The Rolling Stones – Palm Beach 1969 Off Reels (Idol Mind IMP-N-018-1, 2)

Palm Beach 1969 Off Reels (Idol Mind IMP-N-018-1, 2)

International Raceway, West Palm Beach, FL – November 30th to December 1st, 1969

Disc 1 (73:48) THE BYRDS – You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, Jesus Is Just Alright, Positively 4th Street, My Back Pages, Turn Turn Turn, Mr. Tambourine Man, Eight Miles High (Edited).  COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH – Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine.  JEFFERSON AIRPLANE – Somebody To Love, Greasy Heart, White Rabbit.  SLY & THE FAMILY STONE – M’Lady.  JANIS JOPLIN – Kozmic Blues, Maybe, Summertime, Try, Piece Of My Heart.  JANIS JOPLIN, JOHNNY WINTER & VANILLA FUDGE – Foolish Woman Blues (Edited)

Disc 2 (72:25) THE ROLLING STONES – Introduction, Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Under My Thumb, Midnight Rambler, Gimme Shelter, Live With Me, Little Queenie, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, MC “Hello Junkies,” Street Fighting Man

By the end of their first US tour in years, The Rolling Stones wanted to go out with a band with several big festivals.  A week before their Altamont show, they headlined the First Annual Palm Beach International Music & Arts Festival.  Unlike Altamont, this festival went off without a hitch and was quite memorable even to the point of being dubbed “Woodstock South.”  

The entire Stones set has been pressed previously on One Day Before Altamont (Shaved Disc TSD 024), Palm Beach 1969 (Idol Mind IMP-CD-042) and Miami Pop Festival (Vinyl Gang VGP-117).  Palm Beach 1969 Off Reels is Idol Mind’s second release of this tape.  Just like their set with George Harrison’s 1974 Nassau Coliseum shows, this is a marked improvement over past releases.  It is expanded to contain several numbers from the other acts and also sounds as if it comes from the master reels.     

Unfortunately the speed problems are also present.  They can sometimes be heard on the first disc during the other act’s songs.  On the second act they begin while the Stones are playing “Sympathy For The Devil” and escalate from there.  By the middle of the Stones’ set they become most noticeable and quite unbearable.

It is a shame because it is a great vintage Stones performance and certainly deserves a better recording.  Hopefully someday a soundboard would surface.  Or at least a better audience tape.  Until then, the problems needs to be endured by anyone who wants to experience a magic performance.  

Palm Beach 1969 Off Reels comes packaged in a special “duo” jewel case with obi strip.  The jewel case is an interesting variation.  But ultimately this is a bit of a disappointment to those who were hoping for a definitive recording.  

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  1. Your review is spot on GS which is too bad as the clarity of the tape make it one of the better sounding shows of the tour if not for the speed problems…Idol Mind has released some winners though as I think their Altamont set is excellent…

  2. The original Idol Mind label is said to have been a precursor to the old VGP label. The current Idol Mind label is mostly famous for reissuing classic Stones’ shows with digital/computer remastering. Can’t say I’ve picked up very many of the new Idol’s releases. This title is a perfect case in point. Other than the first disc of other artists’ performances, this release offers nothing new. Unfortunately the tape speed fluctuations remain, making this release only for those with extra money to burn. I was so close to buying this title, but sadly it’s just another Idol Mind release to skip for the Rolling Stones enthusiasts who’ve had this material in similar quality for years.


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