Nihon Seinenkan 1981 (Calm & Storm 016)
Nihon Seinenkan, Tokyo, Japan – February 5, 1981
(67:58) DJ Intro, Hells Bells, Shot Down In Flames, Sin City, Back In Black, Bad Boy Boogie, The Jack, Highway To Hell, High Voltage, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, DJ Outro. Bonus Tracks: Capital Center Landover, MD, USA – December 21, 1981; Back In Black, T.N.T.
For its first release not to feature a Miracle Man recording Calm & Storm give us a single disc release of a radio broadcast featuring AC/DC’s first tour of Japan. The soundboard recording is excellent, well balanced and clear but to my ears the cymbals sound extremely high and tinny. It does not have a metallic sound like something with excessive noise reduction but I find it quite annoying and unfortunate have only been able to listen to this show a few times. The concert is not complete but the fragment that is here finds the band in superb shape, they were a touring machine at this point and give the Tokyo audience a high energy performance.
Curiously the material focuses on the Bon Scott era material, Brian has more of a growl during his first couple of years before his voice would transform into more of a sneer and it gives the band a more aggressive sound. The bonus tracks are taken from the B-side of “Lets Get It Up” and sound really good, one can only wonder what this tape would sound like with some decent mastering to help the Tokyo tape be easier on the ears. A real bummer as I love this era of AC/DC and look upon this release as a missed opportunity.