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Album Review: Rolling Stones Live At The El Mocambo 1977

Artist: Rolling Stones
Album: Rolling Stones Live At The El Mocambo 1977
Reviewer: Rod Strachan

The Rolling Stones had in 1977 long been touted as the world’s greatest rock and roll band. After a 7-month hiatus off the road the band played two shows in the tiny 300-capacity venue on the 4th and 5th of March ’77 and the audio is being issued across a 2CD set and as a 4LP vinyl package. Both formats feature the whole performance from the second date, with three bonus tracks from the 4 March gig, all newly mixed by Bob Clearmountain. 

The band’s secretive gigs were covered up better than a White House scandal with lucky radio winners expecting to see local Canadian act April Wine & special guests The Cockroaches (no not the Australian band that spawned into The Wiggles!) The Cockroaches were of course the Stones themselves and their intend was to capture the live element of their performance in an intimate setting. Some 45 years later we are seeing the fruits of this blistering two nightstand that gathered vital fundamentals of the band’s first club shows in over a decade. 

Mick Jagger’s ever energetic presence at the forefront of the stage and vocals lead the way. Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood’s fresh beginning (Ronnie joined the band officially in 1975) as a guitar weaving duo is stellar and continues to this day. Bill Wyman & Charlie Watts rhythm section on bass and drums respectively has never been replicated by others to this day. This concert is proof of their importance to the band’s success over the years as anyone else. The gigs also featuring sideman players 5th Beatle Billy Preston, Ollie Brown & original Rolling Stones member Ian “Stu” Stewart. 

The 23 tracks include Muddy Waters’ ‘Mannish Boy,’ Bo Diddley’s ‘Crackin’ Up’, ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’, ‘Tumbling Dice’, Willie Dixon’s ‘Little Red Rooster’, the live debut of ‘Worried About You’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and many more. A real concentration on the groups later material to that date with a few earlier gems thrown in highlights the band’s ability to play anything in their catalogue.  

This live release is without doubt proof that the live album’s when gathered and released the right way are a beautiful listen to one’s ears. Whether you are a CD or vinyl fan, this release is a requirement in your collection!  

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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