Voodoo Lounge In Tokyo: Third Night & Last Night (no label)
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – 9th & 17th March 1995
The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour, to promote the 1994 Voodoo Lounge album release, was the highest grossing rock tour in history at that time taking in over $320 Million in 130 dates.
The tour was once again promoted by Canadian Concert promoter Michael Cohl who guaranteed the Stones $85 million upfront to cover expenses and salaries with more profits to come once the tour broke even.
The massive stage, with its 924-square-foot Sony video screen and a 92-foot-high cobra-shaped lighting tower, required 56 trucks to haul from city to city. Because the set took four days to build, three stages leapfrogged each other around the U.S. Overseas, the stage was ferried in two 747 cargo jets and a Russian military cargo plane.
The Japan leg of the tour saw the Stones playing nine dates including 7 sold out shows in the 50,000 seat cavernous “Big Egg” Tokyo Dome.
This No Name Label captures two very good sounding audience recordings, advertised as from the master DAT’s, from the 3rd and the 7th night of the 7 show Tokyo Dome run.
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – March 9, 1995
CD1 (60:49) 1. Introduction, 2. Not Fade Away, 3. Tumbling Dice, 4. You Got Me Rocking, 5. All Down The Line, 6. Rocks Off, 7. Sparks Will Fly, 8. Satisfaction, 9. No Expectation, 10. Let It Bleed, 11. Rock And A Hard Place, 12. Love Is Strong, 13. I Go Wild
CD2 (66:14) 1. Miss You, 2. Band Introductions, 3. Honky Tonk Women, 4. Before They Make Me Run, 5. The Worst, 6. Sympathy For The Devil, 7. Monkey Man, 8. Street Fighting Man, 9. Start Me Up, 10. It’s Only Rock And Roll, 11. Brown Sugar, 12. Jumping Jack Flash
The March 7th show was previously released on the Vinyl Gang title “Never Tired” (VGP065) and 4 tracks on the RS label “Rarities Tokyo”. I cannot confirm if the source used here is the same as those two releases as I do not have either to compare with.
The recording is a clear, crisp, VG+ sounding stereo audience source which I speculate was taped fairly close to the stage as, for the most part, it avoids the notorious Big Egg arena reverb which plagues many of the audience recording from this venue. There is some arena reverb, most noticeable on Mick’s vocals, but it is restrained for the most part and does not detract from the overall quality of the recording.
The instruments are reasonably well defined with Mick’s vocals and the guitars slightly forward in the mix, with the drums a bit back, and the bass lost in the sonic soup but adding to the recordings bottom end.
The recording favors the high end but there is just enough low and mid frequency warmth to keep things from being overly bright.
There is a nice mix of audience without it being obtrusive although you do get some audience participation on some songs which is picked up by the recorder.
One of the things I always admired about the Voodoo Lounge performances were how well played and solid for the most part they were and this show is no different as the boys put in another good performance.
The Stones did not vary their set list much and both of these shows are heavy on the old warhorse hits. Highlights for me included the rare, for this tour, version of “No Expectations”, “Let It Bleed”, All Down the Line” and one of my Stones favorite tunes “Monkey Man”.
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – March 17, 1995
CD1 (61:26) 1. Introduction, 2. Not Fade Away, 3. Tumbling Dice, 4. You Got Me Rocking, 5. All Down The Line, 6. Rocks Off, 7. Sparks Will Fly, 8. Satisfaction, 9. Beast of Burden , 10. Memory Motel, 11. Rock And A Hard Place, 12. Love Is Strong, 13. I Go Wild
CD2 (70:35) 1. Miss You, 2. Band Introductions, 3. Honky Tonk Women, 4. Happy, 5. Slipping Away, 6. Sympathy For The Devil, 7. Monkey Man, 8. Street Fighting Man, 9. Start Me Up, 10. It’s Only Rock And Roll, 11. Brown Sugar, 12. Jumping Jack Flash
The March 17th show was previously released on the Vinyl Gang title 94/95 “Voodoo Lounge Tour Souvenir” (VGP058) , and split over the 2 No Label titles “Tokyo Final 1995 March 17 Vol. 1”, “Tokyo Final 1995 March 17 Vol. 2” and one song, Memory Motel, on the RS label “Rarities Tokyo”. Again I cannot verify if this new No Label uses the same source as I do not have the older releases to compare it with.
The recording of this show is a VG clear and crisp stereo audience source but it is more distant from the stage and as a result it does suffer some from the dreaded Big Egg reverb which gives the recording a bit of hollow feel, especially on Mick’s vocals, and a bit of boominess to Charlie’s drums.
Most of the instruments are well represented with the drums slightly forward in the mix along with Mick’s vocals. The guitars are slightly back in the mix and the bass seems get lost in Charlie’s bass drum sound. Even with the reverb the recording has a nice balance and warmth to it making it an enjoyable listen.
Like the other shows during the Japan tour this is another solid performance by the boys but can’t say there was anything that made it stand out for me compared to the other dates.
While there are no real rarities highlights included “Memory Motel”, “Beast of Burden” and the fan and one of my favorites “Monkey Man”.
This No Label release comes in a fat boy 4 disc jewel case with glossy tray cards with period pictures of the four Stones on the cover and a sticker claiming limited edition with an issue number.
While not an essential title based on the VG sound quality of both shows, and the fact that previous label releases of these shows are long out of print, this new No Label title would make a nice addition to any Stones fans collection.