Rod Stewart – Budokan 1981 FM Live Special (Calm & Storm 048)

Rod Stewart - Budokan 1981 FM

Budokan 1981 FM Live Special (Calm & Storm 048)

Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – May 12th, 1981

(74:29) Introduction, Gi’ Me Wings, Sweet Little Rock ’N’ Roller, Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright), Hot Legs, Maggie May, I Just Wanna Make Love To You, (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right, (I Know) I’m Losing You, Drum Solo, (I Know) I’m Losing You (reprise), Oh God I Wish I Was Home Tonight, Da Ya Think I’m Sexy, Sailing, Member Introduction, I Was Only Joking, Outroduction

Budokan 1981 FM Live Special features a radio broadcast from May 12th, 1981 recorded at Budokan in Tokyo during Rod Stewart’s Foolish Behaviour tour. The sound quality is excellent with a nice balance between the instruments and a little crowd mixed in for live atmosphere. It is edited between songs probably due to time restraints and/or radio continuity and doesn’t contain the full show. A previous silver version to disc was released years ago as Red Light District (Fire Power FP-024), containing the same tracks, which received an excellent detailed review from gsparaco.

Stewart’s touring band featured Jim Cregan, Robin Le Mesurier, and Danny Johnson on guitars, Jay Davis on bass, Carmine Appice on drums, Kevin Savigar on keyboards, and Jim Zavala on saxophone and harmonica. The band sounds nice and polished and delivers a great performance that covers a variety of Rod’s hits up to this point.

After the Japanese radio announcer, “Gi’ Me Wings” opens the show. This comes from Stewart’s latest LP, Foolish Behaviour and is a good solid driving rock song to get things started. Rod gives a nod to his rock and roll roots with Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Rock’n’Roller” next and they play a poppy version with some cool guitar and piano solos.  Afterwards, Rod tells the audience to “please feel free to do as you want, stand up, dance…as long as you don’t expose yourself”.

“Tonight’s The Night” sounds perfect and highlights pedal steel guitar and saxophone. The harmony guitar solo is played spot on like the record and is a very enjoyable version. Stewart mentions that they may notice all the cameras around as they are “trying to make a film tonight”. “Hot Legs” follows with a real loose Stones/Faces type of groove.

“Here’s a pretty song” Rod says before “Maggie May”. The song sounds heavier and Rod hilariously goes off at the end singing “you’re the ugliest woman that I’ve ever seen…God you’re so damn ugly…I want to kick you’re face in…”.  Jim Zavala smokes on harmonica for a cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” and Rod embellishes the lyrics again with “I Just Wanna Go Down On You”.

Stewart does his take on the Stax Records soul number “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” which he recorded for the Foot Loose & Fancy Free record. This song has been covered by many artists but Stewart gives a worthwhile soulful performance. His cover of The Temptations’ “(I Know) I’m Losing You” follows and was recorded with the Faces but included on his third solo LP, Every Picture Tells A Story. During this tour it takes on more of an 80s feel due to the guitar sounds and the track houses a short bass solo followed by a four and a half minute Carmine Appice drum solo complete with some cheesy electronic noises and gong bashing.

“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” has less of a disco flavor and more of a dance feel than the LP and is an excellent version with Appice and Davis holding down the perfect groove. It is definitely a show stopper and the song breaks down with another nice Jay Davis bass solo before they finish the track. The last two tracks on the disc, “Sailing” and “I Was Only Joking” finish the disc on a mellower note before the Japanese announcer’s closing comments.

Budokan 1981 FM Live Special is packaged in a single jewel case with several pictures of Rod from the appropriate era and is a superb sounding release easily recommended to Rod Stewart fans for both performance and sound quality. The FM broadcast doesn’t feature the entire show but is still a great title to own. Normally Calm & Storm titles come from Miracle Man audience recordings but this one features the radio show air checked by Miracle Man.

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