Rolling Stones Release Legendary 1977 ‘Live at the El Mocambo’ Concert

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The Rolling Stones (Photo: Helmut Newton; used with permission)

The Rolling Stones have at last released their legendary 1977 live concerts from the El Mocambo club in Toronto. Live at the El Mocambo marks the first official appearance of the group’s two famous secret concerts at the 300-capacity club in March 1977. The album, first announced on March 25, arrived on May 13, 2022, on 2-CD, 4-LP, and digitally. It features the Stones’ full set from the March 5 show, plus three bonus tracks from the March 4 gig, newly mixed by Bob Clearmountain. [A neon vinyl edition is available at the Stones’ store.]

Listen to many of the tracks below.

Only four of the performances found their way onto the Love You Live album that followed in September 1977, which was dominated by tracks captured on the band’s 1975 and ’76 tours, with the full set having never been heard before.

Live at the El Mocambo is one of many 2022 releases as the Rolling Stones gear up for their 60th anniversary celebration.

To put the timing of the concerts in historical perspective, the group were in between studio albums following the release of 1976’s Black and Blue, and prior to 1978’s Some Girls.

From the March 25 announcement: As the Stones took to the stage of the “El Mo,” a fixture of the Toronto music scene since the 1940s, punk and disco were both rearing into full view, supposedly ready to see off a band who had already been at the top of their game for 15 years. Over two nights, in an intimate space in one of their favorite cities, they were about to make that prognosis look foolish indeed.

The gigs became reality after the El Mocambo was identified as the potential home for a secret booking. A radio contest was organized in which the prize was tickets to see Canadian rock heroes April Wine, supported by an unknown band called the Cockroaches. Guess who they turned out to be…

Their set began with “Honky Tonk Women.”

On the nights, naturally, April Wine were themselves the opening act, and so it was that the Stones rolled back the years to the exhilarating club incarnation of their early years.

Listen to a spirited “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll”

Against all the odds, the band produced two nights of exhilarating music that they still talk about in Toronto, and in Rolling Stones legend, to this day.

Listen to “Rip This Joint”

It was a setlist for all seasons, from Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy“ and Bo Diddley’s “Crackin’ Up“ to staples such as “Let’s Spend the Night Together“ and “Tumbling Dice.”

It was then back to the blues with Big Maceo’s “Worried Life Blues“ and Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster.” Following “Worried Life Blues,” Mick Jagger introduced Charlie Watts to the audience. “Charlie’s a jazz drummer,” he said. “He’s only doing this for the money.”

There was the live debut of “Worried About You,“ not heard in studio form until 1981’s Tattoo You, and more highlights from “Brown Sugar” to “Star Star.”

The complete track listing appears below the Amazon links.

The Rolling Stones Live at the El Mocambo Track Listing

1. Honky Tonk Women
2. All Down The Line
3. Hand Of Fate
4. Route 66
5. Fool To Cry
6. Crazy Mama
7. Mannish Boy
8. Crackin’ Up
9. Dance Little Sister
10. Around And Around
11. Tumbling Dice
12. Hot Stuff
13. Star Star
14. Let’s Spend The Night Together
15. Worried Life Blues
16. Little Red Rooster
17. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)
18. Rip This Joint
19. Brown Sugar
20. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
21. Melody
22. Luxury
23. Worried About You

The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 60th anniversary with a 2022 tour. Tickets are available here and here.

Related: Our Album Rewind of the Stones’ outstanding Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out live release

Less than three weeks after the announcement of the El Mocambo release, the Stones announced another new live set is on its way, Licked Live in NYC, of a 2003 concert.

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  1. Uncle Ricky
    #1 Uncle Ricky 15 May, 2022, 09:19

    What a terrific set. I’ve played it about five times since I got it two days ago.

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