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We’re back – Stones Oakland 1969 is latest release from 1960s Records!

August 21, 2020

Available  now at http://www.1960s.london

The Rolling Stones – Live At The Oakland Coliseum 1969

Let The Airwaves Flow Volume 4

Tracklisting

  1. Sympathy For The Devil (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)
  2. Stray Cat Blues (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)
  3. Prodigal Son (Robert Wilkins)
  4. You Gotta Move (Fred McDowell and the Rev. Gary Davies)
  5. Love In Vain (Robert Johnson)
  6. Live With Me (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)
  7. Gimme Shelter (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)
  8. Little Queenie (Chuck Berry)
  9. Satisfaction  (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)

All tracks recorded live at the Oakland-Almeda County Coliseum, California on November 9th 1969 (Second Show) and broadcast on Radio KSAN at the behest of Bill Graham

 

Personnel

Mick Jagger – Lead vocals

Keith Richards – Guitars, vocals

Mick Taylor – Guitar, vocals

Bill Wyman – Bass

Charlie Watts – Drums

Sleeve Notes: Dan D. Lion

The opening night of the Stones 1969 tour – a low key warm up in Colorado – was their first gig in the US since Honolulu on July 28th 1966. In the intervening three years much had changed for both the Stones and the States. Founder member Brian Jones had been eased out of the band and replaced in May 1969 by twenty-year old guitarist Mick Taylor. Keith Richards had “got heavily into open tuning guitar riffs – the big new sound – and this was the first tour they had been let loose on audiences”. Onstage amplification and lighting had also greatly improved which allowed the band to be seen and heard, crucial for  an audience now more into listening than screaming. The 17 date, 23 day tour sold out in hours and grossed $1,907,180. Ticket prices ran from $4.50 to $8 in New York. Criticism of such “exorbitant” ticket prices fuelled demand for a free concert, which would eventually result in the darkness of Altamont.

The tour received rave reviews, with The New Yorker stating that “the Stones present a theatrical musical performance that has no equal in our culture” whilst New York Daily News noted that “the Rolling Stones took the fans by storm, preaching male chauvinism, sex, drugs, freedom and violent revolution”.  The onstage prowess of the band was captured by the Wally Heider Mobile  at gigs in New York and Baltimore,  resulting in the ten track LP Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! released in September 1970 and described by the NME as “arguably the best thing the band has ever done”. An expanded version was released in 2009, adding five further live numbers plus songs from support acts B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner.

Before Ya-Ya’s came out an unofficial document of the tour emerged in hipper record stores. This LP was called Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be, initially released on Lurch Records. Recorded by “Dub” Taylor at Oakland using a Sennheiser shotgun microphone and a Uher Report 4000 reel-to-reel tape recorder Live’r was the first live rock bootleg to be widely distributed and of remarkably good quality for an audience recording: read Clinton Heylin’s fascinating Bootleg! for the full story. Comparing Live’r to Ya-Ya’s shows that the latter benefitted from considerable studio over-dubbing. Richie Unterberger has noted that whilst the recording of Live’r is inferior to the sound quality of Ya-Ya’s, it displays a spontaneity that the official recording lacks. In Rolling Stone magazine John Peel opined that Live’r was the greatest live album, ever.

By concentrating on the tracks broadcast by KSAN we can present the Oakland concert in best-yet quality. A slightly tentative Sympathy For The Devil showcases a lengthy Taylor solo, underpinned by Richards’ unrelenting rhythm. Stray Cat Blues reduces the age of its subject to thirteen for a spot of épater le bourgeois and features some x-rated guitar action. The acoustic interlude of Prodigal Son and You Gotta Move is a delight with Jagger’s vocals devoid of affectation  and Richards’ acoustic guitar sounding surprisingly clear considering the primitive amplification available. Love In Vain  features a fine train impersonation and lyrical playing from Taylor. Such subtlety is elbowed aside by a stomping Live With Me, Jagger improvising lyrics to address an unspecified onstage problem. Compared to later live versions Gimme Shelter is compact and to the point, ending a bit abruptly for some of the band. On this tour Ian Stewart would usually slide behind the piano for the irresistible chug of Little Queenie but there is no sign of him here. The set ends with a rousing Satisfaction, Jagger testifying over rhythm kings Watts and Wyman and the interlocking guitars of Richards and Taylor.

Ya-Ya’s  kicked off with tour manager Sam Cutler’s onstage introduction of  “Ladies and Gentlemen…the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world…The Rolling Stones!” . On this evidence, less an arrogant boast and more a statement of fact.

From → Music

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