Definitive Budokan 1982 (Zodiac 534)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – June 10, 1982
Disc 1 (45:35) Hells Bells, Shot Down In Flames, Sin City, Shoot To Thrill, Back In Black, Bad Boy Boogie, Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution
Disc 2 (45:22) The Jack, Let’s Get It Up, Highway To Hell, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Whole Lotta Rosie, Let There Be Rock, You Shook Me All Night Long, T.N.T.
Always nice to see a new AC/DC silver title being released, the band seem to have fallen out of the good graces of the collectors market with the majority of releases being released on CD-R media. This new title uses the Miracle Man recording that was used in 2013 for Live At Budokan (Calm & Storm 047) and features mastering from Graf Zeppelin so there is nothing new here but after looking at my shelf I realized I did not have this title in my collection, the updated mastering made this title worth seeking out. Miracle Man was not the only taper at this concert, the famous Mr. Peach also recorded this concert, his concert was released as Electric Shock (Tarantura TCDACDC-1-1,2). There is a CD-r title At Budokan (Shades 190) as well, so it’s probable that a third source exists as well.
The sound is a very good, near complete audience recording. Miracle Man was fairly close to the action and gets a nice blend of music and audience making for a nice atmospheric listening experience. All instruments and vocals are discernible in the mix and it has a nice range of frequencies, the upper is clean and there is a nice bottom end and sounds great loud. AC/DC played a scant 9 concerts in Japan from 1981 to 1982 so recordings from the far east are few with the vast majority coming from the Tokyo February 5, 1981 partial soundboard, again nice to see this recording get a certain upgrade.
The bells toll for the intro that is blasted over the PA before Brian Johnson comes out and hammers the bell with hammer and the band break into Hells Bells as the audience go crazy. The sound does move around a bit as MM gets comfortable in his position, the audience is loud but not overpowering, just very enthusiastic. Shot Down In Flames follows and is extremely well received, the sound levels off nicely by now, the band is very tight. The middle section of Sin City shows the limitations of the recorder during the throbbing bass only middle section as the sound and clarity increases, the audience are very into this song and clap along through the entire song, again this does not overpower the music at all.
“This next song is off the Back In Black album…it’s called Shoot to Thrill”, no difficulty in translation as the audience is right there with the band but it is the next song that brings the house down. As soon as the band break into Back In Black the energy level of both band and audience goes up a couple notches, the song is pure Hard Rock Fury and joy. The band get a breather afterwards and ready for a bit of fun with the audience as the next song is Bad Boy Boogie. The song starts off with a solo call and response with Angus and the audience for a couple minutes before breaking into the Boogie proper. The middle section features the slow but steady jam while Angus adjusts his wardrobe, the audience follow his every move and note played.
The slow blues of The Jack doesn’t mellow the audience, Brian seems to always use the alternate lyrics Bon made famous on the If You Want Blood live opus. This song features some of Angus’ best playing, his ability to go from sparse to a flurry of notes shows how much of a skilled and versatile player he is, certainly under rated. The sole track from For Those About to Rock is Let’s Get It Up, the band did play a couple other songs from the record, COD being one, but much of the album never made it in the set. The title track was played during this tour but only at venues that would allow the cannons with the Budokan being one that would not allow it. I dig Let’s Get It Up, works well and rocks hard, the audience dig it to.
With the new song out of the way, the band get into the real crowd pleasing classic material beginning with Highway To Hell. There is a cut in the tape between Hell and Dirty Deeds, the first 39 seconds of Dirty Deeds is filled with the Shades source, it is very close in sound to the Miracle Man recording unless you know it’s there you wouldn’t know it’s there, curious why they did not patch more as some of the audience noise between songs is missing, perhaps both recordings had a cut in the same area. The band’s popularity let the record company cash in on the Dirty Deeds album, having originally passed on it for world wide distribution back in 1976. Certainly a great crowd pleasing tune.
The Japanese fans know their AC/DC, as soon as they break into Whole Lotta Rosie, they sing “Angus…Angus” during the riff breaks. Let There Be Rock is played at a furious pace and ends the main set in excellent fashion, the sound does get muffled during the song. Miracle Man capture the entire encore cheer that is relentless until Angus finally returns with a solo spot that leads into You Shook Me All Night Long, the crowd absolutely love this song as they sing along with Brian for much of the time, the atmosphere is warm and joyous. T.N.T. is the final song of the set, the shouts of “Oi..Oi..Oi” fill the historic arena and the song is a masterful and brilliant ending for the last show in Japan until 2001.
The packaging is nice, bronze color toned cover with official looking graphics mimic the For Those About To Rock LP cover, all inserts feature live shots of the band. The interior features a convert poster pic that is cool featuring a car tire ad on the bottom. The numbered sticker features the cannon, the CD’s feature Angus and like the old Calm & Storm title, there is a ticket reproduction as an added bonus. Not a lot of AC/DC silver titles being released, this is a very welcomed title.