Meloik In Japan (Tarantura)
Tokyo Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo, Japan – November 16th, 1980 (early show)
Disc 1: Opening SE / Supertzer, War Pig, Neon Knights, N.I.B, Children Of The Sea, Sweet Leaf, Drum Solo, Sweat Leaf, Lady Evil, Black Sabbath,
Disc 2: Interval, Heaven And Hell, Iron Man, guitar solo, instrumental, guitar solo, instrumental, guitar solo, Orchid, Die Young, Paranoid
Don’t you just love releases like this! Meloik Japan is a wonderful release in a carton digipack including a poster from one of Sabbath’s finest tours with Ronnie James Dio. As usual we also get two picture disc cd’s. The product itself is amazing. Something we can expect from the Tarantura label. Apparently this release contains a new discovered master tape from their afternoon show of the day. Sabbath would perform another show later in the evening. Unfortunately I cannot compare both versions because I do not own the other version. What I do know is that quality wise this show is very, very enjoyable and most likely a huge improvement to the version around in trading circles.
This cd set contains Sabbath’s first show of their 1980 Japan tour in support of one of their finest albums to date Heaven and Hell. After a rather long intro tape (Superstzar) the band kicks in with War Pigs. To me this is a rather weird choice to open a show. Why not kick in with Die Young or Neon Knight? Last tour with Heaven and Hell they also started with a slow song (“I”). Something a lot of fans don’t understand. Back to the show. The first thing that gets to me is how clear the sound is. It’s a bit bassy but not disturbing at all. Ronnie’s voice is very clear and strong. He hits the high notes without any problem. After War Pigs the band kicks in with Neon Knights. Now things are getting serious. The band is tight as ever. Dio thanks the crowd after this song and tells them it’s great to be back in Japan.
He isn’t referring to the band because its Sabbath’s first visit to Japan. Dio though, has been to Japan various times before with is previous band Rainbow. N.I.B. is next and the Japanese crowd start clapping along. After this song the band kicks in with a crowd favourite Children of the Sea. Ronnie dedicates this song especially to the people of Japan. The intro is a bit longer than usual because Ronnie forgot to start with the first verse. Sweet Leaf kicks in followed by a drum solo. After this we get a little tread with the song Lady Evil. The band added Lady Evil to the set which wasn’t in the set during the US tour the previous months. A personal favourite is next, a 9 minute version of Black Sabbath. Dio does an awesome job. The laughter in the middle of the song is a highlight. Dio is really into it.
Cd 2 starts with a monstrous 12+ minute version of Heaven and Hell. Now and then an echo is used for Dio’s voice. Something I personally like a lot. After this the band kicks in immediately with Iron Man followed by Iommi’s guitar solo. After this the band does an instrumental song I’m not familiar with. This probably is part of the guitar solo. After this another solo and then again an instrumental. The song is cool but I rather had another Sabbath song instead of this. The guitar solo goes on again… After Iommi’s ego trip we get the instrumental Orchid followed by one of Sabbaths stronger live songs Die Young. The band leaves the stage after this. It’s kind of weird to hear Dio say “Goodnite” to the Japanese crowd although its only 3.30 in the afternoon. The band returns soon to kick in Black Sabbath’s trademark song and the last song of the set, Paranoid.
I can recommend this cd set to all Sabbath collectors. Tarantura did a wonderful job and as a Sabbath fan and collector I like to thank them for this release. Now come on with the evening show of the day!