GIBOSHI (Tarantura TCDRAINBOW-4,5,6)
At the beginning of 1978 Rainbow played 16 dates in Japan, four of these played at the Budokan in Tokyo, this new set from Tarantura collects the master recordings made by Aquarius of three of the dates. There are three individual gatefold sleeves for each of the dates housed in a beautiful fold open box with a magnet to keep it closed. The box is beautifully adorned with pictures of the band and is limited to 200 numbered copies, there is also a poster and a advertisement for the Ave Maria title. All the cd’s have pictures on them from the individual gatefold sleeves, quit simply a well thought out release of these concerts.
Lick The Dick(Tarantura TCDRAINBOW-4)
Saturday January 21, 1978
Disc 1: Tuning, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start / Kill The King, Mistreated, MC / Greensleeves, 16th Century Greensleeves, Catch The Rainbow, Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow Reprise, Long Live Rock And Roll
Disc 2: MC, Lazy, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Starstruck, Man On The Silver Mountain Reprise, New Members Introduction, Keyboard Intro, Still I’m Sad, Beethoven Sinfonic Nr. 9 d~moll op. 125, David Stone Keyboard Solo, Cozy Powell Drum Solo, 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad Reprise, Over The Rainbow Outro* (*taken from Triumph & Tragedy Rising Arrow)
First night in Tokyo, the recording is good, slightly distant with very little crowd interference around the taper. of course you have the crowd clapping through out but it only adds to the atmosphere of the recording. You can hear the instruments and only gets muddy at a few points. The concert begins with Kill The king and goes directly into a great version of Mistreated. Catch The Rainbow is the first epic of the night, with its quiet beginning to the sonic guitar solos of Ritchie it is simply fantastic.
The first new song, we cant really consider Kill The King new since they were playing it for a couple years at this point, from the new record is Long Live Rock And Roll. A great song live, it gives Ronnie a chance to include the audience in singing the chorus and clapping along. Man on the Silver Mountain gives a chance for the band to improvise, first on the Lazy intro then on the blues jam in the middle where we even get a brief Bob Daisley bass solo before kicking into Startstruck and Dio’s Night People jam.
The second true epic is Still I’m Sad, the Yardbird song reworking into the bands vehicle to solo and improvise clocking in at over 20 minutes. The outro Over The Rainbow, sung by Judy Garland, is taken from the Triumph & Tragedy Rising Arrow bootleg and kudos for Tarantura for acknowledging this. The Gatefold is a montage of Black and White and color photos of Ritchie with a great shot of a very young Ronnie James Dio backstage with a drink in his hand.
Cozy Powell On Stage (TCDRAINBOW-5)
Sunday January 22, 1978
Disc 1: Tunning, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start / Over The Rainbow, Kill The King, Mistreated, Greensleeves, MC, 16th Century Greensleeves, Catch The Rainbow, Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow Reprise, Guitar Solo / Coda
Disc 2: MC, Long Live Rock And Roll, Lazy, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Man On The silver Mountain, Starstruck, Man On The silver Mountain Reprises, New Members Introduction, Keyboard Solo Intro, Still I’m Sad, Beethoven Sinfonic Nr. 9 d~moll op. 125, David Stone Keyboard Solo, Cozy Powell Drum Solo, 1812 Overature, Cozy Powell On Stage, Still I’m Sad Reprise, Do You Close Your Eyes, Over The Rainbow
Second night in Tokyo, the recording is fair to good, again slightly distant and a little muddy with just a small amount of tape hiss, just a notch down from the previous night. The opening of Kill The King is well received by the enthusiastic audience and is quickly followed by a fantastic Mistreated. Some sort of equipment malfunction forces Ronnie to entertain the audience for three minutes until the band drives headlong into 16th Century Greensleeves.
Again this is followed by a 22 minute Catch The Rainbow, the crowd seemingly breathless as Blackmore plays the opening notes. The clapping almost drowns out the band as Dio sings the first lines but is strangely atmospheric. Blackmores playing is simply fantastic, preferring to play quiet notes with a melancholy theme. A fine Long Live Rock And Roll and Man on The Silver Mountain follow, again with a great blues and the Night People interlude.
Cozy’s drum solo during Still I’m Sad is enthusiastically received and he greets the audience and interacts with them with a series of drum rolls before the band finishes the songs. The crowd is treated to an encore of Do You Close your Eyes, sporadically played during the tour, that brings the house down. The gatefold is a tribute to Cozy with pictures and press clippings
Silence Prayer (TCDRAINBOW-6)
Friday February 3, 1978
Disc 1: Tunning, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start / Over The Rainbow, Kill The King, Mistreated, Greensleeves, 16th Century Greensleeves, MC, Silence Prayer, Catch The Rainbow, Long Live Rock And Roll
Disc 2: MC, Lazy, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Man On The Silver Mountain, Starstruck, Man On The silver Mountain, Guitar Solo, Still I’m Sad, Beethoven Sinfonic Nr. 9 d~moll op. 125, David Stone Keyboard Solo, Cozy Powell Solo, 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad Reprise, Over The Rainbow
Fourth night in Tokyo and the last Japanese date of the tour, the recording is very good with only a very slight amount of tape hiss, easily the best of the three recordings featured in this set. Kill the King is blistering with Dio’s shout of “Treason Treason” setting the pace. Afterwards Ronnie thanks the Budokan and says how nice it is to end the “trials and tribulations” there. Ritchie starts out his Greensleeves intro with almost hoe down notes before settling into a great version with shouts of Ritchie coming from the crowd.
Ronnie then speaks to the crowd about something they would like to address and brings out an interpreter who then leads the audience and band in a silent prayer that is followed by, again, a fantastic Catch The Rainbow. Shorter than the other recordings on this set but none less intense. a 24 minute Still I’m Sad forces the crowd into submission and brings the concert and tour to a close.
The gatefold cover has picture on Ronnie James Dio, very fitting as this is the last concert in Japan with him fronting Rainbow. He is the true star of these shows, singing with great passion through out and never letting down. Kudos must go to Tarantura for this set and their releases of the Japanese 1976 tour, they are fantastically produced with beautiful presentations no fan of Rainbow should be without.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)