We Love You (Tarantura TCDNY-6-1, 2)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – March 10th, 1976
Disc 1: Opening, Tell Me Why, Mellow My Mind, After The Gold Rush, Too Far Gone, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, A Man Needs A Maid, No One Seems To Know, Heart Of Gold
Disc 2: Country Home, Don’t Cry No Tears, Down By The River, Lotta Love, Like A Hurricane, The Losing End, Drive Back, Southern Man, Cortez The Killer, Cinnamon Girl
We Love You documents Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s penultimate show on their tour of Japan. Like all of these concerts there already exists a tape source that has seen much circulation, although it never was booted. This concert was also professionally filmed and some tracks appear on The Year Of The Horse and many other DVDs.
Tarantura use a new tape source that sounds very similar to the Nagoya tape on Wet Show. It has the same clarity, balance and dynamics. The only distraction is several Americans by the tape who make comments to Young throughout the performance. The do not speak during the music so their intrusion is kept to a minimum. The set list is identical except that the two encores are played in reverse order. What is immediately apparent listening to the acoustic set on the first disc is how determined Young is.
Instead of being chatty and leading the audience through the set, he buckles down and plays the music keeping the conversation to a minimum. There is also much more confidence in the delivery of the material.
“After The Goldrush,” with its apocalyptic, mystical medieval overtones is a standout. The audience follows along with the pensive lyrics but shout out when he sings “and I felt like getting high.” Afterwards he says, “It’s a little crowded up here. I’m happy to be here in Tokyo near the finish of my Japanese tour which I’ve enjoyed very much. Having a good time here. Here’s a new song call ‘Too Far Gone.’ It’s about me.”
“A Man Needs A Maid” sounds very melodramatic in this show and is followed by “No One Seems To Know.” This song, another piano ballad has been described by Young as “A Man Needs A Maid, Part 2″ and it is appropriate to follow it in the set list.
Before the final song one of the Americans by the microphone shouts, “Play on, brother! Play on!” “It’s getting wet up here” he says before “Heart Of Gold,” making the same observation as in Nagoya while cleaning his harmonica. The electric set on disc two begins with the bucolic “Country Home.” There is a cut and fade in the tape afterwards and one of the Americans wants everybody to “start boogie-ing” before “Don’t Cry No Tears.”
There are some shouts and Billy Talbot comes to the microphone and says, “you people are bad, man” before “Down By The River.” The tempo is very slow and deliberate on this number, replicating the sludge of the river and the sludge of the soul of the antagonist, shooting his baby with a gun. The drums sound very heavy on this recording during this song and at nine minutes misses the long duel between Young and Whitten from the 1970 shows where it would reach twenty minutes on a good night.
However in this version Young is very restraint in his solo, stretching the sustain to unbearable tension before breaking that with his trademark hacking staccato feedback riffs. The Americans in the audience afterwards shout, “Let’s have a party! Get down!” Neil responds by saying, “I hear we have some Americans here tonight. I never would have known. Here’s to all of you” before leading the band in a tender version of “Lotta Love.”
“Like A Hurricane” is the last new song they play “before we get back to some of the old tunes” Young says before the band play a nine minute version of the piece. By the end of the year this song would routinely be stretched past the ten-minute mark with longer, more insane soloing. It is also worthy to note the influence of the keyboards creating a dramatic haze underneath the verses.
“The Losing End” is curtly introduced as an old song from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. After a cut in the tape they play “Drive Back” from the new album Zuma. After the final song “Southern Man” there is a cut in the tape and the mc, Goro Ito, can be heard introducing the band before they start playing the majestic “Cortez The Killer.” Molina then ticks the time on the drum and the band finsh with the second encore of the evening “Cinnamon Girl.”
Compared to the Nagoya show, this is better, more happy way to the show and works much better as a second encore than does “Cortez The Killer.” It puts everyone in the audience, including the boisterous Americans, in a party mood and ends the evening on a high note. There are some people in the audience shouting along as Young sings the song of Spanish imperialistic conquest.
Like Wet Show, We Love You is limited to one hundred unnumbered copies packaged in a cardboard gatefold sleeve. On the inside are pictures of the cassette and the J-card with the information recorded by the taper.
This is the sixth day of the tour of Japan and the difference in the matrix number between this and the first release raises speculation that Tarantura just might release the other shows in this series in the future. Whether or not they might use new tape sources or the excellent quality older ones is another point of speculation, but these shows are considered by many collectors to be among the best played by Neil Young and Crazy Horse ever played. To have this show in such an amazing quality stereo audience recording is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)