The Rolling Stones – Stoned Issue – Playhouse Theatre (Godfather Records GR575/576)

Stoned Issue – Playhouse Theatre (Godfather Records GR575/576)

Green’s Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland – May 28th, 1982

Disc 1 (62:19):  Under My Thumb, When The Whip Comes Down, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Shattered, Neighbours, Black Limousine, Just My Imagination, Twenty Flight Rock, Going To A Go-Go, Chantilly Lace, Let Me Go, Time Is On My Side, Beast Of Burden, Let It Bleed

Disc 2 (55:20):  You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Little T & A, Tumbling Dice, She’s So Cold, Hang Fire, Miss You, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up, Jumping Jack Flash, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones scheduled their first tour of Europe in six years to support Tattoo You in 1982.  arenas.  In 1976, when they last played Europe, they booked 14,000 seat venues like the Olympiahalle in Munich.  But on this tour, they played mostly in outdoor sports arenas with a minimum of 50,000 capacity.  This would also be their final tour for seven years. 

But before the massive blitz, the Stones played three very low-key warm up gigs in smaller venues in Scotland.  The May 28th in Edinburgh is the third and final warm up date in the 3,000 capacity Green’s Playhouse.  The recording is interesting for being a rare opportunity to hear the show, which was developed to play in very large arenas, in such an intimate setting.

Edinburgh is one of the better sounding recordings and has been issued before on The Flower of Scotland (Rattle Snake RS 034/35), Let’s Play House (VGP-257) and Edinburgh 1982 (SODD 040/041).  Godfather is comparable to the others and has warmer sound than the SODD.

It is important to remember this is a warm up date, only their third show since the massive Still Live tour ended the previous December.  Their backing band on this tour was Chuck Leavell (keyboards), Gene Barge and Bobby Keys on saxophones, replacing Ian McLagan, Lee Allen and the great Ernie Watts.  There is a lot of passion pouring out, but there is a degree of tentativeness in the first couple of songs especially.  It sounds as if some of the songs are on the verge of a collapse in the breaks, as if they’re making sure they’re getting the song right.

There are no major mistakes.  And after rather limp versions of “Black Limousine” and “Just My Imagination” everyone warms up as the show progresses.   

It is also interesting to note the show occurs in the midst of the 1982 British Home Championship.  Scotland was scheduled to play England the following day in Glasgow, and Jagger mentions it several times.

During the “oldies cover” section of the show, they play Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty-Flight Rock” and “Going To A Go-Go,” two songs carried over from the American tour.  They also play “Chantilly Lace” for the first time.  Unlike the 1958 Big Bopper arrangement, theirs is slowed down with a hard rock beat.  It’s a strange arrangement and the song would be dropped from the set within a month to be replaced by “Angie.”

Scottish audience are notable for their participation and enthusiasm in rock concerts, and on this night Edinburgh becomes very active after “Little T & A.”  Jagger mentions again the match the following day between England and Scotland and even brags that he’ll place a bet as a segway into “Tumbling Dice.”  The audience breaks out into a spontaneous chorus of “The Flower Of Scotland,” popular at football matches.  The Stones follow with “Tumbling Dice.”  (And, for the record, England defeated Scotland 1-0 on May 29th).

Jagger plays games with the lyrics to “Miss You,” placing them out of order compared to the studio recordings and seems to be having much fun with it.  Classic songs “Honky Tonk Women” and “Jumping Jack Flash” are augmented with the new song “Start Me Up,” sounding as much a classic as the others.  The night ends with a loud “Satisfaction” and a very demonstrative audience. 

Stoned Issue – Playhouse Theatre is attractively packed in the tri-fold gatefold sleeve and various photographs from the tour on the artwork.  It may not be a substantial improvement over other issues of the show, but it is a very solid release of an obscure part of the massive 1982 tour of Europe and is worth having in one form or another.     

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  1. (of course Ernie Watts was the sax player in 1981, I meant that Bobby Keys only did the “Brown Sugar” solo those 2 years)

  2. @LedMan; you commented on “Bobby’s performance”…it is Gene Barge who plays sax, Bobby Keys only comes out for “Brown Sugar” (this also goes for the 1981 shows)

  3. This is my first 1982 Stones piece in my collection and a very enjoyable performance and recording. As my wife and I were listening to this, we both commented on Bobby’s performance and how his talent really added to the band. Another fine release from the folks at Godfather Records and I’m sure I will be revisiting this release in the near future.


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