The Rolling Stones

Garden State '78

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Any Rolling Stones tour of the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s was bound to turn up in a lot of bootlegs, but their Some Girls tour of 1978 was bootlegged even more thoroughly than most. To understand why it enjoyed so much attention from bootleggers, you have to understand the enthusiasm that surrounded the Some Girls tour. After a series of albums that were decent but not great (including Goats Head Soup in 1973, It's Only Rock 'N Roll in 1974, and Black and Blue in 1976), the Stones truly excelled on 1978's Some Girls -- a focused, confident, gutsy gem that was rightly hailed as their best album since 1972's classic Exile on Main St. So when the Stones hit the road in support of Some Girls, bootleggers made a point of doing even more taping than usual. One of the best-sounding bootlegs that resulted from that tour was Garden State '78, which was recorded at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ, on June 14, 1978, and documents the Stones' third stop on the tour. Recorded from the venue's soundboard, this two-LP set boasts superb sound quality -- and the word "superb" also describes the Stones' performances. Eight of the set's 19 songs are from Some Girls; the only songs on that album that they don't perform are the title song and "Before They Make Me Run." The Stones must have loved the fact that "Miss You," "When the Whip Comes Down," "Shattered," and other Some Girls gems went over as well as classics like "Street Fighting Man," "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," and "Tumbling Dice." When Garden State '78 turned up at vinyl swap meets in the late '70s, collectors were impressed by both the sound quality and the performances -- not surprisingly, copies went quickly.