Sunday, December 26, 2010

Garden State 78

In June of 1978, the Rolling Stones released the excellent Some Girls LP which marked a return to a more back-to-basics rock album. Not since Exile On Main Street had the Stones delivered such a raw, stripped down sound. Not long after the Some Girls release, I stumbled upon the exceptional bootleg – Garden State 78. This concert was recorded on June 14th on the third stop of the ’78 tour in the intimate setting of the Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ, before the Stones hit the big stadiums. Some reviewers of the time considered many of the ’78 shows to be sloppy and short; but this recording captures all of the raw power of Some Girls. The obvious influence of punk music from this time period worked well for the Rolling Stones and the mixture of classic and new songs made this bootleg a wonderful complement to the Some Girls LP. Time has been kind to the Rolling Stones and many fans now consider the ’78 tour to be the band’s finest.

Garden State 78 was released by the infamous Smilin’ Dork Records (SD 3957) on two LPs and is a superb stereo soundboard recording. The high quality black and white jacket matches the look and attitude of Some Girls, which along with its excellent sound, made this a very high quality package for its time. There was another release from this show on Lurch Records called Out On Bail―a reference to Keith Richards’ arrest in 1978. Hot Wacks added the boast, “It’ll blow your socks off for its sound quality.” This was a single LP packaged in a plain white jacket with a paper insert and included a bonus orange vinyl 45. This show was re-released in the digital era numerous times, the most notable release being The Swinging Pig’s aptly named Out On Bail (TSP 064 2).

There were no official live releases from this tour. Maybe their record label knew they couldn’t compete and left it to the bootleggers to document the tour. I highly recommend this bootleg for any fan of the Rolling Stones―if you had only one live recording, this would be the one to own. For music fans that have yet to discover the 1978 era Rolling Stones, this is proof that they are the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band. You will not be disappointed if you manage to find it! I know I listened to this show at least a hundred times! I never left home without it―it fit perfectly on a 90-minute cassette tape.

Let me know what your favorite Rolling Stones bootleg is.

Song list:

Let It Rock
All Down The Line
Honky Tonk Women
Star Star
When The Whip Comes Down
Miss You
Beast of Burden
Far Away Eyes
Love In Vain
Sweet Little 16
Tumbling Dice
Brown Sugar
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Street Fighting Man

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Live In The Promised Land

This may have been the first bootleg I ever purchased and was definitely the first Bruce Springsteen LP I purchased. A friend once told me that to fully appreciate Springsteen, you simply had to hear him live. Well with one listen to this gem, I was hooked on both The Boss and the live experience. Though not perfect, the sound quality on this three LP set was great. The recording was taken from a live FM broadcast at Winterland in San Francisco on December 15, 1978.

In 1989 this three LP Piste Disques release was brought over to the digital age by Great Dane Records on three CDs. It included two additional tracks from the broadcast not found on the LP plus another bonus track from a different show. Later this show was released by the Crystal Cat label from a different source – a tape that was mixed by the Springsteen camp for a later broadcast on KSAN-FM. Included are seven additional tracks from two different 1978 concerts. Also a three CD release, this is the best available recording of this show and probably the best Bruce Springsteen show ever. I finally did buy some official Springsteen LPs, but I still agree with my friend - his concerts run circles around his studio recordings.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not Forever, Just For Now

The first 22 songs on this package were recorded on May 1, 1994 at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis which would be the final live show for Uncle Tupelo. The sound quality of this show is not perfect but what a set of songs. Any Uncle Tupelo fan should have this recording and if you are new to the band, this would be a good place to start. This is alt-country at its finest. When the remastered versions of the band's studio CD's were released, it was reported that an official version of this show would be released. To date that has not happened, but I understand there is a better version of the show out there - possibly from the original soundboard source tapes. I'm still trying to locate a copy.

I was disappointed when the band split, but now we have two great bands to carry on - Son Volt and Wilco.