The Rolling Stones – Palladium 1978 (No Label)

The Rolling Stones, ‘Palladium 1978’

Disk one: Intro / Let It Rock / All Down The Line / Honky Tonk Women / Star Star / When The Whip Comes Down / Respectable / Miss You / Just My Imagination (40:26)

Disk two: Far Away Eyes / Love In Vain / Beast Of Burden / Shattered / Sweet Little Sixteen / Tumbling Dice / Happy / Brown Sugar / Jumping Jack Flash – Bonus track – Don’t Look Back (Peter Tosh with Mick Jagger) (41:56) 

Live at the Palladium, New York City, New York, USA. 19th June, 1978. 

I guess there’s not much more to be added to the history of this show after GSparaco’s excellent review of the Exile pressing from 2005, ‘New York Palladium’ (Exile EXM-005A/B). A ‘secret’ show held in America’s capitol, entrance held by a radio station ballot, it was another turning point in the bands varied career. 

This release is reportedly from a lower generation copy used on the Exile set and has been ‘pitch corrected’ to reset it to it’s right speed. Now, there’s a but, of course there is, it’s never going to be that easy.

The original review stated, “It is a good to very good audience tape that captures the electric atmosphere in the Palladium that night very well.  The high frequencies are emphasized over the bass and there are instances of distortion in some louder parts.  It isn’t the best recording but it is a good record of a very rare show.  Exile did not overmaster the tape as they tend to sometimes do.  Their work is very light and subtle and enhances the tape rather than ruins it.” 

It’s a fair way of suggesting the sound but compared to some other audience, it falls a bit short. I’d be tempted to suggest that, yes, it’s good to very good, the top end over cuts the bottom end so there’s increasing amounts of distortion but the pitch, for what it it, does tend to wobble about quite unstructured – there are waves of tape stretch and disjointedness.

The audience are also fairly close to the taper – There are, for better or worse, moments in which the crowd seem to annotate what’s going to come next or even seem a little disinterested and talk amongst themselves. One member even whistles the riff to ‘Honky Tonk Women’ to themselves. For the better though, there are some terrific, deep ‘Noo Yoik’ accents that flow through from time to time – funny and endearing for a limey like me, maybe some of the residents might not see the value in it. 

The new tape begins with an abbreviated introduction starting with ‘As those of you here tonight know, there ARE no rumours ..’ taking out the part of the speech that announced the chandeliers (See previous review) 

The sound is very bass heavy – The rumble that throbs throughout the concert is marginally affecting – both Bill’s bass and Charlie’s drums lead in this aspect, Keith and Ronnie sound a little reedy in comparison however Mick is pretty much unaffected. 

The whole show seems to run short on the disks when we’re now used to near 3 hour shows (How are we getting on with those 90 minute CDs?) but I guess there have been worse) 

The covers are of the same quality that you’d expect from No Label – A stylist effort that takes the look of the tour and replicates it in full colour on the front and back – everything is clear and readable – while there are some B&W stage shots on the inserts and a pic of Mick with Peter Tosh inside. 

Not a must have set as – as has already been pointed out – there are better recordings from this tour still. I might hasten to mention that this recording is a low level upgrade on what has come before but it is what it is for now. File under pay-day treat as opposed to ‘must have’. 

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