Korakuen Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 22nd, 1972
Disc 1 (47:01): Intro., I’m On The Run, Like Water, Lady, Seven Angels, Unseen Love, Heartbreaker, Honky Tonk Women, Fire And Water, outro
Free’s July 22nd, 1972 show in Tokyo supporting Emerson, Lake And Palmer is perhaps their most well known. It certainly is the most often pressed show on compact disc. An older tape was used for Complete Korakuen Live! (Private Masters 040), Fire & Water (TNT Studio) which also has several tracks from the rehearsal tape made by Rabbit Bundrick and Complete Performance In The Stadium 1972 (Killing Floor KF 98025/26) along with the ELP set.
The five songs on the video soundtrack, “Seven Angels,” “Unseen Love,” “Fire And Water,” “Heartbreaker” and “Honky Tonk Women” can be found on Live And Rehearsals at Far East (Gypsy Eye 081) along with six tracks from the Bundrick tape. (The complete rehearsal tape is available on Bundrick’s website as Free Rehearsal – Tokyo 1972). Finally the video surfaced several years ago and can be found on Super Summer 0722 (Bad Wizard).
Korakuen 1972 features a newly surfaced audience tape. It is distant but clear and distant from the stage. It’s perhaps slighly more clear than the other tapes but not by much. It is a good one disc edition for an essential show.
This is a mesmerizing performance by a band on their last legs and come close to upstaging the headliners. There is a short introduction before they start with “I’m On The Run,” a song written by keyboardist Rabbit Bundrick for the Kossoff/Kirke/Tetsu/Rabbit side project (i.e. Free without Paul Rodgers) followed by the Rodgers tune “Like Water.”
The audience don’t sound too interested at this point, but Free get their attention with “Seven Angels.” This song was freshly written and wouldn’t be available until the following year’s LP Heartbreaker. Full of drama, this is one of the best songs of the entire set.
Rabbit Bundrick takes the vocals for his own song “Unseen Love” and tell the audience“ at the end there is a chorus, a melody, you can sing with us.” It is, like the previous song, an extremely dramatic piece of writing. Their set ends with the Stones cover “Honky Tonk Women” and “Fire And Water.”
This concert is one that should be experienced by every collector and Korakuen 1972 is a good sounding affordable and available edition.