Live In Osaka (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE-4-1,2)
Kohseinenkin – Kaikan, Dai-Hall Osaka Japan Wednesday December 8, 1976
Disc 1 (61:35) Monitor Check, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start, Kill The King, Mistreated, Greensleeves, 16th Century Greensleeves, MC / Niji Flashing, Prelude In C Major, Catch The Rainbow, Lazy, White Christmas, Jam, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Night People, Starstruck, Man On The Silver Mountain
Disc 2 (53:42) MC, Keyboard Solo, Stargazer, Still I’m Sad, Keyboard Solo, Drum Solo, 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad, Do You Close Your Eyes, Over The Rainbow, Announcement
Rainbow played the city of Osaka three times during its Japanese tour in December of 1976, so far Tarantura have released two Mr. Peach recordings that document these dates. The Destroyer in the West had the December 5 show, Purple Haze had the December 9 show and now we have this stunning new release Live in Osaka documenting the December 8 show.
Saving the best for last the Peach recording is a stunning stereo audience recording of the highest quality, the sound is almost as good as a soundboard recording with a wonderful ambiance that has the perfect blend of vocals and instruments. As with the other Osaka concerts this show was also professionally recorded for the “On Stage” record.
The show has seen unofficial releases such as Shadow Of The Wizard Rising Arrow-038, Soundboard Archives 1976 Darker Than Blue 077/078, Heavy Struck Rising Arrow-024, and Lucifer Rising Rising Arrow, such was the popularity of Rainbow that most of the concerts have multiple recordings that have surfaced.
You can feel the anticipation from the audience as the Dorothy Gale intro is played, they cheer but are there to watch and listen as the band takes the stage under the flurry of Blackmore’s Stratocaster. While not as aggressive as other versions the band is in no hurry and let the music develop, the clarity between instruments is perfect, little if any distortion and Ronnie’s vocals are very clear, you can even here the echo he uses.
Lots of whistling from the audience and shouts of Ritchie can be heard as Blackmore plays a very somber introduction to Mistreated, the crowd claps as he begins the song and can be heard cheering in all the right places. The song itself has a very melancholy feel to it, even Dio sings in a reflective mode although the band speeds up the tempo for a dramatic ending.
The Greensleeves intro short and has a soft, delicate feel to it just before Blackmore hammers down on the opening riff. The band is playing extremely tight, Cozy is on fire and his fills are spot on and the band seems almost restrained at times, perhaps conscious to fact they are recording.
There may be some issues with the audience, Ronnie says “don’t hurt yourself….enjoy it instead of killing each other” then a stage hand is asked to come fix an amp. As with the majority of the Japanese dates there is a high level of intimacy during the shows and the band seems almost in an open dialog with the audience. The audience is enjoying the different colors of the Rainbow overhead as Ronnie calls for each color that culminates with a “Niji”. They quiet down as Ritchie plays the prelude to Catch The Rainbow, again nothing is forced as it gently turns into the first album classic.
Ronnie’s vocals are beautiful, augmented by Jimmy Bain, the audience quietly claps in time before surrendering their attention to the music that sounds very dreamlike. Blackmore’s solo swirls around as if its a leaf on a breeze with small hints of Hendrix like notes before unleashing a barrage of notes that level the audience (and listener).
There is a cut in the tape after the songs conclusion that is seamless and leads into Jimmy Bain introducing Man on the Silver Mountain. The song awakes the crowd from the trance as Blackmore starts with a simple blues riff then rips into a speed metal version of the Lazy riff that moves into the White Christmas then into a full band jam before launching into the signature riff, the crowd claps in time and the band settle into a 15 minute trip that includes a mellow blues section featuring some while sounds from Tony Carey, sounding as if he is playing through a wah petal then switching to an organ before trading solos with Ritchie. The blues section is very natural sounding and enjoyable, and leads to Ronnie and his vocal interlude that is typical for the tour and does not contain the Night People interlude as claimed in the cover.
The second disc starts as Ronnie introduces a song about a wizard who builds big towers to the sky and Tony Carey who starts his solo that sounds spacey in the beginning as if the journey is beginning before playing the standard organ that gets the audience clapping that ends with the spacey keyboards that lead into the epic Stargazer.
Blackmore weaves like a snake through the instrumental rhythm section that gives the piece its touch of middle eastern flare, the crowd is following the bands every move and clap in time, its like a movie in ten minutes. The band do not skip a beat and go directly into Still I’m Sad as if it were a continuation of Stargazer, the dream of following the wizard and they are left to pick up the pieces. Blackmore plays a fierce solo, the band follows the time signatures perfectly as the crowd follows intently.
The keyboard solo is short and Cozy Powell takes over for his solo spot, his playing has been excellent throughout and his spot does not disappoint, he even throws a little cowbell in for good measure before his snare drum leads into the 1812 Overture.He follows with a furious 60 second pummeling that leads into the band reprising the song to its conclusion and the ending is itself interesting, they go on an on and even play a little ho down style before wring every last little bit out.The solos are not overplayed that gives the entire piece a gratifying feel, I can go either way with the song, this version is a must hear.
The band is brought back by the respectful cheering and clapping members of the audience and are rewarded with the standard encore of Do You Close Your Eyes, this means something is going to get abused and broken amid the wale of feedback from Blackmore’s amplifiers, the crowd watch in awe a clap their approval. The band says their goodbyes at the songs conclusion and the Over The Rainbow outro is played, the audience claps and cheer in appreciation of what they have witnessed still in their seats until its conclusion.
The packaging is a gatefold glossy cover again with pictures I am assuming are from the actual event, the cover is in color but the rest are in black and white and the master cassettes are pictured in the middle.
Great packaging, phenomenal show and recording, let us hope we have another Mr Peach Rainbow 1976 recording to look forward to by years end. Two big thumbs up.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)