Rolling Stones Releasing ‘Live at El Mocambo’ Album After 45 Years

by Chris Haney

On May 13, fans of The Rolling Stones will be treated to the first official release of a pair of iconic club gigs from 1977. The Rolling Stones’ Live at the El Mocambo, a popular bootleg album for decades, will get its official release in two months as a two-CD set, a quadruple-LP, and will hit digital streaming services as well.

The Rolling Stones have occasionally played smaller venues throughout their storied career. Yet the Live at the El Mocambo shows are notorious for their performance in a 300-capacity club in March ’77. Only four of the songs from those gigs were released on the Love You Live album, which came out later that year in September.

Yet the other 14 songs on the live album consisted of tunes recorded earlier and in larger venues. For decades, fans have wished the band would release the full club set instead, and now they’re getting exactly that. In fact, The Rolling Stones already released two tracks in anticipation of the full album – “Rip This Joint” and “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll.”

When the band performed in the club in 1977, they did not announce the performance under their own name. They billed the band as the Cockroaches for their March 4 & 5 appearances. The mystery band would supposedly open for then-popular Canadian group, April Wine. In actuality, April Wine would be the opener for the secret band that turned out to be The Rolling Stones.

Details of The Rolling Stones ‘Live at El Mocambo’ Album

Live at the El Mocambo will include three tracks from the opening March 4 performance. It will also include the entirety of the March 5 show for the first time. In total, the new album will consist of a 23-song tracklist. In addition, fans that may have the bootleg still have a reason to buy the new album since it includes songs that haven’t appeared on previous “soundboard” bootlegs. Most bootlegs were capped at just 14 tracks, so fans will get 9 more than usual.

Some of the highlights featured on the new album are songs from the then-new Black and Blue album. Their song “Worried About You” wouldn’t be released until Tattoo You came out four years later in 1981. Further, the album showcases some great covers from other musicians. The Rolling Stones have always been steeped in the blues, so they appropriately performed their own renditions of “Little Red Rooster,” “Mannish Boy,” “Worried Life Blues,” and “Route 66.”

Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman wrote about the band’s El Mocambo gig in his 2001 book titled Rolling With the Stones. “Musically, our opening night at the El Mocambo was not good… The second night went very much better and we had a good time,” Wyman wrote.

At the time of the March 4 & 5 gigs, the shows raked in plenty of publicity. Frontman Mick Jagger infamously brought along the estranged wife of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau. The pairing led to scandalous reports from the media, something The Rolling Stones became used to in their decades-long career.

‘Live at the El Mocambo’ Track List

1. Honky Tonk Women (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
2. All Down The Line (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
3. Hand Of Fate (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
4. Route 66 (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
5. Fool To Cry (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
6. Crazy Mama (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
7. Mannish Boy (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
8. Crackin’ Up (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
9. Dance Little Sister (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
10. Around And Around (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
11. Tumbling Dice (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
12. Hot Stuff (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
13. Star Star (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
14. Let’s Spend The Night Together (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
15. Worried Life Blues (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
16. Little Red Rooster (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
17. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It) (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
18. Rip This Joint (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
19. Brown Sugar (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
20. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
21. Melody (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
22. Luxury (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)
23. Worried About You (Live at the El Mocambo 1977)