The Rolling Stones – Songs For Europe (Tarantura TCDRS-11)

Songs For Europe (Tarantura TCDRS-11)

Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden – October 6th, 1973 (late show)

(71:48):  Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Starfucker (Star Star), Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man, Outro

The Rolling Stones played two shows at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 6th, 1973.  They played in Gothenburg on the previous tour in 1970 but hadn’t played in the Scandinavium since their first visit in 1965.  The early show has unfortunately never surfaced but the late show has.  

A high generation copy was pressed on You Can’t Say We’re Satisfied (Exile EXCD-013) and mistakenly attributed to the early show (“Dancing With Mr. D” was played in the early show and “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) in the late show).  The sound was poor and no label attempted to release a definitive version until Tarantura released Songs For Europe.  A definite upgrade over the old Exile release, it is distant but much more clear  and enjoyable.  

The tape starts off in a distant mess as the band hit the stage.  The audience were obviously excited to the see the band on stage and it sounds as if the taper was caught in the general melee.  Severe volume fluctuations plague “Brown Sugar.”  It sounds distant, then clears up, and then becomes really hard to hear by the guitar solo.  

Scattered throughout the show are similar patches like at the very end of “Star Star” and beginning of “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker).”  None of them are serious, but they are noticeable   It also seems the taper paused the tape between some of the songs.   

“Gimme Shelter” is more clear.  When the rest of the band come in after the guitar / saxophone introduction it sounds absolutely devastating.  Keith Richards is brought up to sing “Happy” as the third song in the set.  He always has his little set but it’s normally not so early in the show.  Another Exiles On Main Street song “Tumbling Dice” follows.  

Mick tells the audience they will sing several new songs from the recently released Goat’s Head Soup LP.  “Starfucker,” one of their most raunchy songs, sound very fun with Richards doing his best Chuck Berry impersonation on the guitar.  They follow immediately with the dark, brooding riff to “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker).”  

“Angie,” heavily featuring Billy Preston’s organ, sounds gorgeous in this recording.  “We’re gonna do one more sad song for ya” Jagger says and then screams “alright!!”  They follow with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”  At one point in the middle Mick Taylor duets and then defers to Trevor Lawrence on saxophone who plays a sultry melody.  He is famous for his role in such songs as  “It’s Your Thing” by the Isley Brothers, “Superstition” and “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder and his solo absolutely swings.  

Jagger’s harmonica gives a sly, subdued introduction into “Midnight Rambler.”  The jam session quickly builds in intensity until it reaches its violent climax in the middle.  The audience find Jagger’s grunts and thrusts amusing and cheer along with the singer.  

All tension in their little melodrama is relieved with “Honky Tonk Women.”  The horn section have a lot of fun as does Richards, who shouts the chorus along with the rest of the group.  

The show ends with “Jumping Jack Flash” and an intense version of “Street Fighting Man.”  The falling confetti is clearly audible by the approval of the crowd.  The “outro” is a one minute snippet of the audience waiting for the encore and the mc saying over the PA that the show is over and good night with Beethoven blaring in the background.  

Songs For Europe is a very nice Tarantura release.  Although it’s only one disc, it’s packaged in a gatefold cardboard sleeve with photos from the tour on the artwork.  This isn’t the first time this show has been pressed onto silver, but it is the first time it’s been given the correct attribution and the improvement in sound quality is impressive making this clearly the definitive version of this show.   

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