Rainbow – Cozy Powell On Stage (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE78-10-1,2)
Cozy Powell On Stage
Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan Sunday January 22, 1978
Disc 1 (67:01) Over The Rainbow, Start, Kill The King, Guitar Solo, Mistreated, Guitar Solo, Mistreated, Greensleeves, MC / Guitar Trouble, 16th Century Greensleeves, MC / Niji Flashing Working, Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow, Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow, Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll
Disc 2 (58:36) Lazy, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Man On The Silver Mountain, Starstruck, Night People, Man On The Silver Mountain, Introduction Of 2 New Members, Keyboard Solo, Still I’m Sad, Beethoven Sinfonie Nr. 9, Keyboard Solo, Drum Solo, 1812 Overture, Mr. Powell On Stage, 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad, Do You Close Your Eyes, Over The Rainbow, Announcement
Recordings from the second Rainbow show from 1978 in Tokyo have been circulating for years, Tarantura has a prior release on Disc 3 and 4 of the Giboshi (Tarantura TCDRAINBOW – 4,5,6) box set from the master tapes of Aquarius and as Definitive Dynamo (Rising Arrow-03) and Triumph & Tragedy (Rising Arrow-014). Finally we are treated to the concert in superb quality thanks to this new release containing the master recording of Mr. Peach. The words Truly Amazing Sound are thrown around a lot these days, with many times the sound quality not living up to that lofty status. For this release that is not the case.
The audience recording is very in your face, well balanced and clear with all instruments being clear in the mix, there can be at times a very minor amount of distortion in the upper frequencies and a small amount of hiss in the quieter sections but all is minor compared to the wonderful atmosphere captured. The intimacy the band would achieve with the Japanese audiences would never be fully recaptured by any other audience in the world, just as the band itself would not be the same after this tour. Blackmore’s burning desire to break America would eventually see this line up disbanded, but for now let us turn off the lights, burn the candles and enjoy a glass, perhaps a bottle, of wine and enjoy another brilliant concert in glorious sound quality from two masters, Blackmore and Peach.
The recording picks up just seconds before Dorothy Gale’s intro starts the nights proceedings, Blackmore is aggressive from the start and he opens with a furious salvo of notes and literally rips into Kill The King, the eager audience responds by clapping in time with the song. The clapping and cheers from the audience do not interfere with the music as with so many Rainbow recordings from this era. Cozy is featured nicely in the mix and we can enjoy his performance throughout the evening. Kill The King seems to be directly spawned from the Purple classic Fireball with the double bass drum driving the band into a pseudo speed metal classic.
Ronnie promises a bit of blues for the audience, the distant screams of the audience give a unique experience as Blackmore ponders on where to go, he is in no hurry and plays an interesting solo before launching into Mistreated’s familiar opening notes. Tonight’s version seems to be morose sounding, Dio at times sounds as if he is weeping and he turns in a wonderful vocal performance. Blackmore takes over midway through the song, he starts by meandering around, the crowd gently clapping around as he plays a simple yet striking selection of notes before erupting in a symphonic fashion accompanied by David Stone before heading back into the songs main theme and thus and interesting take on the usually intense song.
Ronnie introduces Blackmore to play the always gentle yet festive Greensleeves and just as we are to get into the song there is a forced intermission while a technical issue is dealt with. Ronnie is left as ring master and he entertains the large audience. Blackmore merges after close to four minutes amid some feedback noise before the issue is fixed and they go into 16th Century Greensleeves. The respective crowd is happy the music is back and clap along in pleasure to the music. The song itself is captivating, medieval flair with a wonderful lyric of love and tyranny. Blackmore is playing with a wonderful relaxed style on this night, not forcing the music but letting it come naturally, I love the slow middle section where the band play a real stop and go riff section perfectly.
Ronnie sings about his love being gone and the band finish with the heavy bashing ending that bares some resemblance to Purple Haze. This is all a prelude to the “nice music” that is combined with “nice lights”, the song gets a massive ovation as Ronnie introduces Catch The Rainbow. Again the Maninblack’s mood tonight is dictating the music and a soft introduction is played, as usual, owes a small inspiration to Greensleeves before the songs opening notes seem to flutter gently on the air. There seems to be some disturbance near the recorder as some sort of commotion can be heard, certainly no one is rowdy during this song ! Ritchie may be having more technical issues as he seems to want to heavy the mood up but his guitar almost sounds like it is cutting out and the rest of the band is filling in best they can.
Blackmore finally gets it going and rips into a solo, the relaxed feeling certainly coming through and he plays to the song versus going for the upper stratosphere. A little over 8 minutes in the band leaves him alone and he plays an incredible solo, not built upon intensity but the weaving of notes with a small amount of echo in incredible fashion, it stops you in your tracks and has you enjoying and wondering how he can play so restrained in a wonderful finger picking style. Finally he erupts and the blast off takes you straight up at lightning speed and he takes the band through their paces (and listener) in a very majestic fashion, Catch The Rainbow during this period for me, always delivers.
More cowbell please, Cozy starts Long Live Rock “N” Roll with it and the band do a jam style beginning that is very effective, David Stone hits some cool Jon Lord style playing effectively. The song has the crowd clapping, there is some disturbing amp issues about 2 minutes in that is disturbing sounding. Ronnie gets his crowd interaction thing going again as he does a call and response with the audience…Rock Rock Rock N Roll Yeah !
Blackmore teasing with a bit of Purple’s Lazy has the crowd on their feet demanding he play more ! He does not disappoint and leads the band into Man On The Silver Mountain much to their delight. Blackmore plays a nice slide solo for the song, one that is built upon improvisation and soon the band has worked its way into the blues jam section via an incredible display of brutality from the guitar player, one that has the crowd going crazy. Like going through a doorway into another room, one can feel the dimply lit smoke filled blues club atmosphere as the band play the blues, David Stone doing his best Gregg Allman to boot.
As with the previous night (see Sign Of Incident Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE78-09-1,2) Bob Daisley gets a nice little lead bass in to boot before Blackmore finishes the blues segment and leading slowly into Starstruck from the rising album, it ignites the crowd and again they are on their feet clapping with the band. Hearing the live snippets of the song one can only wish they would have performed more of the record live. A great Night People as always features some nice vocal improvising from Ronnie, his voice is simply majestic during these concerts, a wizard and a true Star. At the conclusion you can hear a segment of the crowd scream “Ronnie !”, such was the love of audience and performers.
Still I’m Sad is a vehicle for the band to stretch out, well after Blackmore has had his fill. Ritchie had been playing around with the riff for some time, he would play it during Space Truckin while still in Purple and one can only wonder if the other member knew what the melody he was playing was or would come to be. Blackmore and Stone duel a little but it is Ritchie who is the dominate one leading the band into Beethoven’s 9th, a prelude certainly to the difficult To Cure project still years in the future but certainly well within his symphonic style. David Stone takes over playing a solo that starts with almost a harpsichord flair before the additions of synthesizes are added to flesh out the melody, the crowd is enjoying it and pay the ultimate compliment and clap along. While certainly not a memorable as a Don Airey solo, he does however play with a certain flair but it only serves as a prelude to the master of the skins, Cozy Powell.
The crowd go insane when it is time for his solo, he starts with a drum roll before going for it, the crowd is right there and follow him from the start, the clapping becoming a sort of percussive instrument to wonderful effect. He keeps a nice steady beat while interjecting all sorts of fills all the while working into his passe resistance, the 1812 Overture. It is his furious hammering at the piece’s conclusion that brings down the house down and gets a massive ovation from the crowd and he even greets the crowd and tells them this is the last time he will do this. What is this ? A hilarious drum roll that has the crowd laughing and cheering, this is the Cozy Powell show after all. The crowd is thoroughly entertained by the fill in master of ceremonies, Blackmore must be side stage as you can here him noodling around as Cozy toys with the crowd, just before the band arrive back onstage as Ronnie yells “COZY POWELL !”. Still I’m Sad reprise is played wonderfully, Blackmore is in complete control as he and Ronnie almost trade notes. Ritchie’s relaxed playing and the incredible showmanship make for a very enjoyable version of the song.
Even with the equipment issues, the atmosphere of the show is so positive that the crowd is awarded an encore, as always Do You Close Your Eyes. This was performed sporadically on the tour and was an extra gift for a selective audience. There is a tape cut / pause that leads to Ritchie playing a jam that would open the song, a song that would be a vehicle used in the destruction of one Fender Telecaster. Its death is met with huge roars from the crowd amid a barrage of feedback, all the while the band doesn’t skip a beat. He finds a “spare” guitar to finish the song amid the cheer of the fantastic crowd. The mayhem subsides amid the gentle sounds of somewhere Over The Rainbow is played over the PA system, a superb ending.
The packaging is typical Tarantura full color gatefold sleeve with a fantastic shot of Ritchie scrapping is guitar on an amplifier, a true showman. The back cover has a shot of Cozy looking very triumphant, his playing was of true importance to Rainbow and his skill is missed. The center had pictures of two sets of tapes and two recorders, I did not detect another source edited in, perhaps there is an alternate Peach recording from this night similar to the KISS Snake Attack Budokan title ? Again another fantastic Peach recording and phenomenal concert and an equally fantastic Tarantura Rainbow title.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)Rainbow - Cozy Powell On Stage (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE78-10-1,2),