Rolling Stones finally release legendary El Mocambo live shows on album

The Rolling Stones backstage
(Image credit: Helmut Newton)

The Rolling Stones are to release Live At The El Mocambo, recorded at the band's two legendary secret shows at the 300-capacity El Mocambo club in Toronto, in 1977. They've aklso released new tracks from the album, Rip This Joint and It's Only Rock And Roll.

Four tracks from the El Mocambo shows featured on the Stones 1977 live album Love You Live, alongside tracks recorded on the Tour of the Americas shows of 1975 and Tour of Europe shows in 1976, but the new album features 23 songs: the full set from the band's second night at the club, and three tracks from the first night. 

Rolling Stones fans were attracted to the show after local radio radio station CHUM FM organised a contest in which the prize was tickets to see Canadian rockers April Wine, supported by an unknown band called the Cockroaches.

“The plan that we constructed,” CHUM FM's Duff Roman told The National Post in 2015, “was to have a contest: ‘What would you do to see the Rolling Stones play live?’ This way we could select the 300 top entries and guarantee that real fans would be there for the event. The prize would be a chance to see April Wine at the El Mocambo. 

"People wrote in and we cherry-picked the best ones. As you might expect, there were lots of nude Polaroids. When the band came in to judge the winners, they slipped the photos into their pockets and took them home."

On the nights themselves, April Wine were the opening act, with "The Cockroaches" taking the stage as headliners. April Wine recorded their own set for a live album, also called Live At The El Mocambo and released the same year.

The Rolling Stones album will be available on double CD, plus quadruple LP black vinyl, and neon vinyl variants. It's been newly mixed by Bob Clearmountain. It'll land on May 13. 

The Rolling Stones - Live At El Mocombo tracklist

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 

Rolling Stones 'Live At The El Mocambo' packshot

(Image credit: Universal Music)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.