Stand Up And Shout (Tarantura TCDBS- 3, 4, 5)
When Ronnie James Dio passed away this past May tributes and accolades poured out from fans and fellow musicians alike. Tarantura pays tribute to the man with this release comprised of a six cd set comprised of three shows, all Mr. Peach recordings from Black Sabbath’s 1980 tour of Japan, and a T-shirt adorned with the box cover art. The box has relevant pictures from the tour that cover the box, the front cover captures Ronnie in mid strut.
The box itself is similar to the Led Zeppelin 9291971 set and the Flag of Japan serves as a logo, this time with Ronnie’s signature devil horns in the center and the set is limited to 150 numbered copies. The concerts themselves are housed in three full color, glossy gatefold sleeves. Another beautiful box by Tarantura who, with this release, have given us reason to Stand up and Shout.
Gospel Of The Witches (Tarantura TCDBS-3-1, 2)
Nippon Seinen Kan, Shinjuku-Ku Tokyo Japan Monday November 17, 1980
Disc 1 (50:19) Opening SE / Supertzar, War Pigs, Neon Knights, N.I.B., Children Of The Sea, Sweet Leaf, Drum Solo, Sweet Leaf, Lady Evil, Black Sabbath
Disc 2 (44:01) MC, Heaven And Hell, Iron Man, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Orchid, Die Young, Paranoid (encore), SE, Announcements
Black Sabbath played six concerts in Japan (a seventh was scheduled but canceled due to Tony Iommi being ill), this recording is from the third show and is of very good to excellent quality, all instruments and vocals are well balanced and come though clearly. The band take the stage with a heavy War Pigs that seems to crawl about the stage and leads to a aggressive Neon Knights.
Afterwards Ronnie addresses the crowd “Thank you so much good to see you again, some of you for the third time” and introduces Geezer Butler to play the opening bass lines on N.I.B.. Ronnie and his vocal style give a completely different interpretation of the lyrics when compared with the original version. Ozzy’s vocals always seemed to show almost a weakness where Dio style brings about more the feeling of intimidation.
“A special song for the people of Tokyo and Japan” is the introduction of Children of the Sea. It is interesting to compare Dio vocal styling when compared with the Rainbow recordings from 1976 and 78. His style is much more angry and dominate sounding when he sings with Sabbath. Sweet Leaf lumbers onto the stage and like War Pigs is slow and heavy, you can almost hear bones being crushed into powder by Iommi’s playing, the song also serves as a vehicle for the drumming of Vinnie Appice who joined the band the previous August, replacing original drummer Bill Ward.
The audience must be in awe of Sabbath, there are brief hollers as Iommi plays his solo intro to Black Sabbath, that again like the other older songs in the set are played at a slow tempo that gives adds to the heaviness of the concert. An long Heaven and Hell starts the seconds disc, clocking in at just under 13 minutes if provides the band a chance for improvisation in the form of riff’s and solo’s of varied textures and song lyrical improvisation from RJD, very effective.
After Iron Man the band embarks on more improvisation from the band and Iommi solo, including a beautifully played Orchid, that leads into arguable the best song on Heaven and Hell album, Die Young. The way the band segue into the song, swirling keyboards and soloing by Iommi then BAM they hit you like a ton of bricks. The band returns to the stage for a single encore, Paranoid. The gatefold sleeve has a picture of Ronnie on the front and Tony on the back, a live group shot is in the middle as is a picture of the ticket and master cassettes. The first CD has a picture of Dio while the second cd has a picture of Tony Iommi.
The Light Bringer (Tarantura TCDBS-4-1,2)
Kyoto-Kaikan Dalichi-Hall Sakyo-Ku Kyoto Thursday November 20, 1980
Disc 1 (50:30) Opening SE / Supertzar, War Pigs, Neon Knights, N.I.B., Children Of The Sea, Sweet Leaf, Drum Solo, Sweet Leaf, Lady Evil, Black Sabbath
Disc 2 (49:26) MC, Heaven And Hell, Iron Man, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Orchid, Die Young, Paranoid (encore), SE, Announcements
The fifth concert of the tour and the first outside the city of Tokyo finds Black Sabbath playing the city of Kyoto. The band sound great, perhaps the forced cancellation of the previous night concert due to the illness of Tony Iommi gave the band some needed rest.
The recording on this set is very good but Mr Peach must have been close to the stage and directly in front of Iommi as his guitar dominates the sound with the rest of the instruments and vocals in the back ground, although the vocals and drums can be faintly heard. After the opening of War Pigs and Neon Knights Ronnie warmly greets Kyoto audience and introduces Geezer Butler and the opening bass lines of N.I.B. can be clearly heard before the guitar totally drowns them out. By now the listener has gotten used to the sound and can appreciate the playing of Tony Iommi.
Again Children of the Sea is dedicated to the people of Kyoto and to Japan. Vinne Appice’s drum solo is a forced highlight of the first disc as he can be clearly enjoyed during the heavy Sweet Leaf. The song Black Sabbath provides a good listening experience as the vocals and drums are more predominantly in the mix before Iommi obliterates them at its conclusion. The second of disc starts out with a very heavy Heaven and Hell, clocking in at close to 17 minutes.
The beginning of the track has Dio and Iommi improvising before the main section begins. It is interesting to hear Iommi’s playing during the middle improvisation part, some of the notes he is playing have a strange sound when not blended in with the rest of the group. Die Young sounds particularly frantic in this recording, fast and aggressive and Paranoid finishes the recording as sole encore.
The Gatefold sleeve is adorned with a scan of the concert ticket, curiously the same on used on the back of the album cover, a hand drawing of the band including Bill Ward. The center has a picture of RJD and a couple of group shots and the ticket front and back as well as the master cassettes. CD 1 has a picture of Ronnie while the second on has a picture of Vinnie Appice.
Children Of The Grave (Tarantura TCDBS-5-1,2)
Festival Hall, Kita-Ku Osaka Japan Friday November 21, 1980
Disc 1 (52:17) Opening SE / Supertzar, War Pigs, Neon Knights, N.I.B., Children Of The Sea, Band Introductions, Sweet Leaf, Lady Evil, Black Sabbath
Disc 2 (59:47) MC, Heaven And Hell, Iron Man, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Instrumental, Guitar Solo, Orchid, Die Young, Paranoid (encore), SE, Monitor Check, Children Of The Grave (encore), Closing announcement / SE
The final gig of the Japanese tour finds the band playing the Festival Hall in Osaka. The recording is very good, slightly distant but well balanced with all instruments and vocals clear in the mix. You can feel the anticipation build as the intro of Supertzar play over the PA system and the back breaks into War Pigs.
Again the older Ozzy era tunes are very heavy and the band plays with complete conviction, Vinnie plays very well during this song, his fills are full of energy and continue to push the others as they plow headlong into Neon Knights. At times he seems to almost outpace the group, he is definitely on tonight. Ronnie tells the crowd how happy to be in Osaka and is their favorite place and asked for a spot light for Geezer to play the intro to N.I.B. Ronnie is also turning in a powerful performance, his vocals are very aggressive during the song and puts his own stamp on it.
After and mic change and the claim that Osaka is the rock and roll capital of the world the band plays Children Of The Sea, again Vinnie has not let up, his fills leading to the heavy nature of the song. RJD takes a break to introduce the band, asking for a spot light for each member including the elusive Geoff Nichols. The band is firing on cylinders by this time as Sweet Leaf envelops the crowd, Ronnie even improvises some of the lyrics possibly due to his own enjoyment of the gig.
Vinnie plays his ass off during his drum solo and one must wonder where he gets his energy from, it sounds as if its a 33 1/2 record playing at 45 rpm and he is rewarded with a loud response from the crowd. Lady Evil is next, after listening to the Heaven and Hell versions of the song it is particularly interesting to hear the “original” approach to the song, definitely less of the wah petal used but very effective none the less.
The recording picks up Ronnie’s use of echo very well during the band signature tune Black Sabbath to great effect, adding to the creepiness of the track, he is obviously enjoying the gig as his vocals and punctuation of them is spot on. Another epic 16 minute Heaven and Hell leads directly into Iron Man, this time played with almost a funky bass and drum introduction before the opening “I Am Iron Man”.
Again I enjoy the RJD takes on the Ozzy era songs, he does his own interpretations of them and often makes them his own. The long instrumental introduction to Die Young gives Iommi and the band the ability to stretch out, they play a section that sounds like a cross between Hole In The Sky and the Sometimes I’m Happy jam sandwiched between Iommi playing some blistering leads. His version of the Orchid solo is well played (as it was the previous nights) and is probably his best solo instrumental.
Iommi’s solo playing over the keyboard intro to Die Young has a very sorrow filled approach, almost like a funeral pyre just before the band literally blows the audience and listener away with a very aggressive fast pace version. After the first encore of Paranoid the closing music is played as the crowd cheers and claps for a solid two minutes and the band returns with another encore, Children Of The Grave. As the closing music is again played and announcements are heard the recording fades with the sounds of cheers from the audience.
Also interesting to note that this would be the last time this line up would play Japan until their reformation under the Heaven And Hell banner some 17 years later. The gatefold has one large picture of RJD that takes the front and back covers while the interior is shots of the band, the ticket stub and master cassettes. Disc 1 has again a picture of Ronnie while disc 2 feature Geezer Butler. All in all a very well thought out and well produced set to not only commemorate the life of RJD but also Black Sabbath Mark III’s live legacy.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)