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Doobie Brothers -
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA;
May 17, 1976

JEMS Full-Track Tandberg Mono Master

Recording Gear: Sony ECM-22P Microphone > Tandberg Model 11 Portable Reel to Reel

JEMS 2017 Transfer: Master reel > Tandberg Model 11 > Sound Devices USBPre 2 capture (24/96) > iZotope RX and Ozone > MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1 > Peak Pro XT (volume smoothing / edit / index) > xACT 2.37 > FLAC

01 Jesus Is Just Alright
02 Rockin' Down The Highway
03 I Cheat The Hangman
04 Precis Jam
05 Neal's Fandango
06 Turn It Loose
07 Move Your Feet
08 Eyes Of Silver
09 Takin' It To The Streets
10 Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)
11 Rio
12 Black Water
13 Wheels Of Fortune
14 Piano Intro > Sweet Maxine
15 Long Train Runnin'
16 Keep On Doin' It
17 China Grove
18 Listen To The Music

Known Faults:

Tale of the Tapes and the Tandberg
With Jared’s passing in October 2016, the complete JEMS Archive was moved south from his home up north. That move, sad impetus aside, presented an opportunity, however daunting, to go through and organize the collection. With the help of some amazing friends and experts (among them Slowburn, SS, RD and slipkid68), JEMS tapes are now accessible in ways they have never been before. SG was also on hand to help and fill in our taping history as he always does.

When the task was done and loaded into the truck, one box in particular captured my attention: master reels recorded by SG on his Tandberg portable reel to reel. We’ve posted some 20 or more of these on DIME over the years, but this box contained master reels that had never been digitized before and, in some instances, had seemingly never been traded or circulated.

If you don’t know about the Tandberg, it was a remarkable piece of gear in its day, not only capable of recording at 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 IPS, but in full-track mono. I won’t do the math, but compared to a cassette, the surface area of tape capturing the music is orders of magnitude higher, which is why so many of SG’s Tandberg masters from the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen are considered by some as audience-recording classics. The Tandberg required 10(!) D-cel batteries to operate, is roughly the size of a compact typewriter and weighs more than ten pounds. Imagine sneaking that into a show and your respect for what SG accomplished only grows.

This is the sixth in a series of Tandberg master reels digitized for the first time. Happily, the original Tandberg deck is still fully functioning, so these transfers offer full-track mono playback on the original tape recorder to maximize quality.

We follow up Boston ( :: EzTorrent v0.7.0r495 :: Login, Lou Reed ( :: EzTorrent v0.7.0r495 :: Login), ELO ( :: EzTorrent v0.7.0r495 :: Login), Warren Zevon ( :: EzTorrent v0.7.0r495 :: Login) and Jackson Browne ( :: EzTorrent v0.7.0r495 :: Login) with none other than the Doobie Brothers, on tour in support of the album Takin' It To The Streets, the first album to feature new member Michael McDonald.

I can't admit to being a fan of the Doobies other than knowing their hits, but there's no getting around that the playing in this performance is impressive and the addition of the Memphis Horns pushes the soulful pedal to the floor.

I'm also loathe to declare a tape as having excellent sound, since audience recordings are so subjective, but holy crap, this has to be one of the best of all the Tandberg masters, and remarkable quality for a 14,000 seat arena more than 40 years ago. Once again, the distinct lack of close-up audience noise suggests SG placed the mic somewhere in the seating scaffolding and directly in line with the PA. Samples provided. If you're a fan of this era of the Doobie Brothers, I think you'll be very pleased with this show.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate that the Doobie Brothers were famously the band featured in the bootlegging episode of the '70s sitcom, What's Happening? Rerun gets caught making an audience recording of the show, after being strong-armed by a bootlegger to tape it in the first place. The Doobies are disappointed, but forgive him in the end when he helps catch the bootlegger. This one's for Rerun.

Our hat goes off again to SG for his remarkable work in the ‘70s, ‘80s and beyond for capturing these shows in the first place, and to Jared, may his legacy live on as he rests in peace. Thanks as well to mjk5510, for his unwavering support of JEMS’ efforts and indispensable post production work.


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