Archive for Brussels Affair

The Delights Of Jim Marshall’s “The Rolling Stones 1972”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 5, 2012 by johnbuckley100

It was the greatest tour, by the greatest band, backing the release of perhaps the greatest album in the history of rock’n’roll.  Purists point to the Stones’ ’69 tour as the apogee of the art form, noting that it was the band in its naked glory, with only Ian Stewart to radiate the 88 on just a song or two.  But the Stones in ’72 were at their absolute peak, and with Nicky Hopkins looking at the mirror installed on his piano so he could see what the boys were up to behind him, with Jim Price and Bobby Keys filling in on horns, with Mick and Keith standing on that dragon-painted stage that had to be washed with a combination of water and 7Up, with all those songs from Exile On Main Street to be played to huge audiences, this was the pinnacle.  We don’t just say this because we were there, at Boston Garden (on the good night when they played on time), or that first night at Madison Square Garden.  We say it because it is true.

Jim Marshall was a tough, Leica-wielding pro on an assignment for Life, and he was embedded in the early hours, the pre-tour studio wrap up, the West Coast swing.  The only pictures he took from this period that really ever saw the day were what was in that Life published right around the end of the tour.  To see the remaining 80-plus pictures, in one place at one time, you had to wait until now, as The Rolling Stones 1972 was published by Chronicle Books.  Though in the text there is a swipe taken at the great Ethan Russell — they dismiss him as an amateur who hooked up with the Stones for the ’69 tour — this is a nice companion piece to Russell’s fantastic photographic chronicle of that period.

And it’s a reminder that the Stones need to do the right thing and finally release a live album from that magical moment, the ’72 tour.  Keith seems finally to have stopped blocking what for all of us, if not him, was the highlight of the band — the period when Mick Taylor played lead — and last year allowed “Brussels Affair” to be released as an official album.  A few years ago, they allowed new songs to be released from the Exile sessions. They’ve let Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones to be rereleased as a DVD.  Now comes Marshall’s book.  It is time the Stones stepped up and allowed tapes from the ’72 tour to come out as an official album.

We’ve always surmised that the reason they didn’t was that it would reveal too clearly that the nearly 40 years since Ron Wood joined the band were substandard.  But with a live album from Mick Taylor’s final tour (’73 Europe) already released, and with the movie made in ’72 available, what’s the point of keeping under wraps that live album recorded in Ft. Worth?  Jim Marshall’s fine book of photograph merely whets the appetite.

Listening To The Rolling Stones “Brussels Affair” As An Official, Not Bootleg, Album

Posted in Music with tags , , on November 17, 2011 by johnbuckley100

Those very clever folks at Google Music have figured out a way to get confirmed iTunes customers, such as the entire crew at Tulip Frenzy, to sign up — by releasing exclusives one must have, or at least check out.  Brussels Affair has long been one of the most widely distributed, best-sounding Stones boots, recorded off a soundboard during the Stones ’73 tour, and then broadcast as a radio show.  Now thanks to Google Music we can hear it in its “official” form, with Bob Clearmountain having been brought in to tidy up Andy Johns’ recording for release.  We’d have been more joyous if it had been something from the ’72 tour, of course, for the substitution of Billy Preston for Nicky Hopkins was not a step up.  But still… And it sounds great.  (The bummer is if you have an iPhone, you can apparently listen to your music only with Safari open and connected to your spanking new music.google.com account.  Surely there’s a work around to get the music to actually download onto the device?  Please tell, oh army of Tulip Frenzy readers.)

RollingStones.com also has concurrently launched something called The Rolling Stones Archives, promising to release stuff from the vaults.  Is it possible the Stones have gotten smart enough to go the Dylan route and actually let us hear what they recorded in their prime?  We shall see.

UPDATE: listening to the bootleg and the “official” release back to back, there’s no question they’ve done some work to make it sound like a “real” live album — the bass comes through, the guitars sound less tinny, and the overall sonic quality is akin to what was broadcast over the radio.  It’s definitely worth going through whatever contortions Google forces upon us to listen to it.

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