The Hottest Band In A Galaxy (Zion-014)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – April 18, 1979 Giants Stadium, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey – June 17, 1979
Disc 1: Rock And Roll Band, Help Me (Shattered Images), Peace Of Mind, Feelin’ Satisfied, Don’t Look Back, The Journey, More Than A Feeling, A Man I’ll Never Be, Smokin’, Guitar Solo, This Time
Disc 2: Foreplay/Long Time, Something About You, Party, Television Politician, Don’t Be Afraid
Bonus DVDR: Giants Stadium 1979 – Rock And Roll Band, Help Me (Shattered Images), Peace Of Mind, Feelin’ Satisfied, Don’t Look Back, The Journey, More Than A Feeling, A Man I’ll Never Be, Smokin’, Guitar Solo, This Time, Foreplay/Long Time, Something About You, Party
The Hottest Band In A Galaxy is a very good audience recording from Boston’s Don’t Look Back tour in Japan. Mistakenly attributed to 1978 on the cover, the band’s first tour of Japan ran from April 13, 1979 through April 20, 1979 with two shows in Osaka, one in Fokuoka before three final shows in Tokyo. Both the first and final nights from Tokyo have previously surfaced. Zion features the first night in Tokyo from April 18th that is considered the better of the two recordings. This show was previously issued in 2000 on CDR from Masterport as Tokyo Day 1, along with its Tokyo Day 3 counterpart.
Boston is responsible for many late 70s anthems and put on a good energetic rock and roll show. The band sounds tight with a decent balance between instruments and Brad Delp’s vocals cut through the mix nicely. He does struggle a bit with a few high notes in “More Than A Feeling”, but overall does a very nice job even adding piano in “A Man I’ll Never Be”. The guitars are strong and Tom’s organ playing is typically outstanding. The recording, however, is plagued by audience clapping mostly at the start of songs and usually tapers off as the songs progress but the encores, “Something About You” through “Don’t Be Afraid”, suffer the worst. It is somewhat of a shame as this alone keeps the recording from being excellent. “Feelin’ Satisfied” is the only track where audience clapping is actually productive.
The bonus DVDR from Giant Stadium featured with The Hottest Band In A Galaxy was released not too long before this by V Jam as Landing At The Stadium. Seeing the early Boston on video is very intriguing due to the fact that before this, not much, if anything, has really surfaced. There are various camera angles with black and white footage from the sides of the stage and the color footage from straight on, all with the time code at the top and a large ME-94 in the middle of the screen. The color footage is pretty clear but most of the black and white is jumpy and washed out. There is a cut and an overlap at the start of “The Journey” where the film reel was probably changed as we now have ME-95 in the middle of the screen. This overlap is not found on V Jam. Interestingly, we get to see Brad take over on organ for “The Journey” and parts of “Foreplay” while Tom adds his special effects guitar sounds.
Landing At The Stadium received some negative feedback from some collectors for high generation video and distorted audio. I would suggest seeking out The Hottest Band In A Galaxy with the bonus DVDR and though the picture doesn’t offer any improvement, the audio is much better than V Jam. The audio only has also been released on Gypsy Eye’s Party At Stadium 1979, although that title runs too fast. With the latest official Boston remasters offering us nothing new in terms of rarities or bonus tracks, every scrap that the bootleggers have to offer from the original Boston lineup is worthy to most collectors. Zion does a really nice job presenting this show on silver disc with very colorful artwork printed on thick glossy paper similar to the Sirene/Beano/Wardour titles. I am hopeful that Zion will follow this up with the last night in Tokyo. (WGPSEC)