Free / EL&P – Super Summer 0722 (Bad Wizard)

Super Summer 0722 (Bad Wizard)

Korakuen Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 22nd, 1972

Free:  Seven Angels, Unseen Love, Fire And Water, Heatbreaker, Honky Tonk Women 

ELP:  Hoedown, Tarkus, Take A Pebble, Lucky Man, piano solo, Pictures At An Exhibition, Rondo, interview

Super Summer 0722 is the silver DVD debut of the television broadcast of the Free and ELP show at Korakuen Stadium in the summer of 1972.  The audio for both sets has been available with many permutations of the Free set.  Titles include Complete Korakuen Live! (Private Masters 040) and Complete Performance in The Stadium 1972 (Killing Floor KF 98025/26) with a good audience recording with “I’m On The Run,” “Like Water,” “Lady,” “Seven Angels,” “Unseen Love,” “Heartbreaker,” “Honky Tonk Women,” and “Fire and Water.” 

Fire & Water (TNT Studio) also has this tape and a several tracks from the rehearsals, and the complete rehearsal tape can be found on the Gypsy Eye release Live and Rehearsals at Far East.  The headliners’ set has been less well documented with the only silver release of the audience recording being the Killing Floor release in 1998 and two tracks, “Tarkus” and “Pictures At An Exhibition” from the soundboard appearing as bonus tracks on Koshien Battlefield (Mindwarp MWCD-043/044) released in the summer of 2006.  The ELP portion of the footage received a release on ELP on Korakuen Ball Park 1972 (Crossfire CFD-002)  on dvdr.

Produced by Depas (whose name is plastered over the picture occasionally), this is a pro-shot television video tape using at least two cameras.  One roams the front of the stage and the other is on the left hand side.  The VHS cassette is a higher generation:  the colors are a bit faded and weak, some bright moments are washed out, and the very bottom of the screen has tracking issues.  The first section of the tape containing the Free portion of the video is a marked improvement over the ELP.  One reason for this might be because it was shot in the day light. 

The increased visibility also gives good panoramic shots of the stadium and the seating arrangement is observable.  The audience were roped in the grandstands between first and third base and the upper deck is empty.  It is a shame their set is so fragmented and out of order because it is a powerful show.  Rabbit Bundrick takes lead vocals for “Unseen Love” and this one track comes close to stealing the show.  Their cover of  The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” is the final song even though “Fire And Water” was their last song played as an encore.  

The Emerson Lake And Palmer section of the video begins with “Hoedown.”  It is apparent from the beginning more production went into this part with more text and effects during the songs.  “Tarkus” is complete and has excellent close ups of Lake at the beginning.  The picture was put through a filter making the perimeter fuzzy and the middle in focus.  The first verse of “Take A Pebble” is cut as is the transition between the piano improvisation and the “Take A Pebble” reprise. 

The middle of the piece includes the short “Old Blue” and a full “Lucky Man.”  Palmer joins on drums after the first verse, but it otherwise is a solo acoustic number for Lake.  “Pictures At An Exhibition” is uncut and has what looks like a crazy straw over the picture at points.  The final song is “Rondo” with the drum solo edited out.  The picture deteriorates throughout the performance, but the images of Emerson slashing the organ with a katana are startling.  

The final track is a short television interview conducted on July 18th.  The band answer innocuous questions, saying they will spend time in Japan eating sushi and visiting Mt Fuji, going back to the States after the Osaka show, and Emerson telling the fans in Japan that he doesn’t want to be raped at the airport on the way home. 

Super Summer 0722 is pressed in the NTSC format, region free to be compatible with all DVD players.  The aspect ratio is 4:3 consistent with a television video tape.  Bad Wizard package this in a simple plastic keep case and utilize artwork consistent with other releases of this show on both Killing Floor and Mindwarp. 

1972 were the waning days of the first part of their career before they went off in a different direction with their masterpiece Brain Salad Surgery.  Since only a little bit of “Tarkus” from Tokyo appears on the official Beyond The Beginning DVD, this is a welcome release.  Hopefully someday an uncut copy closer to the master cassette will surface and improve upon this.  This isn’t the greatest viewing experience, but it is very enjoyable and since this is one of the legendary Emerson Lake & Palmer concerts, is well worth having.

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