The Rolling Stones – Seattle Coliseum ’75 (SODD-030-S-CD/SODD-031-S-CD & bonus CD-R)

Seattle Coliseum ’75 (SODD-030-S-CD/SODD-031-S-CD & bonus CD-R)

Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA – July 18th, 1975

Disc 1 (63:14):  Fanfare For The Common Man, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Star Star, Gimme Shelter, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Happy, Tumbling Dice, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll

Disc 2 (54:22):  Band introductions, Fingerprint File, Wild Horses, That’s Life, Outta Space, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, Rip This Joint, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash

Bonus CDR, Black And Blue Sessions:  Hey Negrita, Cherry Oh Baby, Crazy Mama, Fool To Cry, Slave (Instrumental), Melody, Sexy Nite (a.k.a. Lovely Lady/I Love Ladies), Reggae ‘n’ Roll (a.k.a. Munich Reggae), Cellophane Trousers (a.k.a. Back To The Country), Worried About You, Memory Motel (Instrumental), Come On Sugar (a.k.a. Let’s Do It Right)

In the past four years The Rolling Stones’ July 18th, 1975 tape has received multiple releases. It first appeared many years ago on discs seven and eight of the Tour Of The Americas 1975 (RS01-08) box set. Like the other tapes in that set, Seattle runs noticeably too fast and is out of pitch.

The Yugoslavian CDR label Risk Disc issued this tape on Seattle 1975 (RISK DISC 011-1/2) in a gorgeous digipack. Rockin’ The Coliseum (Exile Records EMO – 03A/B) quickly followed and several months ago Dog N Cat issued Alive In Seattle (DAC-062) followed by Seattle Coliseum ’75 on SODD.

All of these releases use the same audience recording, and the latter four run closer to the actual pitch. Some say Risk Disc and Exile run a hair slow and the DAC and SODD run at the correct pitch. Risk Disc and Exile have some issues with the balance in the beginning which aren’t present in the DAC and SODD.

The sound quality is very similar between them all as well. This is a good to very good mono audience recording. The acoustics of the venue and the distance from the stage work against the taper producing an excellent sounding tape, and the lower frequencies are emphasized producing some fuzziness.

There is no significant distortion and the audience interference is kept at a minimum. It isn’t as good as the Los Angeles tapes but is superior to many of the New York concerts. There is an almost imperceptible cut at 9:31 in “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” probably due to a tape flip.

The label claims in their press release this is a tape produced and mastered by Freezer, the well known taper in Louisiana who is responsible for many well known tapes from New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He is responsible for the first two shows of the Tour Of The Americas 1975 in Baton Rouge, but he wasn’t in Seattle and didn’t make this tape but rather sent it out to be torrented online.

Seattle has seen multiple releases over the past couple of years because, in the words of one collector, “it is one of the absolute best shows we can find from this tour (maybe one of the best ever). Right from the start the show is a total explosion and almost every song is played with a breathtaking intensity.” He is correct in pointing out the intensity of the show.

The band begin with “Honky Tonk Women” and don’t stop to take a breath for about two hours. Mick waits until after “All Down The Line” to address the audience with a curt “if you can’t rock me, somebody will.” “Get Off Of My Cloud” is segued with the new song and Billy Preston’s contribution, where he goes back and forth with Jagger, are very hard to hear.

“Welcome to Seattle…we’re gonna do a song about a girl from New York” he says before “Starfucker.” The audience reacts loudly when the giant phallus appears on stage and afterwards someone close to the taper can be heard begging for “Sweet Virginia” (but doesn’t get it). “You Can’t Always Get What You Want'” is eleven minutes long and is Ron Wood’s set piece with a killer solo.

Mick introduces Keith to sing “Happy,” but Jagger covers most of the vocals (as is normal for this tour.) After “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll” they go into the band introductions. They normally played “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” at this point but the song was inexplicably dropped after the first Cow Palace show in San Francisco.

Maybe they felt that that followed by “Fingerprint File” brought too much funk into the set list? It is a shame since it would have been great to hear a version at the same level as all the other songs are given in this show and could have blown the roof off of the coliseum.

Mick lets go of one of many exasperated screams before asking the crowd, “How many people here from Seattle? How many people from Portland? How many from Vancouver?” “Fingerprint File” follows and the quality of the recording makes the song sound very dark and mysterious. The band returns to their regular instruments and play “a sad song for you sad people…everybody’s happy but let’s pretend to be sad.”

“Angie” was normally played at this point but was dropped also after the first Cow Palace show and only “Wild Horses” from the slow section remains. Billy Preston’s two song set sometimes stole the show, but sounds like a distraction in Seattle as the audience patiently wait for him to finish before the Stones come back to finish the show.

“Brown Sugar” is the warm up for what some have said is some of the most extraordinary performance on the tour.

“Midnight Rambler” is thirteen minutes with Richards and Wood playing in perfect sync. The slow section with Mick singing, “I’m talking about the Boston Strangler” is heavy enough to knock back the front row. The final three songs, “Rip This Joint”, “Street Fighting Man” and “Jumping Jack Flash” are played in an undifferentiated medley in almost double time as the song reaches its astonishing climax.

Seattle Coliseum ’75 is limited to five hundred copies and two hundred copies are available with a bonus CDR of the Black And Blue sessions from later in the year. With so many different versions of this show now available SODD make it easy to pick it up. Conversations about this tour usually center on the Los Angeles shows since they have amazing sounding tapes and professionally shot footage, but Seattle is an amazing show in a city that has seen many of them in the 1970’s.

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