The Rolling Stones “Olympia Live In The Sixties” (Goldplate GP 1302CD1/2)
All Shows Live At L’Olympia, Paris, France Compiled From Musicorama Radio Broadcasts April 18th 1965 (CD ONE 01-12) – March 29th 1966 First Show (CD ONE 13-26) – March 29th 1966 Second Show (CD TWO 01-11) – April 11th 1967 (CD TWO 12-20)
CD ONE 1965 1. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 2. Around And Around 3. Off The Hook 4. Time Is On My Side 5. Carol 6. It’s All Over Now 7. Little Red Rooster 8. Route 66 9. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 10. The Last Time 11. I’m Alright 12. Craw-Dad 1966 FIRST SHOW 13. The Last Time 14. Mercy Mercy 15. She Said Yeah 16. Play With Fire 17. Not Fade Away 18. That’s How Strong My Love Is 19. I’m Moving On 20. The Spider And The Fly 21. Time Is On My Side 22. 19th Nervous Breakdown 23. Around And Around 24. Get Off Of My Cloud 25. I’m Alright 26. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (70:24)
CD TWO 1966 SECOND SHOW 1. The Last Time 2. Mercy Mercy 3. She Said Yeah 4. Play With Fire 5. Not Fade Away 6. The Spider And The Fly 7. Time Is On My Side 8. 19th Nervous Breakdown 9. Hang On Sloopy / Get Off Of My Cloud 10. I’m Alright 11. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 1967 12. Paint It Black 13. 19th Nervous Breakdown 14. Lady Jane 15. Get Off Of My Cloud / Yesterday’s Papers 16. Under My Thumb 17. Ruby Tuesday 18. Let’s Spend The Night Together 19. Goin’ Home 20. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. (67:12)
In the absence of an official BBC anthology style set then the Rolling Stones are certainly well catered for within bootleg circles. One to put together with the Godfathers set “We Got A Good Thing Going” which featured that BBC chronicle, “Olympia Live In The Sixties” captures the broadcasts from L’Olympia in Paris, France from where the Stones shows were broadcast on RTL radio and which make up some of the best in-concert recordings of the Brian Jones era of the band.
An altogether different beast to the rather more sedate or formal BBC recordings and, where as in the UK or America, when the band played their live shows young women made up the most of the audience and screamed until their hearts content it was a different sex that filled the halls to support the stones and the atmosphere is reflected on these CDs.
Theres not the usual sound of shrill screams from the attended but almost the sound of a football (or soccer – depends on who’s side you’re on) match mixed with music.
These sets are primarily made up of old blues tracks as one might suspect but with the bands own British twist on the whole of the sound – a jazz enthusiast drummer and a blonde mopped blues enthusiast with a taste for any instrument that he could lay his hands on was a spectacular brew to behold and a perfect anecdote for the teens who were enamoured with the sound of the Beatles, but were ready to lap up something of a nastier, grubbier twist, a bad boy answer to the scrubbed up fabs.
Professionally recorded with included here in varying quality, these four shows have the Stones at their most rabid, frenzied and eager to thrill duties, without Jagger’s crazy limbed scuttling it loses somewhat in the action but the musicianship is still exemplary for these kids who were still mastering the art of the elder blues player.
The set seems to be taken from the internet released set “Musicorama Mixdown”, an amalgamation of previously released boots and sources upgraded to entertain the very best of the recordings of these shows.
Their premier show at l’Olympia is a fantastically clear recording – apparently a re-broadcast from around 1995 when the Stones returned to L’Olympia – beginning with an introduction in French the band stomp through the final part of “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” quickly followed by a fine bluesy “Around And Around”.
“Off The Hook” certainly never made it much further than the early 60’s, it’s lyrics are lodged within the less artfully thought through birth of rebel rock, and so is a rarity in itself where as “Time Is On My Side” had a little more nous about it, a little less ‘bed-sit-dream’, and deservedly keeps it’s mantle as a great seasonal cross over.
After a little audience baiting the bank knock a finely honed “Carol” in to the hat before a boulderising “It’s All Over Now” takes the audience to their feet and raises the excitement in the room a palpable threefold.
Things calm down a little, bar the handclaps, for “Little Red Rooster” and then the band raise the temperature again for “Route 66” and for the complete version of “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”.
The set list nears it’s end on a Stones original (“The Last Time” – very strange to hear it as fully formed as it gets after listening to the Stones from their later years recently but unfortunately as soon as Brian picks up the sax it falls in to some kind of wind instrument madness) and two Bo Diddley covers ( “I’m Alright” which seems to have been chosen on the basis of it either A. Being a Bo Diddley track or B. Awful and less likely to out shine the bands own material and another (“Craw-dad”) that’s full of the Americanisms the band were picking up (along with a fine line in finely veiled smut.) “Craw-Dad” in itself is a rarity having been played out almost exclusively at the Crawdad club where the Stones played a residency. By all accounts, the Olympia is the only place it was played outside of the club and was soon dropped from the set list forever.
The two shows from 1966 shows how far the band had moved in the time between their inaugural appearance at the Olympia and the next, spanning just short of a year.The difference here is that the first of the shows seems to be from the original broadcast way back when and is as crunchy as hell, listenable certainly but less so, definitely. Sometimes the tracks are muffled by the voice of the radio DJ but they generally just stick to the asides and crowd whipping by Mick.
Loaded with many more of their own songs than the previous venture, they begin this time with “The Last Time” and then give way to the covers beginning with “Mercy, Mercy” by Booker T. and then “She Said Yeah” by Larry Williams. The Stones originals pick up again with “Play With Fire”and then, in the first set, is followed by O.V. Wright’s “That How Strong My Love is” while Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” is sandwiched in-between. Hank White’s “I’m Moving On”, also missing from the second set, is partly obscured by the DJ’s chatter but has a terrific harp part in the middle.
“Time Is On My Side” is repeated rom last years outting in slightly shortened form once again. It’s accompanied by a horrid shrieked harmony this time which is a little disappointing but “19th Nervous Breakdown” is without such distractions standing tall with the rest of the ruthless, snide side the Stones had perfected.
“Get Off Of My Cloud” is new to the set is another new addition this year and is set off at a shuttling pace. Charlie’s drums, a forceful part of the whole shebang, are nearly none existent here but Bill’s choogling bass a steady time keeper.
One of the Stones best warhorses rounds off the set in gloriously extended fashion. Jagger introduces this with a couple of tics that warm up the audience but again the quality of the recording leaves the riff a lot to be desired and while it’s just about audible, it’s a difficult listen sometimes.
On to Disk two and the second set from 29th March, slightly shortened setlist but begins in much better quality than it’s previous sources – Although the beginning might give you that sinking feeling a little when it breaks in and while the discrepancies between these various sources is more evident to give the bootleggers their dues, it’s mixed through very, very well.
The variations to the set are that “That’s How Strong My Love Is”, “I’m Moving On” and “Around And Around” all get the flick and a version of (Well, a line from .. ) Farrell and Russells’ “Hang On, Sloopy” is attached to the beginning of “Get Off Of My Cloud” (There may have been inspiration for the band between shows maybe?) and at the end Jagger appears to drop his microphone in the heat of the moment.
The only real flaw of the set is that “19th Nervous Breakdown” is missing it’s first couple of bars – no great loss as the quality makes up for what it’s missing and the several parts of “Satisfaction” are ‘varied’ in quality lets say but nothing too unsettling.
Their final set and the one from 1967 has the band now hitting the very height of their fame and prowess – no covers, originals only while Jagger seems to be a lot more vocal and playing up to his part rather than acting the visuals only – but it is in great (sometimes good) quality yet again.
A lot of the sitar part missing from “Paint It Black” is just Mick vocalising in it’s place, once again “19th Nervous Breakdown” is rapidly charged through causing Mick to lose his way somewhere along the line.
“Lady Jane”, new to the set, is in marginally rougher quality but is saved by being a slower, more delicate track than the rest. The audio improves again to a flat mono for “Get off Of My Cloud / Yesterday’s Papers” a nice little medley of the two tracks albeit only a couple of choruses and one verse in the middle of the latter.
The rest of the set is practically new to L’Olympia’s stage as “Under My Thumb”, sublime “Ruby Tuesday”, “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and the album huge “Goin’ Home” ( Though obviously not the 13 minute version ) are played out with the last track speeding up to the riff of “Satisfaction” (another cut and sew version) to end the show with a glorious crescendo of noise.
Goldplate’s art department once again score full marks for their tidy representation of the Musicorama concerts – French colours, black and white photos of the band on stage along with a nice few era – correct photos. As mentioned, Jones era live shows are rare at the best of times, for them to be put together with such care and attention shows promise but, I’m duty bound to point out, as this was released first as an internet download, you’re missing nothing in quality but for the silver CD collector, this is a wonderful set to own.