retired Audio Professional’, had produced these tracks as ‘training’ for his subsequent career and, by way of explanation, posted the following statement to introduce his haul; ‘I started my professional recording, engineering career with Alpha International Recording Studios in Philadelphia , the fall of 1980. I was an assistant engineer for the first few years and when I worked long overdub sessions, where I was basically sitting, I would go down the hall way to studio B when it was unoccupied and practice mixing multi track masters until summoned to the next set up’. The story continues that Mick and Keith were looking for an undercover or relatively unknown studio that they could mix and ad overdubs for the Love You Live LP without the hassle of the press buzzing around after Keith’s recent drug bust in Canada and, as Alpha was yet to open officially, it was perfect as a working ground for the duo without the unwanted intrusion.
5 tracks were used for the master that was stored at Alpha – ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Star Star’ would eventually be used for the official release, ‘Angie’ and ‘Hey Negrita’ were cut from a Parisian recording, while ‘You Gotta Move’ was sourced from a concert recorded in Cleveland in 1975.
The other engineers at Alpha had all had a go at mixing these tracks themselves, whether they had thought of capturing their own mixes for prosperity remains to be heard however, GRAP as we’ll refer to him did, capturing these mixes on 1/4″ reel to reel tape at 15 IPS, transferring the reel to CDR, Mini Disk and DAT for prosperity. Finally mixing them to MP3s, he uploaded these tapes to the internet under the guise of Shuffle Play records and unleashing them to the world.
They have been released all around the same time on CDR, on a pressed CD run under the imagined ‘Shuffle Play’ records label (Unconnected to GRAP’s original intentions) and this, Idol Mind’s 26th production – Still seems a little low in numbers for a label that has been around for so long but then, for label that seems to only concern itself with quality, it’s not entirely surprising. The producers have decided that the best process to fill out the running time of the CD is to add a vinyl rip of the ‘From San Fransisco To Paris’ Toasted records vinyl album from 1980, spliced with traders tapes recordings of Billy Preston’s tracks.
The great thing is that these semi-professionally produced mixes sound great, sure they were mixed by a guy who was on the cusp of his engineering career but even he had better chops about him than to have mixed them like the album was presented – By leaving off Mick’s re-dubbed vocals it instantly makes a better fist of it all, from the notes from the original upload; ‘Charlie Watts drums were well recorded to just four tracks, kick, snare and stereo overheads for the tom and the cymbals. I was able to get a good snap from the snare. ‘
‘Bill Wyman’s bass track was mic’d, but not direct. The mice could have been placed closer to the amp, so I had trouble getting much “balls” to the bass sound.’
‘The guitars were recorded well with a lot of clarity and without a lot of stage bleed’
‘Billy Preston’s Hammond B-3 was a mono track. I used an old tick of tape delay to create a “stereo” effect, splitting it left and right on ‘Angie’. It kind of words and word better on headphones. I also used tape delay on Ronnie Wood’s slide on ‘You Gotta Move’. I’m not sure I’d do that again but there it is.’
‘Mick’s original concert vocals were pretty sloppy, mumbled and garbled the he’d forget the lyrics but they were so much more compelling than the sterile audio overdubs. I kept the original concert vocals as my main vocal. I split Mick’s two chorus overdubs to ‘Star Star’ to left and right to blend with the backing vocals by Keith, Ronnie and Billy.’
IMP’s voice of extras is an interesting one – As mentioned, ‘From S.F. to Paris’ comes from an old vinyl boot – the High End HD rubidium system that the label are fond of using really fleshing out the vinyl sound and bringing a little analogue humanity to the digital sound – Pops and crackles are slightly – slightly – noticeable from time to time. Where Billy’s songs were in the set list but absent on the LP is patched in with audience tapes – plural – and through the early portions of ‘Nothing From Nothing’ there’s an amount of tape crunch like it’s been through the heads the wrong way. The original LP was a hybrid of sorts too so buyer beware when there’s some rather choppy editing before ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll’ it’s mainly the introductions before but just as your ears settle in to one change, the recording snaps in to another – it’s not entirely uncomfortable but because of the multiple sources used, it’s the best way to complete the recording.
A great release supplemented by the extra embellishment of the classic LP. Until there’s another big new release this year – and the way things are going there has to be something in the vaults, surely – this is an imperative for your collection. An excellent release.