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Beatles – Tokyo Highway 66 (Non Plus Ultra NPU-B-01, 02, 03, 04)

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 Tokyo Highway 66 (Non Plus Ultra NPU-B-01, 02, 03, 04)

Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – June 30 & July 1, 1966

Disc 1 June 30th, 1966:  Announcements, introduction of opening act, opening act 1, opening act 2, opening act 3, opening act 4, opening act 5, opening act 6, introduction of The Beatles, Rock And Roll Music, She’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby’s In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer, I’m Down

Disc 2 July 1st, 1966:  Announcements, introduction of opening act, opening act 1, opening act 2, opening act 3, opening act 4, opening act 5, opening act 6, introduction of The Beatles, Rock And Roll Music, She’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby’s In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer, I’m Down

Disc 3 Press conference at Hilton Hotel – June 29th, 1966:  Messages to Japanese fans, introduction and opening remarks, photo session, How do you understand Japan?, wild and frantic fans, elaborate and pretentious security measures, rhythm-centered music changing into ballad type, hairstyle, Do your families associate?, Are you happy and what do you seek next?, violate the Budokan, Why popular in Asia?, MBE, questions to Brian Epstein, The Beatles typhoon, Old English men, Vietnam War, music side and business side, Any pleasure in traveling abroad?, What do you consider to be entertainment?, people behaving in this extravagant way, Do you think success will continue?, a summary for the Japanese press…closing remarks.

Disc 4 (Bonus disc):  Introduction of The Beatles, Rock And Roll Music, She’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby’s In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer, I’m Down (unequalized version from the tape of the June 30th show aired in 1978).  Recollection 1, recollection 2 (Paperback writer)/ Long Tall Sally, interview with Japanese fans, Rock ‘n’ Roll Music, She’s A Woman, She’s A Woman (from unedited tapes of the Anthology project)  

In Tokyo Highway 66, the Non Plus Ultra label (another label run by the Misterclaudel/Wendy people), collates, remasters and collects the entire relevant video soundtrack documents surrounding The Beatles’ only visit to Japan in their career.  This release is a prelude to next summer’s fortieth anniversary celebration when Non Plus Ultra will (as promised in the liner notes) release the definitive DVD set. 

The first two discs cover the two shows that were professionally recorded and broadcast on Japanese television.  Included also are the warm up acts on each night including Jackie Yoshikawa and Blue Comets singing “Welcome Beatles” and “We Got To Get Out Of This Place”.  But the center obviously is The Beatles and both concerts are good.  The June 20th show is the “black suit” show and the July 1st is the “white suit”.  One critic claims these performances are “lame”, but they’re not that bad at all.  Only the first two of five total shows were recorded:  the evening show from July 1st and the afternoon and evening shows on July 2nd weren’t taped.  These shows were included on past titles such as Five Nights In A Judo Arena (The Swingin’ Pig Records TSP-CD-011), Live In Japan (Ricem-1: 12-22), and In Japan 1966 (Masterdisc, MDCD 010/011).   

Disc three contains the entire press conference on their first night in Japan and is interesting.  There are long delays between questions and answers, as they have to speak through a Japanese interpreter.  It’s always interesting to listen to old press conferences if for nothing else than to know what people were thinking about back then and understand what was on their minds.  You can always gauge what was on their minds by the length of the questions and responses, and a lot of time was spent on the band’s spoiling the holiness of the Budokan hall with their performance.  The final disc is another version of the first concert from a 1978 rebroadcast of the show on television and various other edits surrounding the Anthology project.

Overall another nice, comprehensive collection from these folks.  All of the material comes from professional sources (no audience recordings) and do sound a bit dated but are very clear and enjoyable.  Certainly this is a title to seek out and own for the historic value if for nothing else.  I did find it difficult to snag a copy for some reason.  It isn’t listed as a limited edition although it does seem to be very popular in Japan.  The real treat should come next summer when the DVD is produced and released and will definitely be reviewed here when it does come.

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Beatles - Tokyo Highway 66 (Non Plus Ultra NPU-B-01, 02, 03, 04), 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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