Mid-Summer Music 1975 (Screamer-04005)
Wembley Stadium, London, UK – June 21st, 1975
(75:41): Take It Easy, Outlaw Man, Doolin-Dalton, Desperado, One Of These Nights, Train Leaves Here This Morning, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Blackberry Blossom, Midnight Flyer, Already Gone, Too Many Hands, James Dean, Good Day In Hell, Witchy Woman, Carol, Best Of My Love
The Eagles, the quintessential American west coast laid back country band, had a long association with England. Their first two albums, Eagles and Desperado, and two tracks on their third LP On The Border were recorded in London under Glyn Johns. And one of their earliest biggest concerts was the Mid-Summer Music at Wembley Stadium on June 21st, 1975.
Their entire set is present on Mid-Summer Music 1975 on the excellent Screamer label. The audience recording is good to sometimes very good. There are cuts between many of the songs. Only the one before “Train Leaves Here This Morning” eliminates music. There is a hint of distortion in the louder passages and at times, most notably the first half of “Doolin’ Dalton,” the left channel disappears.
Some copies of this tape have a strange defect in “Too Many Hands” where it fades out in the middle and then starts again. But this flaw does not appear on the Screamer release. This is probably as good as the tape will ever sound.
This massive event was planned and advertised for Elton John’s new album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. A television advertisement (filmed in Los Angeles) has John calling The Eagles, et al “some of my favorite American bands.” The line up ran Stackridge, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Joe Walsh, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, and finally John himself.
By many accounts John made a big mistake by playing the new album in its entirety from the beginning of his set. Many left, claiming that The Beach Boys and Eagles basically stole the show.
Regardless of who upstaged who, The Eagles deliver a great set lasting over an hour. One of These Nights had just been released but only two songs, the title track and “Too Many Hands,” find their way into the set list. The rest of the show come from their first three albums. Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon were still in the band at this point so the aesthetic is still has a country slant.
The band acknowledge their ties to England when Glen Frey dedicates “Peaceful Easy Feeling” to “GJ,” producer Glyn Johns. One of the best parts of the gig comes afterwards when Leadon picks up his banjo and the play the bluegrass standard instrumental “Blackberry Blossom” (referred to as “instrumental” on the liner notes). They follow with Leadon on banjo and lead vocal on Paul Craft’s “Midnight Flyer.”
After the two song bluegrass excursion they continue the more rock oriented material with the radio classic “Already Gone,” a raucous “James Dean” and a very long version of “Witchy Woman.” Joe Walsh joins the band onstage for a performance of the Chuck Berry cover “Oh, Carol” and finally end with “Best Of My Love.”
Mid-Summer Music 1975 is packaged in a standard jewel case with simple but effective inserts. The front cover features individual shots of the members of the band taken from the actual gig (a rarity on many bootlegs). It’s a nice sounding tape of a famous performance and is definitely another quality release on the Screamer label.