Friday Night (TCDRAINBOW-14)
Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan Friday August 28, 1981
Disc 0 (30:16) Supporting Act; MA-MA-DO!! Introduction, Flash And Crash, Fluit Shower Lady, Eros Hurricane, Band Introduction, Eros Hurricane, Broken Trail, Friday Night
Disc 1 (40:49) Pomp And Circumstance, Over The Rainbow, Spotlight Kid, Love’s No Friend, I Surrender, Lazy, Man On The Solver Mountain, Catch The Rainbow
Disc 2 (61:52) Can’t Happen Here, Don Airey Keyboard Solo, Lost In Hollywood, Guitar Solo, A Light In The Black, Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth), Bob Rondinelli Drum Solo, Long Live Rock And Roll, Encore / All Night Long, Blues, Woman From Tokyo, Smoke On The Water, Since You’ve Been Gone, Over The Rainbow, Announcement (SE: Maybe Next Time)
Tarantura continues their coverage of Rainbow’s history of performing live in Japan with this exciting new release covering the bands final gig of the Japanese tour to support the Difficult To Cure record. The concert has been released before under such titles as Definitive Surrender Documents (Darker Than Blue 099), Total Surrender (Darker Than Blue 097/098), and Surrender Documents (Darker Than Blue-00) and one can ask that after having both soundboard and audiences sources already available what is so exciting about this release ?
Well it’s another great recording from Mr. Peach. Excellent well balanced full three dimensional sounding recording of the entire concert and for the first time Tarantura has chosen to make it a three CD set that includes the open band MA-MA-DO!! opening set (the band opened for the entire eight concert tour).
The recording was done very close to stage and has the perfect blend of music and audience participation that the Peach Rainbow recordings are known for and even though the band did extensive American, European, and UK tours prior they are in great shape and give the demanding Tokyo crowd and superb performance.
The recording starts with the introduction music of Pomp and Circumstance before Dorothy Gale gives the official intro and the band launch in the frenzied Spotlight Kid, although I prefer the older Dio era recordings one can surmise that Spotlight Kid is as every bit the effective opening song that Kill The King was, plenty of room for the band to explode especially new drummer Bobby Rondinelli who work on his bass drum provides the thundering backbone for the song and Don Aiery provides some excellent fills as he is already prepared to spar with one Ritchie Blackmore.
The only drawback in the band’s sound was the inclusion of the female backing singers, obviously Ritchie put them there to fill the vocals out more and give more of the sound that was popular in AOR radio back in the early eighties and i must say that is my opinion. The band waste no time as they go right into the slow blues of Loves No Friend from the previous Down To Earth record and as I was listening I noticed something else, Blackmore has dictated the set list to flow very similarly to the Dio era, fast opener, slow blues, hard rocking songs and the ballad , another rocker and then the long band solo improvisation number. Love’s No Friend is a perfect song for Joe Lynn Turner by being right up is alley as opposed the Dio material and he puts in an excellent vocal performance.
I Surrender follows after JLT salutes the audience, when compared to the other songs the band would play during this concert it is like a boy amongst men, Blackmore does play a nice solo and JLT puts in a great vocal to boot, but when Blackmore plays the first few notes of Lazy things begin to heat up and as with previous line ups he proceeds to put the band through the paces and the whole thing leads into a fast tempo Man On The Silver Mountain.
Blackmore flies during the solo and the song benefits from his slide playing and the song has a very distorted metal finish to it. After JLT makes sure the audience is ready he announces Catch The Rainbow and many fevered screams of Ritchie can be heard, the song is an obvious crowd pleaser and they gently clap as Ritchie plays the familiar notes that seem to float in space and JLT sings the lyrics and the background singers punctuate the high vocals. Different band and vocalist but same beautiful effect, Blackmore does not disappoint and takes control with some fantastic playing that is simply captivating.
The second disc starts out with Joe Lynn introducing the next track as being a new single from the Difficult To Cure record, Can’t Happen Here is a straight out rocker, fast paced with a great chorus, the audience agrees and the clap along with the band. The song is, as with a bulk of the material from 1980-1982, a estimate to the talent of one Roger Glover who did his share of writing for Rainbow during probably their most successful period. The maestro is up next, Don Airey solos are always interesting as he is such a multifaceted performer, his playing always has a touch of a futuristic and downright spacey at times sound to it and by this time was a highly sought after musician. His six and half minute solo covers it all and it is amazing to hear him switch from avant guard to classical to rock and roll in a heartbeat.
It all leads into the heaviest song on Down To Earth, the bands vehicle for solo improvisation Lost In Hollywood. Blackmore starts his solo with distorted notes couple with some effects from Don Airey sound like a psychedelic symphony of distortion before evolving into a brief band jam of a piece of A Light In The Black (would have been nice to hear more of Bobby Rondinelli playing the song made famous by Cozy Powells intense double bass drumming) before Blackmore weaves snake like through a Middle Eastern piece reminiscent of StarGazer and finally the band go in stride to Beethoven’s Ninth also know as Difficult To Cure. Ritchie and Don harmonize musically in beautiful fashion, the only other person who could hold a candle to Blackmore in this area was Jon Lord (RIP), Airey gets another solo spot during the song and lets loose with a solo sounding very much like a Hammond B3 to great effect
Bob Rondinelli plays a nice fast paced solo that has the crowd clapping along in time with him and at just the right moment would have the audience say “HEY !” His hard hitting style would more than make him an excellent choice as replacement for Cozy Powell would had become disillusioned with the bands direction as this seven minute homage to hammering showcases, the band go in stride with a speed metal version of Long Live Rock And Roll. The up tempo feel actually works to watch Blackmore was striving for with a more commercial feel and of course is a great vehicle for crowd interaction and sing along and a perfect way to end the main set.
The audience is in heat by the time Blackmore plays the first cord from All Night Long, the backup singers give the added effect of a big time chorus. The song is followed by Ritchie playing some slow blues that is close to being ruined by JLT, great vocalist but his voice is just not fit for the blues. The band tease with a snippet of the Purple classic Woman From Tokyo before launching into a complete version of Smoke On The Water, a song that the JLT era group would play regularly. The song works well and has the audience on their feet, the go right into a lightning quick Since You’ve Been Gone to finish the show in spectacular fashion. Always nice to hear the Over The Rainbow outro, it adds to the ambiance and feeling you get of being there from these fantastic Peach recordings. This is followed by an announcement as the crowd exits the building.
As kind of a bonus the opening band MA-MA-DO!! short 30 minute set is included, the band has a sound that is akin to Journey and American AOR rock, the vocalist Tomiaki Hidaka sound very much like Steve Perry. The music is well played and although it will not get many repeated listenings to by me it does give an excellent perspective on concerts in Japan during the early 80’s.
The packaging is a slim line box featuring a great back stage shot of the Man In Black, with a look on his face as if saying “Who Me?” the set is limited to 200 numbered copies and there is an insert with a great shot of Blacmore in the middle in a delicatessen along with photos of the master cassettes and ticket stub. Another classy release and addition to the Rainbow catalog from the folks at Tarantura.