East Side West Side Blues (Shades 009)
Disc 1, Kyuden Kinen Taiikukan, Fukuoka, Japan – February 4th, 1977: Opening S.E., Mama Kin, Write Me A Letter, S.O.S. (Too Bad), Lick And A Promise, Big Ten Inch Record, Sweet Emotion, Rats In The Cellar, Dream On, Lord Of The Thighs
Disc 2: Last Child, Walk This Way, Sick As A Dog, Same Old Song And Dance, Train Kept A Rollin’ (Slow), Drum Solo, Train Kept A Rollin’ (Fast) incl. Get The Lead Out, Toys In The Attic
Disc 3, McElroy Auditorium, Waterloo, Iowa – April 30th, 1976: Walkin’ The Dog, Walk This Way, Adam’s Apple, Lick And A Promise, Same Old Song And Dance, Train Kept A Rollin’ (Slow), Drum Solo Train Kept A Rollin’ (Fast), Toys In The Attic
The first two discs of the Aerosmith title are the Fukuoka, Japan show which is either a VG+/EX audience recording or a vg- sb. It has that hollow, very slightly muffled compressed sound of an VG audience recording so I may be leaning in that direction but it is a very crisp clear recording. Steve Tyler and the guitars are slightly forward in the mix. The bass guitar is buried in the mix and hard to hear and Joey Kramers snares are very crisp but his bass drum is very low in the mix. Towards the end of the show Steven Tyler mentions Fukuoka several times so this would be the first time this show has surfaced I think. All in all this is a very clear crisp enjoyable recording.
Disc 3 has a fragment of a supposed 1976 Iowa show, and again supposedly from SB, but it also could be an audience recording as it is hard to tell. I would rate this a G+/VG- SB and a VG- if audience. It is slightly more muffled and compressed then the Japan show but is also a very enjoyable listen and has one of my favorite Aerosmith songs ” Adams Apple” which was rarely played live. I checked several Aerosmith tour databases, including the official Aerosmith site, and none of them list the Iowa show and there is nothing in the recording I heard which would pinpoint the location so hard to say this is where it is from but the set list is similar to shows from the 76/77 time frame. Silver disc shows from the Aerosmith 76 and 77 tours are rare and this one is VG quality so I would give this one a high recommendation as long as you are not expecting pristine SB’s.
Another title to recommend is Aerosmith – Central Park ’75 Master (1CD) Live At Central Park, New York, USA 29th August 1975. (SBD). This was released about a year ago by a no label and I believe this may be a copy of a King Biscuit show streaming on Wolfgangs vault. In any case this is a perfect mulitrack recording of, I believe, the full show which I had the pleasure of attending with a then barely known Ted Nugent opening. The sound is amazing with perfect balance and amazing stereo seperation..Brad’s guitar in the right channel and Joe Perry in the left. This one is a must have even for the casual Aerosmith fan……..
Aerosmith toured Japan in 1977 between January 28th and February 9th featuring shows in Tokyo , Maebashi , Nagoya , Fukuoka , Kyoto , and Osaka . This tour is in support of Rocks which was released May 1, 1976 and is also Aerosmith’s first trip to the Far East.
Discs one and two of East Side West Side Blues are taken from the February 4th show in Fukuoka with the recording being listed as a soundboard. While the music is very up front in the recording, it is really hard to tell if this is truly from the soundboard or just a really excellent sounding audience tape. There is some occasional clapping heard in the left channel but the bulk of the audience noise sounds very distant and is only audible between tracks. If I had to guess, I would lean more toward this being an excellent audience tape. All instruments are very clear in the mix and the recording is much better and clearer than some of the other tapes released from this tour. Whole Place Rockin from Power Gate, release a few years ago, collected the January 31st and February 9th shows at Budokan in Tokyo in acceptable quality but in CDR format.
Aerosmith captured a raw, unpolished sound in the studio and even more so in their live performance. Anybody that has ever heard Live Bootleg knows what to expect from the live performance. A continuous stream of high energy songs fills out the set and only really slows for “Dream On”. The band is reasonably tight and Tyler ‘s vocals are strong where he is able to hit most of the notes. The general mix is good but Joe Perry’s guitar can overshadow Brad Whitford during parts of the night and some of his solos can get a little buried in the mix. The show is musically complete with the exception of the first two notes of “Last Child”.
Tyler addresses Fukuoka before “Train Kept A Rollin” confirming the location and calls on the crowd to participate in the “All night long” chants. “Train” is broken into three segments during this tour and each is tracked separately here. They start with the slow portion which captures the great vibe of its studio counterpart before 8 minutes of Joey Kramer’s drum solo. The third segment leads into the fast segment and includes “Get The Lead Out”, the theme from “Batman”, and the “Adam’s Apple” riff played during Perry’s solo. The encore “Toys In The Attic” starts with a bit of the blues before the band steamroll through the tune.
Disc three could also be from a very detailed and clear audience source and not a soundboard as speculated. The crowd noise is again distant like on the Fukuoka show and is hard to tell. What this disc offers seems to be the last half of the show in Waterloo , Iowa . I couldn’t find any confirmation of this date anywhere but Tyler mentions “the new album should be out in two weeks, a week” after “Lick And A Promise” so we know the tape at least comes from the spring of 1976. “Adam’s Apple” is a highlight in the set and really sounds like a great version with spectacular solos. The fast section of “Train Kept A Rollin” contains references to “Movin’ Out”, the theme from “Batman” and “Peter Gunn” before Tyler ‘s “thank you goodnight”. “Toys In The Attic” is again the encore and sounds a bit off until the vocals come in and save the tune but is otherwise a very strong closer.
Aerosmith fans will praise the new Shades label for making these tapes available in silver format. Soundboard or not, they do sound excellent. Vintage Aerosmith doesn’t get enough attention in this market and hopefully East Side West Side Blues is just the start.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)