Fujiyama Mountain Way (Tarantura TCDE-1-1,2)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – September 17, 1979
Disc 1: (52:06) Opening, Tuning, Hotel California, Already Gone, In The City, Doolin-Dalton, Desperado, Lyin’ Eyes, Introduction, I Can’t Tell You Why, Desperado, Heartache Tonight
Disc 2: (49:04) Interval, One Of These Nights, Introduction, Turn To Stone, The Long Run, Life’s Been Good, Life In The Fast Lane, Rocky Mountain Way (1st encore), Take It Easy (2nd encore)
Fujiyama Mountain Way from Tarantura features a very good and clear audience recording taken from the Eagles second trip to Japan. There is some distortion in places that mainly affects some of Don Henley’s drums and the background vocals but isn’t enough to distract the listener. All songs are musically complete and all instruments are balanced in the mix with only the bass lacking in definition.
The tour featured tracks from every Eagles album and also included three songs from Joe Walsh’s solo career. With so many hits in their catalog it is surprising that some were left out in lieu of Walsh’s tunes. Nonetheless, his contribution to the band really added a new dimension to their sound and his solo material brings life to an otherwise very composed performance.
The opening notes of “Hotel California” are enough to captivate an audience and the guitar climax from Don Felder and Joe Walsh at the end is executed perfectly. The opening three tracks feature lead vocals from Henley, Frey, and Walsh, respectively, showing just how versatile the band was. “In The City”, previously recorded by Walsh for the Warriors soundtrack, was re-recorded by the Eagles adding their signature blend of vocal harmonies. Don Felder adds mandolin to “Lyin’ Eyes” and is easily the most underrated musician in the band. His guitar playing and song writing are truly unique and the band hasn’t been the same since his firing in 2001. Timothy B. Schmit takes the lead on his contribution to The Long Run LP with “I Can’t Tell You Why”, one of the three top ten hits from the album. This track featured a sweet guitar solo recorded by Glenn Frey but was performed live by Don Felder.
Joe Walsh introduces his long time collaborator, Joe Vitale, a multi-instrumentalist who is spotlighted during “Turn To Stone” on flute. Walsh and Felder join in for some licks before the dynamic finish. Walsh’s tunes continue to dominate the end of the show with “Life’s Been Good”, a track where he pokes fun at himself, and “Life In The Fast Lane” from Hotel California. “Rocky Mountain Way”, his biggest solo hit, is the first encore and has some nice slide guitar work followed by Joe’s infamous talk box guitars. “Take It Easy” is the second encore and final track. Later in the Japanese tour “Tequila Sunrise” and “Best Of My Love” were added to the end of the shows but unfortunately don’t appear to be featured during this concert.
Fujiyama Mountain Way is packaged in a gatefold paper sleeve with a cool but common photo of Walsh and Felder on the cover with a photo of Henley on the back and Frey and Schmit in the center. The recording comes from the Mr. Peach archives and is another very nice Tarantura release. Recordings of the Eagles have become few and far between lately making this title that much nicer.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)