The Destroyer in the West (TCDNIJIFUNE – 2 – 1, 2)
Koseinenkin-Kaikan, Osaka, Japan – December 5, 1976
Disc One: Mic Check / SE/ Announcement; Monitor Check; Over The Rainbow; Start; Kill The King; Guitar Solo; Mistreated; Greensleeves; 16th Century Greensleeves; John Operates Niji Flashing working; Das Wohltemperirte Clavier; Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben BWV147; Catch The Rainbow; Band Introduction; Guitar Solo; Lazy; White Christmas; Man On The Silver Mountain; Blues; Man On The Silver Mountain
Disc Two: MC; Keyboard Solo; Stargazer; Still I’m Sad; Keyboard Solo; Drum Solo; 1812 Overture; Drum Solo; Still I’m Sad (reprise); Guitar Solo; Do You Close Your Eyes (Guitar Clashing); Over The Rainbow
Tarantura’s latest Rainbow release, The Destroyer in the West, is significant for a number of reasons important to collectors. First, it continues Tarantura’s unique presentation of Rainbow’s entire 1976 tour of Japan after the unthinkable natural disaster that befell Japan a month earlier on March 11, 2011. That fact alone gives this title special status.
The release also narrows down to four the number of Mr. Peach recorded concerts from that legendary tour yet to be released by Tarantura. The Osaka show in The Destroyer in the West, from December 5, 1976, was used in part for Rainbow’s On Stage double album, which gives you an idea of the caliber of performance. Given our ongoing ability to indulge in new Mr. Peach recordings of the 1976 tour exclusively through Tarantura, it should be one treat after another to see how Tarantura present the rest of the shows from this tour.
This Osaka show was the third concert of the 1976 tour, first of the three Osaka shows, and it began at 1:00 pm. Dio apparently felt a certain way about that start time, quipping that “Mistreated” was “written after breakfast.” According to copies of Mr. Peach’s cassettes shown on the beautiful glossy jacket, the show was recorded with his Sony Cassette Densuke TC-3000SD unit, from seat number 35 in row K of the second floor of the venue.
As we have learned, this master archivist’s tapes offer an incredible fidelity blending instrument and vocal definition with a multi-dimensional feel from the audience. They truly are the best of both worlds, and as with all Peach recordings, these Osaka tapes documented the concert experience from shortly before and after the show.
So the recording starts with the excitement of equipment checks and nervous fan energy, which shot-up when Blackmore appeared with his signature flourish. Enter Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz for “Over the Rainbow”, and then, for this reviewer, the biggest test of the audio’s quality came next: how will “Kill the King” sound when the whole band crashes in after Blackmore’s opening riffs?
As always, Peach nailed it with remarkable clarity, balance, and driving power. Dio’s captured perfectly (including echo), as was the synchopated rhythm between Blackmore and Carey with Bain and Powell pushing them all into Blackmore’s aggressive solo. Before the song’s over, you’ve learned quickly why this show was used for On Stage. And “Mistreated” continued the excellence.
Blackmore introduced different emotional themes throughout each concert on this tour. No two preludes to “Mistreated” were the same, although all were very moody. What he played in this Osaka show seemed to initially involve his volume knob, pedal effects, and delicate finger work, which was all smashed apart with soaring, angry riffs to lead the band – amidst wild audience cheering – into another impeccable version of the song.
Dio, however, made strange between song comments throughout the concert, including saying that “Greensleeves” was written by an English King named “Henry the Stupid.” Uncharacteristic Dio, which bore no relation to how passionately and powerfully he sang in this concert. Blackmore pulled away from Dio’s comment with breathtaking fretwork that was at once wicked and then gentle as he moved through his J.S. Bach mini-concerto. The song proper that followed was classic live Rainbow: heavy, tight, and plundering. Each of Blackmore’s two solos was perfectly clear, with Bain, Carey & Powell driving behind him. Unrelenting is a fair way to describe the on stage activity by this point in the concert.
Dio’s funny comments continued as he described “Catch the Rainbow” as being inspired by “King Henry the Stupid’s smarter brother, King Henry VIII,” who Dio said “invented the fascinating game of doubles dominoes in the nude.” According to Dio, “Catch the Rainbow” was played at all of their domino matches. The uncanny definition and clarity of Peach’s recordings captured all of this is in remarkable quality, which continued for the beginning of “Catch the Rainbow.”
Blackmore’s meandering, dreamy phrasing that seamlessly worked into the song’s opening riffs; Cozy Powell’s accents with the bell from his ride cymbal and snare drum rim shots; Dio’s gorgeous, melodic vocals; and Carey’s synthesized string accompaniment are also equally present, making for the kind of listening experience provided by Peach recordings that, for the most part, is unrivalled.
Trest of disc 1, which consists of instrumentals, a rapid snippet from “Lazy,” “White Christmas”, and blues (although no “Starstruck”), also contains another phenomenal on stage version of “Man on the Silver Mountain.” Dio introduced this song as having been “written about the makers of masking tape,” giving more evidence of the mind-frame he was in for this show.
Disc 2 begins with Dio teasing the audience that they were going to play “every track” from Rainbow Rising, which of course they only played two, “Stargazer” and “Do You Close Your Eyes.” It is these songs that really accentuated the latter, heavier part of the concert. Toward the end of Carey’s spacey, medieval keyboard solo, at 6:58, the audience all of a sudden reacts to what were probably the rest of the band reappearing for the show highlight to come, “Stargazer.”
With the exception of the unusual portion in this song when they played it on December 13th in Fukuoka, Rainbow killed this song in every concert during this tour. They did it again in this Osaka show, which finds the band especially inspired as Blackmore bent his tremolo bar as everybody locked into the song’s introduction. We’re then treated to an unexpected surge of clarity in sound at 3:20, right as Dio’s singing “now, where do we go?” before Blackmore’s marathon solo. The sustained power of this song went directly in “Still I’m Sad” about 3 seconds after it was over.
There are particularly heavy sections at 1:34 and 2:09 in “Still I’m Sad,” where Blackmore’s just going nuts while Powell & Bain pound through the time signatures behind him. Awesome, thrilling music to hear, reminding us again about how lucky we are that Mr. Peach attended and recorded these great concert moments. This feeling and enjoyment continues through the rest of disc 2, which gives us a glimpse of what must have also been an incredible sight when the concert concluded with Blackmore destroying much of his equipment. Of course, Peach recorded “Over the Rainbow” after the mayhem, which must have left some fans in a daze.
Packaged in a colorful, sturdy jacket decorated with fitting live pictures, Tarantura have once again provided Rainbow fans with an essential addition to the library.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)