World Rock Festival (Wardour-095)
Korakuen Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 7th, 1975
(43:49): Intro., Constipated Duck, She’s A Woman, Freeway Jam, Definitely Maybe, Superstition, Keyboard Solo, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, You Know What I Mean, Diamond Dust
Jeff Beck’s first tour of Japan as a solo artist was part of the “World Rock Festival” in August, 1975. Organized by Yuya Uchida, who was best know for performing as a supporting act for the Beatles in 1966, the event lasted three days. Beck appeared in three days of the festival (August 3rd in Sapporo, August 5th in Nagoya and August 7th in Tokyo). All three sets were taped and have been released before by various labels.
World Rock Festival features a new, recently surfaced audience recording of the third and final show in Tokyo. A fair to good mono audience recording was previously released on She’s A Woman (Fill In FI-941003) and disc two of World Rock Festival (Masterport 040).
The new recording is an improvement over the old. It still has some distance from the stage and but has much more presence and dynamics and is quite fun to listen to. It is incomplete, missing the introduction, “Constipated Duck” and “She’s A Woman,” the first two songs of the set.
The taper missed the first two songs because Beck came onstage earlier than he thought and he had to rush to set up his equipment. Wardour seamlessly edits the two tapes together to present the complete set played that day.
Jeff Beck visited Japan after a lengthy trip around North America in support of Blow By Blow, his most successful album to date. He would play three more shows later in the year before taking a break to record Wired.
After the mc announces Beck they start off with “Constipated Duck,” his only original solo composition on the new album (the other songs are either covers or collaborations). Bernard Purdie plays an intense but short introduction to “She’s A Woman” as Beck shouts: “Bernard Purdie on the drums!!!” The audience loves the Beatles cover, especially when Beck sings the words through the voice box, casting it as an otherworldly soundtrack.
“Freeway Jam” is another new song and is highly favored by the crowd. It is the most melodic and catchy tune played in the short set and segues directly into “Definitely Maybe” from Jeff Beck Group released in 1972. Max Middleton plays a jazzy little solo in the middle in counterpoint to Beck’s guitar melody.
After “Superstition” Middleton plays a short boogie woogie piano introduction to the sedate and moving “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.”
Beck closes the set with a raucous “You Know What I Mean” (sounding a bit like the future “Led Boots.” The only encore is “Diamond Dust” featuring a short jam session.
This set is twenty minutes shorter than the other sets since they dropped “Air Blower,” “Power,” “Got The Feeling,” and “Thelonius” from the set. It was explained that Beck himself was suffering from the effects of the flu and was taken to hospital afterwards and wanted to cut the show short.
Wold Rock Festival is a nice release on Wardour. The same label released Beck’s August 5th set at the same festival on Definition Of Blow (Wardour-38) many years ago, so this forms a nice companion piece.