Keep Passing Us By (Zion-020)
Kyoto Kaikan, Kyoto, Japan – February 8th, 1980
Disc 1 (3821): Introduction, Say You Love Me, The Chain, Don’t Stop, Dreams, Oh Well, Rhiannon, Oh Daddy
Disc 2 (75:13): Sara, Not That Funny, Never Going Back Again, Landslide, Tusk, Angel, You Make Loving Fun, I’m So Afraid. Bonus tracks, Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – February 17th, 1980: World Turning, Go Your Own Way, Sisters Of The Moon, Songbird
After the mind-blowing success of 1977’s Rumours LP, which hit #1 on the Billboard charts, won Fleetwood Mac the Grammy Award for record of the year and went multi-platinum, the band needed something big for a follow up. Tusk took a year and a million dollars to record and the double album was released in October 1979.
Although only reaching #4 in the US (and #1 in the UK), Fleetwood Mac spent the following year on the road supporting the LP including their second ever trip to the Far East. Beginning in February the band played ten shows spread over two weeks in Japan. Tapes have been circulating for the February 4th Tokyo, February 13th Yokohama, and the two Osaka shows on February 16th and 17th.
Keep Passing Us By presents a never before circulated tape from the February 8 Kyoto show. Also included is a four-song fragment from the second Osaka show and a bonus CDR title Osaka 1980 1 Night, all from the same taper. The sound quality for the Kyoto show is advertised by Zion as matching the sound quality of a contemporary DAT recording.
The sound is very good, but the claim is exaggerated. The taper is a fair distance away from the stage and the song introductions are faint and hard to hear. Kyoto helps the clarity since the audience is very quiet and respective, bordering upon the catatonic at times. The tape is incomplete, missing the final two songs “World Turning,” “Go Your Own Way” and the two encores, “Sisters Of The Moon” and “Songbird.” Zion edits those four from the alternate tape source from the second Osaka show.
After a short introduction the band hit the stage with “Say You Love Me” and play it safe for the first hour of the show with a heavy emphasis on songs from Rumours. “The Chain” sounds potent especially in the latter half of the song. Before “Don’t Stop” Buckingham says, “This next song is from the album Rumours. And it’s taking us back to the roots here.”
In fact he shouts “back to the roots” in the middle of the song before Christine McVie plays a scorching boogie piano solo and Buckingham comes in with a solo to close the piece. Afterwards McVie introduces the next song, saying, “We’re gonna do a very old Fleetwood Mac song now. It goes back to the Peter Green days. You might remember this one.” What follows is a three and a half minute, intense version of the piece.
“Rhiannon” sounds very long with a sotto voce jam session in the middle. It isn’t until the second half of the show for new material to appear, beginning with Nick’s “Sara.” The evolution of this piece saw it edited from sixteen minutes down to ten down to eight until finally about five. On stage they play the full eight minute version to a stunned audience.
It is taken at a slower tempo than in the studio in what one commentator describes as a “heartbeat.” The audience are very quiet and respectful as they follow the verses of what is Stevie’s most perfect musical creation. Buckingham’s “Not That Funny” sounds anti-dramatic afterwards. “Tusk” is replicated for the stage well with its tribal beat and minimalist arrangement. Keyboards take the place of the marching band, and this recording captures the track live beautifully.
The Osaka tape used to complete this concert cuts in for “World Turning.” It is a good but flat and two-dimensional audience recording. It does capture an extended version of “World Turning” with a Mick Fleetwood drum solo and a nine-minute version of “Go Your Own Way” to close out the show.
Osaka 1980 1st Night (Bonus CDR)
Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – February 16th, 1980
Disc 1: The Chain, Don’t Stop, Dreams, Oh Well, Rhiannon, Oh Daddy, What Makes You Think You’re The One
Disc 2: Not That Funny, Never Going Back Again, Landslide, Tusk, Angel, You Make Loving Fun, I’m So Afraid, World Turning
The first copies of this come with the bonus two CDR set Osaka 1980 1st Night. The tape is from the same person as the other two and sounds better than the Osaka fragment from the second night Zion used on the other title. It is a bit muffled and has the same dynamics, with the music being loud and clear but the introductions faint.
The audience in Osaka are a bit more animated and some conversations can be heard. The tape begins during “The Chain,” missing the opening number “Say You Love Me.” “Sara,” which follows “What Makes You Think You’re The One,” has about ten seconds of the opening piano but the rest is unfortunately cut. It sounds like the tape ran out and the taper wasn’t paying attention.
He realizes the mistake and it cuts back in for “Not That Funny.” The tape continues until it fades out at the very end of “World Turning,” eliminating the encores including “Go Your Own Way.” The set list is similar to Kyoto except for the inclusion of “What Makes You Think You’re The One.” Overall Keep Passing Us By is a very good release by Zion.
Both the main title and CDR bonus are packaed in double slimline jewel cases with photographs from the tour on the artwork. It might have been better if they made this a four disc set and use the alternate sources to complete the concerts, but since Fleetwood Mac releases from the Tusk tour are very rare, this is an essential release to own.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)