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George Harrison with Eric Clapton – Live @ Big Egg 1st Night (Front Page FP-04006/7)

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Live @ Big Egg 1st Night (Front Page FP-04006/7)

Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – December 14th, 1991

Disc 1 (72:08):  I Want To Tell You, Old Brown Shoe, Taxman, Give Me Love, If I Needed Someone, Something, What Is Life, Dark Horse, Piggies, Pretending, Old Love, Badge, Wonderful Tonight

Disc 2 (64:57): Got My Mind Set On You, Cloud Nine, Here Comes The Sun, My Sweet Lord, All Those Years Ago, Cheer Down, Devil’s Radio, Isn’t It A Pity, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Roll Over Beethoven

Live @ Big Egg 1st Night documents the first of three shows at the Tokyo Dome at the very end of George Harrison’s tour of Japan. The tape begins very muffled and distant as if the taper were unpacking his equipment. It becomes steady about a minute in “I Want To Tell You” and is a very clear stereo DAT recording. There is the occasional shuffle of the recorder throughout the show like at the beginning of “Piggies” as Harrison announces the song from “The Beatles’ White Album“. None of that really detracts from the enjoyment of the show. It also presents the complete show with no cuts. I Hear It Again Today (N.N-91121417) is an older release of this concert using the other tape source. The official release Live In Japan use part of “Roll Over Beethoven” (edited with the December 17th show).

The interesting acoustics of the venue produce an echo surrounding the music giving a very heavy timbre, something that is missing from the other tapes and adds an interesting dimension to the music. It has a very good and lively sound. We’re fortunate since this (and the third night) are two of the best shows from this tour and subsequently two of the very best solo concerts Harrison would deliver in his brief live career. “I Want To Tell You” and “Old Brown Shoe” are played at a quicker pace than earlier shows and fire up the audience. The contrast between the gentle “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” and the Byrds inspired “If I Needed Someone” is phenomenal.

The same can be said for “Something” and the raw “What Is Life”, sounding much superior to the studio version. Clapton’s set is also very strong. I think it would have been a nice touch if Harrison joined Clapton at least once for “Badge” since he co-wrote the Cream track. The percussion solo in “Roll Over Beethoven” sounds massive in this recording. Front Page use several armature looking photos for this release that don’t look great. I’m sure that better photos exist from the show. However these concerts haven’t circulated all that much on silver releases and this one is worth having.

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