Song Bird (Tarantura TCDFM-1)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – December 5th, 1977
Disc 1 (43:45): Opening, Introduction, Say You Love Me, Monday Morning, Dreams, Oh Well, Rhiannon, Oh Daddy, Never Going Back Again, Landslide, Over My Head
Disc 2 (57:41): Gold Dust Woman, You Make Loving Fun, I’m So Afraid, Go Your Own Way, World Turning, Blue Letter, The Chain, Second Hand News, Song Bird
Fleetwood Mac’s biggest selling album Rumours was released in February 1977 and the band spent almost the entire year touring in support. The December 5th show in Budokan is the final show in Japan and close to the end of the tour (which was on December 10th in Maui.) The is another good tape source in circulation which was pressed on Stage (Private Masters PM017) and eight songs from this show appear on A Song Bird For Mr. Udo. This was also professionally video taped and exists on DVD.
Song Bird on Tarantura, the label’s first Fleetwood Mac release, comes from a Mr. Peach recording which is uniformly well-balanced, detailed, detailed and a power testament to the band’s prowess as a live act. There seems to be a small cut between “Landslide” and “Over My Head” but no music at all is lost.
When the band come on stage they play a short instrumental introduction based on the riff that would be used for “Tusk,” their next album. The set relies almost exclusively upon their latest two albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. What is most impressive is their ability to stretch their hits from radio friendly ditties into massive, dramatic live stage pieces. The first four songs including “an older song written by Mr. Peter Green…’Oh Well’” are energetic. “Rhiannon,” which was released in 1975 on Fleetwood Mac and was re-released as a single while on this tour, is expanded to eight minutes with an additional instrumental interlude.
“Never Going Back Again” and “Landslide” form a quick, two song acoustic set in the middle of the show. “Gold Dust Woman” is another song that breaks out of its constricted studio recording as the band jams on the melody for close to ten minutes and “Blue Letter” closes the show. Before “Songbird” Christine McVie thanks the Tokyo audience and dedicates the song to the promoter Mr. Udo. Song Bird comes packaged in a cardboard gatefold sleeve with several photographs taken from the show used as artwork in the middle. Given the phenomenal sound quality and the scarcity of good Fleetwood Mac releases this is worth having.