"Bedspring Symphony" - The Brussels '73 Story - "Brussels Affair"

"Brussels Affair"

November 16, 2011: The Rolling Stones "offically release" this sensational show to the on-line / internet masses!

Clearly not all of the songs released on the official version of “Brussels Affair” are the same as those heard over the years on the King Biscuit Flower Hour (KBFH) Broadcasts. There were two performances in Brussels on October 17, 1973. An afternoon (1st) and evening (2nd) show.  The CD's titled “The Lost Brussels” (VGP-088), “Live In Brussels 1973” (HEN 069), and Rattle Snake’s “Brussels Affair – Definitive Edition” (RS 015/016) document the Brussels 1st show songs for comparison against the Stones “official” release and also add other soundboard references that may have been used by Stones for this recording including Newcastle, Wembley, and Rotterdam 1973 shows. Brussels 2nd show sources include six soundboard tracks. They are: Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, All Down The Line, and Rip This Joint. They are found on "Back To The Graveyard" from Dog n Cat (TCI-4402 DAC-113). It is also important to note that no audience source circulates of Brussels 2nd show, so some source conclusions will be based on process of elimination. The Stones web source also states that the performances were remixed by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters recorded by Andy Johns on the Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Unit (the truck in Keith's driveway in France that captured the sound of "Exile On Main St."). It should also be noted that the original KBFH compilation with Brown Sugar from Rotterdam '73 has been legitimately available via the web on Wolfgang's Vault for some time now (maybe a couple of years). All "marker" notes are in reference to the "official" version...

1. Brown Sugar (w/Introduction) 3:56
Markers: "And now ladies and gentlemen it's the Rolling Stones". There is feedback before opening chords of the song. "Whoaw", "yeah baby" spoken by Jagger at the opening.
Mix Notes: There is reverb added to the saxophone solo and it is lower in the mix. Mick Taylor's soloing is "up" in the mix!
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 1st Show
Comment: The announcer opening and song are the same as the original KBFH broadcast with remix.

2. Gimme Shelter 5:33
Markers: Keith plays a short note before the opening chord. There is an "eerie" Billy Preston keyboard with added horns at the opening. Jagger says "yeah" after the 1st verse "shot aways". There is a notable syncopated piano throughout the track.
Mix Notes: The drum sound is great on this track. The opening keyboard and subsequent syncopated piano are mixed way down in the official version. The sound upgrade is SIGNIFICANT when compared to the unauthorized soundboard version.
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 2nd Show
Comment: I love this song. This is a particularly haunting version with fine Taylor soloing throughout. They should have kept a little more piano in the mix :-)

3. Happy 3:14
Markers: Jagger says: "play the guitar" before Taylor's first solo. At the improvised outro Jagger says "Fah fa fa fa fa fa ... oh yeah"
Mix Notes: Not a lot of difference in levels just a crystal clear stereo upgrade of the previously available recording.
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 2nd Show
Comment: A great energetic live version of this song!

4. Tumbling Dice 5:04
Markers: In the opening verse Jagger says: "Women think I'm crazy, always drive me raving". Unusual variation.
Mix Notes: Major clean-up compared to the unauthorized mix. Solos are clear and again there is a great snappy drum sound for a 1973 mobile recording.
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 2nd Show
Comment: Europe '73 versions of this song are great. Extended impromptu jams in the middle bridge of the song with vocal improvisations.

5. Star Star 4:16
Markers: "If I ever get back to Jackson girl...". Operative word is "Jackson" versus "fun city girl...".
Mix Notes: Listen for Taylor guitar "noodling" in the left channel.
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 2nd Show
Comment: This is a fun song and quite "advanced" with respect to testing censorship in 1973. The closing track on
"Goats Head Soup" that woke-up the entire album. Can Keith play Chuck Berry chops or what?

6. Dancing With Mr. D 4:38
Markers: Jagger says: "yeah...well, well" after the first verse & chorus.
Mix Notes: Sounds great. Can't say enough about the dynamic range achieved on the drum sound.
Source: It's not Brussels 1st or Wembley '73, so Brussels 2nd by process of elimination
(if you have an audience recording of the 2nd show please send an email).
Comment: The
"Goats Head Soup" tracks really come alive in the Europe '73 live performances.

7. Heartbreaker 5:03
Markers: Jagger says: "All right get a tempo" during the opening keyboard chords.
Mix Notes: Right channel horns are fairly low in the mix when compared to other '73 soundboards.
Source: Brussels 1st wasn't a "Heartbreaker Show" and it's not Wembley, so Brussels 2nd by process of elimination.
Comment: This previously unheard version really jams. It is so cool to have tracks like this included on the official release. No fair sounding soundboard or audience recording of this song has previously been heard by collectors!

8. Angie 5:15
Markers: Jagger finishes the "All the dreams we had so close, seemed to all go up in smoke, let me whisper in your ear, Angie, Angie, verse" in French (where will it lead us from here). He also says "come on Mick" just before the Mick Taylor guitar solo.
Mix Notes: Bob Clearmountain you done a real good job!
Source: It's not Brussels 1st, so Brussels 2nd Show by process of elimination.
Comment: Another previously unheard live Europe '73 release in perfect sound!

9. You Can't Always Get What You Want 11:01
Markers: Jagger says: "ain't that peculiar, oh, sing it pretty" after the first "...you what you need" chorus.
Mix Notes: I'm getting "goose bumps and chills". The vocal goes up right away, Keith's awesome guitar tone in the right channel, Mick Taylor's solo burns in the left, WOW!
Source: It's not Brussels 1st, so Brussels 2nd Show by process of elimination.
Comment: Check out the rhythm guitar playing during the saxophone solo. The Stones were quite into improvising and extending the studio versions in the early 1970's performances. By the 1989 US tour the arrangements were methodically close to the studio versions (which ain't necessarily bad either). Can we attribute this arrangement of musical precision to Chuck Leavell?

10. Midnight Rambler 12:53
Markers: Are markers really needed here? This track is so distinctively over the top. Like the
"Ya-Ya's" version completely on steroids.
Mix Notes: Listen to the clarity of Taylor's unique guitar fills during the opening versus of the song. The overall mix is given depth and dimension.
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 1st Show
Comment: This song is the same as the original KBFH broadcast with remix.

Okay, my ears are seriously ringing now. Better take a break ;-)

11. Honky Tonk Women 3:12
Markers: Jagger says: "Yeah, baby, yeah" before the opening lines of the song
Mix Notes: You can really hear the Keith Richards backing vocals for a change. Listen also for the "sympathetic" lead lines that Taylor is playing in the left channel particularly during the opening chords. The fine lead break is as always played by Keith in the right channel.
Source: It's not Brussels 1st, so Brussels 2nd Show by process of elimination.
Comment: The Stones played two great versions of this 1969 classic on the same day in 1973, and for the first time we hear the 2nd show version.

12. All Down The Line 4:21
Markers: Jagger does some growling ad-libbing and then a "yeah" before the opening verses of the song.
Mix Notes: It's a two guitar onslaught with Taylor soloing and slide on the left and a chunky rhythm in the right. Also, horns twinkling away in the right channel.
Source: The vocal markers match the Brussels 2nd Show unauthorized soundboard.
Comment: It has been pointed out to me that Mick Taylor's solo from the 1st show was overdubbed on to this 2nd show source. It clearly was. The advantage of being able to digitally edit from the original multi-tracks. There is a slight delay in hitting the closing note that is clearly heard in both, not to mention it being note-for-note the same. I should also mention that Mick Taylor nearly never played the same exact solo twice. It's like a unique fingerprint. This solo has been completely isolated with none of the 1st show talk over from Jagger. The song is being played at quite a fast tempo.

13. Rip This Joint 2:25
Markers: Mick Jagger says a sort of ad-libbed "let it rock, oh baby won't you let it rock" twice before the closing guitar solo.
Mix Notes: There is reverb and depth added to the saxophone solo.
Source: The vocal "marker" is the same as that heard in the unauthorized Brussels 2nd Show soundboard.
Comment: This song begins the absolutely frenetic ending to a show that has been released by the Stones in the actual running order of a Europe 1973 set list.

14. Jumping Jack Flash 3:27
Markers: There is an error in the opening vocal: "I was drowned in the crossfire of a hurricane".
Mix Notes: Every instrument and every note so clearly defined.
Source: The vocal marker is not heard in Brussels 1st show, therefore; it is Brussels 2nd by process of elimination.
Comment: This is one of my favorite Stones songs and this live version delivers with a great build-up to a crescendo at the ending.

15. Street Fighting Man 5:15
Markers: This particular track is so distinctive that it hardly requires identification. Mick Taylor's guitar tone and solo are unmistakable.
Mix Notes: Depth and dimension have been brought out in the mix. The unauthorized KBFH version pales in comparison.
Source: Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 1st Show. A KBFH track.
Comment: An over the top frenzy of a close. Water and rose petals everywhere with Jagger spinning wildly. Can't you just see it!

Au revoir, Merci.

Indeed: Thanks for this!

Total Time: 1:19:29 (Perfect timing for a single CD release for best sound fidelity and easy accessibility to the masses!)


- Only 3 tracks have been previously heard as KBFH recordings
- 6 have been released as unauthorized soundboards in fair-good quality
- 6 of the 15 tracks have never been heard before !

This is a "Collector's Delight" for sure. The official
"Brussels Affair" is a treasure trove of unheard and upgraded Europe 1973 tracks. The original tracks picked for the KBFH radio broadcast are superior performances in my opinion, but having the new songs in phenomenal quality is an amazing treat. Do you think the Stones or even Don Was know that there is no audience source for Brussels 1973 2nd Show? Or that the five soundboard tracks have only circulated in relatively poor quality? Other interesting ground is broken in that absolute perfection is not the overriding priority in the selection of tracks. Live shows are naturally imperfect and this is the real deal except for a single detected overdub which was simply "pasted in" from a different show. Look at the studio effort that went into making "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!" vocally perfect in the ears of the Stones. The official "Brussels Affair" is the way to go! More please: The complete Leeds 1971, "Get Your Leeds Lungs Out!", ALL three complete New York shows from 1969, "Stoned MSG", with the same FANTASTIC, AMAZING, sound that we hear on the stingy EP of bonus tracks from the "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!" reissue.

Wembley, England, September 9, 1973

The Rolling Stones At Their Finest Hour (77 Minutes)

Introduction: Brussels, 1973

There are probably more variations and releases of the first show from Forest National, Brussels, Belgium, October 17, 1973 in circulation than "LIVEr Than You'll Ever Be"! Jagger spoke of his desire to release a live album from the European tour on a CD titled "1973 Interviews" on the Goats Head record label. His idea was to release another album quickly after "Goats Head Soup", and to have one side live and the other side consisting of new studio recordings. Jagger describes the live version of You Can't Always Get What You Want that he wanted to release as: "we do a very different version of that on stage...we do another version, which is very good, and different you know, from the original". Unfortunately, the band was still plagued with copyright issues over the pre-1971 recordings with Decca, and the project never came to fruition. Another example of the many hassles with Decca over live albums. Jagger comments: "Unfortunately, we've got a lot of problems with our old record company, who won't let us re-record the songs that were already out". This situation was apparently resolved by the time "Love You Live" was released in September, 1977, as there was a clause in their separation with Decca that stipulated that the band could not re-release Decca era songs for seven years after they left the label. The great live music from this period will never be commercially released for this reason.

The best known source of the Brussels performance is the King Biscuit Flower Hour (KBFH) radio show broadcast. There is a different show spliced into the broadcast, which is from Empire Pool, Wembley, London, September 9, 1973, but there is also a nearly complete version of the Brussels show in circulation as well. The following is a first level pass at the broadcast distinctions and some words on the music:

* denotes Wembley source

** denotes both Wembley and Brussels sources available

No * denotes Brussels

Note: Star Star was played at both Brussels and Wembley after Tumbling Dice, but not on public broadcast!

A representative running order of the Europe '73 Set-List and comments:

Brown Sugar: Some recordings have an opening with an announcer saying "And now ladies and gentlemen it's the Rolling Stones", and drum pounding that ping-pongs from channel to channel.

** Gimme Shelter: Brussels and Wembley versions are distinctly different. Brussels Markers: Guitar dominant intro versus horn. Jagger says "Yeah" at the closing bars of the first middle break guitar solo. Keith's guitar is out of tune. Wembley Marker: Jagger says "Ahh Have Mercy, Thank Ya, Thank Ya, Whooo, Owooo" at the end of the song.

** Happy: Two different occasions when Keith starts in time and gets most of the words! Brussels 1st show Marker: Mick says "Merci Keith, That Was A Good One" at the end of the song. He says no words before Taylor's first guitar solo. Wembley Marker: Mick says "All Right, Thanks Keith" at the end of the song. He says "come-on my man" before Taylor's first solo.

Tumbling Dice: Charlie's hammering rhythm, and the crowd clapping in the middle section of the song make this a standout version.

** Dancing With Mr. D: Taylor and Richards are "on". Brussels Markers: "Yeah" at the closing bars, "whoo" at the very end of the song. Wembley Marker: Jagger says: "Thank Ya, Thank You Very Much Indeed, Thank You Very Kindly" at the end of the song.

* Heartbreaker: Much more interesting in the live setting. Taylor feels and accentuates the song with his use of the "wah-wah" effect. Not played during the first show Brussels, Oct. 17, 1973, so it's always Wembley.

Angie: A masterpiece replete with Taylor and Preston solo's.

You Can't Always Get What You Want (11:06): Long improvised solo's by Taylor and Bobby Keys highlight the center section of the song. Listen for Keith's rhythm playing during the saxophone solo. A testament to his skill as a rhythm guitarist.

Midnight Rambler (13:03): Jagger's Rock opera in three long movements. The audience gets into the act in the middle section of song by answering Jagger's "Ouwoo's".

Honky Tonk Women: Keith captures a rich guitar tone for this one.

All Down The Line: "Oh, heard the wires a humin' "

Rip This Joint: Charlie's drumming comes through like a shot to the mid-section!

Jumpin' Jack Flash: On the best quality recordings you can hear a "wah" effect in the middle section of the song.

** Street Fighting Man: The Wembley version is one of the most intense pieces of music ever recorded! By the time Jagger gets to his last three shrieks your hair will be standing on end! Even the resonating feedback after the last chord is played adds to the effect. On some recordings Jagger can be heard growling "Good Night"...

The closing hypnotic wallop of Rip This Joint, Jumpin' Jack Flash, & Street Fighting Man is really something. Fortunately, this intense and frenzied performance has been "preserved for the future".

Brussels, October 17, 1973 First Show Actual Set List & Running Order:
Brown Sugar/Gimme Shelter/Happy/Tumbling Dice/Star Star/Dancing With Mr. D/Angie/You Can't Always Get What You Want/Midnight Rambler/Honky Tonk Women/All Down The Line/Rip This Joint/Jumpin' Jack Flash/Street Fighting Man



The Track Lists:

Happy, Gimme Shelter, and Street Fighting Man can vary between Brussels and Wembley. Heartbreaker was not played at the Brussels broadcast show. A broadcast quality Dancing With Mr. D from Wembley September 9, 1973, has been mixed into a box set that also has Brussels sources.

The Splices:

Splices can be attributed to commercial and announcer breaks. Additional splices or fades show up on CD's made from LP's, and are due to breaks in the album sides.

The Broadcasts:

The unauthorized sources in the following section are those with the closest song lists and running order to the actual broadcast. Other title are either spliced with different broadcast dates and/or arranged with different song sequences.

Broadcast #1. September 29, 1974 "It's Only The Rolling Stones":

Brown Sugar/Happy*/Dancing With Mr. D/Angie/You Can't Always Get What You Want/Midnight Rambler/Rip This Joint/Jumpin' Jack Flash/Street Fighting Man*

Broadcast Media: Reel-to-reel tape and LP

Cross Reference of Unauthorized Sources: "The Rolling Stones: European Tour 1973" Trade Mark of Quality (RS 561-A/B)/"West Germany" Box Top Records (RS 561-A/B)/"headin' for an overload" Totonka (PI5053A/PI5054) CD2

Broadcast #2. November 24, 1974:

Gimme Shelter*/Tumbling Dice/Brown Sugar/Heartbreaker*/Angie/Honky Tonk Women/Midnight Rambler/All Down The Line/Street Fighting Man*

Broadcast Media: Reel-to-reel tape

Cross Reference of Unauthorized Sources: "Bedspring Symphony (A Box Lunch and Meat Whistle Live in Concert)" The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label (TAKRL 1941-A/B)/"Lapping Tongue Set" 2LP /"Reverse Blues" 2LP Beacon Island Records (2S 713-A/B, the original TAKRL matrix is scratched out)/"Bedspring Symphony" CD Chapter One (CO 25113)/"headin' for an overload" Totonka (PI5053A/PI5054) CD1

Broadcast #3. Last week of December 1974:

Highlights from 1974 KBFH broadcasts:

Angie, All Down The Line, and Street Fighting Man*

Broadcast Media: Reel-to-reel tape

Broadcast #4. June 29, 1975:

Brown Sugar/Happy*/Gimme Shelter*/Tumbling Dice/Heartbreaker*/You Can't Always Get What You Want/Dancing With Mr. D/Angie

Honky Tonk Women/Midnight Rambler/Rip This Joint/Jumpin' Jack Flash/Street Fighting Man*

Broadcast Media: Two reel-to-reel tapes

Cross Reference of Unauthorized Sources: "Nasty Music" 2LP. A Singers Original Double Disc, SODD 2-012 A/B/C/D (add MSG July 26, 1972 tracks)/"Nasty Songs" TAKRL ( 24409-A/B/C/D)/"A Tour De Force" 2LP Saturated Recordworks (2S701)/"Jump" 2CD Flashback (04.90.0118)/"Nasty Music" 2CD (SODDCD-012-1/2)

Broadcast #5. September 27, 1987:

First airing of the lost Brussels '73 tracks, including the horn (re)mix of Brown Sugar.

The three Brussels tracks are: Brown Sugar/Happy/Gimme Shelter

Broadcast Media: CD (18 F 0200 A) See Part II for more details.

Cross Reference of Unauthorized Sources: "The Rolling Stones" DIR Broadcasting (18F02)/First three tracks of "Brussels Affair" 2LP & CD Chameleon Records (CHAM 8812)/"King Biscuit Flower Hour" Vol. 1 LP

Broadcast #6. Week of November 20, 1988:

Brown Sugar - Rotterdam Oct. 14, 1973/Street Fighting Man/Gimme Shelter/Happy/Tumbling Dice/Dancing With Mr. D/Heartbreaker*/Angie/Honky Tonk Women/Midnight Rambler (edit)

Broadcast Media: CD (3 Y 003 00 B)

Cross Reference of Unauthorized Sources: "King Biscuit Flower Hour" Vol. 2 LP/"Nasty Remixes" Singer's Original Double Disc (SODD-012)/"Nasty Music" 20Bit Master Recording (20 BIT-01)

"Nasty Remixes" and "Nasty Music" CD's are rearrangements of the actual broadcast, but have most of the same musical content. Add Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, & Happy from the September 27, 1987 airing, and Star Star from Newcastle Sept. 13, 1973 (RTL). There are also the two edits of Midnight Rambler at 2:42 and the other at 5:37 that result in nearly a 4 minute cut of the song.

Broadcast #7. September 10, 1989:

A re-broadcast of the September 27, 1987 show. The dialog is different and this time the Brussels tracks are referred to as vintage 1974.

Broadcast Media: CD

I remember reading or listening an interview with one of Stones on the "Love You Live" album. He said they considered releasing a version of Angie from the '73 European tour on the record because it was a excellent version of the song and it had a great solo from Taylor. He went on to say something to the effect that it was time to make a break and represent the music from the new line-up. There was still a memory of what must have been the Brussels version of Angie some 4 years later! Taylor had definitely come into his own by this time and had no difficulty taking center stage in the guitar playing department. Europe '73 was his last tour with the band, and we are left with great live music to mark the close of a Stones era.

The Ultimate Bedspring Symphony
(You Will Have To Make It Yourself, Here's The Recipe!)

1. Introduction: Alternating Drum Beats and Announcer
2. Brown Sugar (Nasty Remix: Horn Version – 20Bit)
3. Gimme Shelter (Bedspring Symphony VGP - TAKRL-1941: Wembley Version)
4. Happy (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
5. Tumbling Dice (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
6. Dancing With Mr. D (Nasty Remix – 20Bit: With missing opening bar "pasted" into the track)
7. Star Star (Nasty Remix – 20Bit: Newcastle, RTL Track)
8. Heartbreaker (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
9. Angie (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
10. You Can't Always Get What You Want (11:06) (Headin’ for An Overload)
11. Midnight Rambler (13:03) (Bedspring Symphony VGP)
12. Honky Tonk Women (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
13. All Down The Line (Bedspring VGP)
14. Rip This Joint (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
15. Jumpin' Jack Flash (Nasty Remix – 20Bit)
16. Street Fighting Man (Nasty Remix – 20Bit: Wembley Version)

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

1973 European Tour Personnel

Trumpets: Jim Price & Steve Madaio 
Pianos: Ian "Stu" Stewart
Keyboard: Billy Preston
Sax: Bobby Keys & Trevor Lawrence "at some shows"

Copyright 1995 - 2011 by Chris M. All Rights Reserved.

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