Legends In The Material World (Tarantura TCDGHEC-1)
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – December 17th, 1991
BONUS DISC (53:56): Concert Information 1, SE 1, SE 2, SE 3, Announcement 1, SE 4, Announcement 2, Concert Information 2, SE 5, Opening Buzzer, seconds blank, Announcement/Outside, Go to the station, Unofficial stands, Suidobashi Station, In Sohbu-Sen
Disc 1 (79:29): Opening buzzer, announcement/SE, enters the stage, I Want To Tell You, Old Brown Shoe, Tax Man, Give Me Love, If I Needed Someone, Something, What Is Life, Dark Horse, Piggies, Pretending, Old Love, Badge, Wonderful Tonight
Disc 2 (79:21): 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 – encore, Roll Over Beethoven – encore, percussion solo, Roll Over Beethoven (reprise), message, announcement, concert information, goods information
Legends In The Material World is the second new tape source for the final show of the George Harrison and Eric Clapton Legends Tour of Japan in December, 1991. Along with the tapes found on Third Night @ Big Egg on Front Page and His Majesty, this is another excellent DAT recording of the event, recorded, according to the liner notes, from arena A4 block No. 92 of the Tokyo Dome. It is as good as the others, but this new tape is good at picking up the audience response to the music occurring on stage producing a more authentic live experience.
This was the final night of Harrison’s final tour and was supplemented by friend Eric Clapton and Clapton’s early nineties band including Nathan East on bass, Steve Ferrone on drums, Chuck Leavell on keyboards, Greg Phillinganes on keyboards, Ray Cooper on percussion, Andy Fairweather Low on guitar, and backing vocals provided by Katie Kissoon and Tessa Niles. And even though Harrison had a hit album Cloud 9 four years before, the set list is very conservative both in song selection and arrangements. The first three numbers all date from the Beatles era including two of this three songs from Revolver flanking the rare B-side of “The Ballad Of John And Yoko,” “Old Brown Shoe.”
Before “Taxman” he complains about not being able to see anyone in the audience. The renditions performed are updated for the early nineties by including George Bush and Boris Yeltsin in the lyrics. The excellent “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” is the only song from the underrated Living In The Material World LP. “If I Need Someone” from Rubber Soul is the only Harrison written song to be played by the Beatles. This version features his vocals more prominent than in 1966 (where it was sung in harmony with Lennon and McCartney), and the both Harrison and Clapton take longer guitar solos between the verses. “Something” sounds sublime in the live arena and is followed by excellent versions of “What Is Life” and “Dark Horse.”
“Piggies” ends Harrison’s first set and the omitted third verse is restored in these concerts (“Yeah, everywhere there’s lot of piggies / Playing piggy pranks / and you can see them on their trotters / down at the piggy bands / paying piggy thanks / to thee pig brother”). Clapton’s twenty-minute set is a reiteration of his tour of Japan the previous year. Chuck Leavell plays “Sweet Home Chicago” on the piano as an introduction to “Pretending.” “Old Love” is another song from Journeyman and is played before the Harrison and Clapton written “Badge” and a very slow a sweet arrangement of “Wonderful Tonight.” Two of Clapton’s songs, plus “Something,” were all inspired by the same muse and one wonders why “Layla” wasn’t included.
The second half continues with two recent Harrison hits with “Got My Mind Set On You” and “Cloud 9.” “Cheer Down” from the Lethal Weapon II soundtrack and one of the best of his compositions. The final song of the set is “Isn’t It A Pity,” a slow and morose way to end the show. the first encore is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with Clapton duplicating The Beatles solo and at the end Harrison says, “Eric Clapton, psycho guitar!” The final “Roll Over Beethoven” lasts fifteen minutes and includes Ray Cooper playing is percussion tricks with the audience, all in good fun. “Thank you to Eric for making me come to Japan” is George’s parting comment.
Legends In The Material Worldcomes is an interesting bonus disc. The taper of this show, named “Crypton,” bought a DAT recorder and decided to record, not only the show, but also the pre-show announcements, conversations between him and his friends, and his trip through the Tokyo subway station. The tape was left rolling for all of this which provides a unique perspective on the concert going experience, although the bonus disc is something that won’t be listened to on a regular bases. The packaging as usual is very nice. It comes in a tri-fold color glossy gatefold sleeve with various photos of the artists and venue and included is a special little poster of Harrison in action on stage. For another tape source of an excellent show, this is another beautiful sounding and looking title from Tarantura, who are one of the few labels who find never circulated tapes.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)