Rolling Stones Announce ‘Live at the El Mocambo’ Album
The Rolling Stones will commemorate their secret 1977 performances at Toronto's El Mocambo Tavern with a new live album.
Live at the El Mocambo arrives May 13 and will be available on multiple formats, including double CD, 4 LP black vinyl, 4 LP neon vinyl and digitally. The set is available for pre-order now.
Images and full track listing can be found below.
The Rolling Stones descended upon Toronto in the spring of 1977 to play two consecutive nights at El Mocambo on March 4 and 5. The rockers were routinely packing stadiums at that point, so secrecy was paramount in order to pull off the surprise gigs at the 300-capacity club. Booker Dave Bluestein achieved the misdirection by booking Canadian blues-rockers April Wine at the venue on both nights, sharing the stage with an "unknown" band called the Cockroaches.
Fans entered a radio contest to win tickets to see April Wine. Promoter Duff Roman and the Stones handpicked the winners, who were informed of the surprise while riding a bus to the show. They were funneled in the back door of El Mocambo to avoid drawing any unnecessary attention to the scene.
The shows went off without a hitch, and the Stones treated lucky fans to vintage sets filled with blues and early rock 'n' roll covers. Four of those covers — Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy," Bo Diddley's "Crackin' Up," Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" and Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around” — appeared on the band's Love You Live double LP, released in September 1977.
Live at the El Mocambo features the Stones' full set from the March 5 show, along with three bonus tracks from the March 4 performance. In anticipation of the set, two songs -- "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll” and “Rip This Joint” -- are available for streaming now.
Hear the Rolling Stones Perform 'Rip This Joint'
The El Mocambo sets were a fitting callback to the band's formative club days, and a welcome distraction from the media circus surrounding Keith Richards, who had been busted with an enormous amount of cocaine and heroin upon landing in Canada in late February and faced a potentially hefty jail sentence due for trafficking.
"The minute I got onstage, it felt just like another Sunday gig at the Crawdaddy," Richards recalled. "It immediately felt the same... It was one of those weird things in Toronto. Everybody's going around talking doom and disaster, and we're up onstage at the El Mocambo and we never felt better. I mean, we sounded great."
Hear the Rolling Stones Perform 'It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)'
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"
23. "Worried About You"