The Rolling Stones – Woodstock Tapes (Moonchild Records)

The Rolling Stones, ‘Woodstock Tapes’ (Moonchild Records) 

Disk 1; Miss You / Respectable / Love In Vain / Play With Fire / No Expectations / Instrumental / Instrumental / Instrumental / Instrumental / Instrumental / Instrumental / Gimmie Shelter / When The Whip Comes Down / Miss You / Don’t Look Back (62:37) Disk 2: Beast Of Burden / Beast Of Burden / Instrumental / Beast Of Burden / Summertime Blues / Summertime Blues / Tumbling Dice / Jumping Jack Flash / Memory Motel / Far Away Eyes / Beast Of Burden / Hot Stuff / Hot Stuff / Something Else / Sweet Little Sixteen (68:36)

Disk 3: High Heeled Sneakers / Play With Fire / Cracking Up / Cracking Up / Tell Me / Shake Your Hips / Respectable / Don’t Look Back / Instrumental / Instrumental / Sweet Little Sixteen / Instrumental / Instrumental / Instrumental / Crazy Mama (49:15) Disk 4: Starf*cker / Gimme Shelter / Instrumental / Cocksu*ker Blues / It’s Only Rock And Roll / It’s Only Rock And Roll / All Down The Line / Honky Tonk Women / Brown Sugar / Instrumental / Sweet Little Sixteen / Shattered / Miss You / Respectable (72:51)

Recorded at Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, New York, USA. 27th May – 8th June, 1978. 

Rocking up at the Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, the Rolling Stones arrived to rehearse for their first US tour in three years – Their first after Jagger had suggested that the band start to bring in disco influences to their latest LP, ‘Some Girls’ and also the second after Ronnie Wood had joined the group. 

The tour was sneered at by the press for being sloppy and seemingly under rehearsed, however, as we’ve known for many years, rehearsals obviously took place and, like the tours that proceeded them going back a few years, they were recorded for the reasons of fleshing out these performances. 
These rehearsals have been around before, as GSparaco pointed out on his review of the 2011 OMS set, “Various fragments from the rehearsals were pressed onto several one-CD titles including The Rolling Stones (NP 7381), The Woodstock Tape 1978 (Idol Mind Productions IMP-CD-003), Hip Shake 1978 (Melody ML001) and The 1978 US-Tour-Rehearsals in Woodstock (Mighty Diamonds MD 2007).  
A longer tape filling two CDs was issued on 1978 Tour Rehearsals / Back to the 50’s (The Glimmerpub 19007/18001) and Pearls at Swine (TOTR 002). Two four disc titles followed with The Complete Woodstock Tapes (Red Devil RED001/002/003/004) [Addendum – This featured a few additional tracks from very different sources added afterwards] and 
The Complete Woodstock Tapes (VGP-130).” The last pressed release of this set was Complete Woodstock Tapes (Original Master Series OMS:001-4). 

At the first glimpse, this set seems to repeat the Red Devil, the VGP and the OMS sets, a cursory dig of the internet doesn’t appear to show any recent ‘remasters’ of the rehearsals attempted and so, without the others at hand, I’d have to guess that this comp is nothing more than the same set once again – The expensive VGP long sold out, the Red Devil in it’s cumbersome packaging (albeit without the ‘bonus’ tracks) and the OMS featuring a butt-ugly cover on it’s slipcase, this very affordable and handsome 4 disk set from Moonchild should be a good purchase if you’d missed out previously or even wanted to make a little more space on your shelves. 

To save you too-ing and fro-ing between reviews – The sound is an incredible soundboard quality, wide stereo and a good balance of each of the players – Though Mick’s contribution is scant in places, he’s still very present during most songs. 

No liner notes but attractive black and white covers that mirror one another (The front image for the first duo is the rear for the second and vice versa), the interior shots are lovely. The disks for this budgetary label are as standard with a simple silver text on black.

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