In The Hall Of The Mountain King (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE78-05-01,2)
Koseinenkin-Kaikan Dai Hall Osaka, Japan Monday January 16, 1978
Disc 1 (61:39) Monitor Check, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start, Kill The King, Guitar Solo, Mistreated, Greensleeves, 16th Century Greensleeves, MC / Niji Light Show (Rainbow Or Peach), Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow, Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll
Disc 2 (44:05) MC / Band Introduction, Man On The Silver Mountain, Guitar Solo, Blues, Night People, Starstruck, Night People / Man On The Silver Mountain, Keyboard Solo, Still I’m Sad, Beethovan Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll op. 125, Keyboard Solo, Drum Solo, The Year 1812, Festival Overture in E flat major, Still I’m Sad, Over The Rainbow
This Rainbow release from Tarantura came late last year and is culled from the bands 1978 tour of Japan and features the debut of another glorious Mr. Peach recording. This is the fifth night on the tour and their first of three dates in the city of Osaka.
The Mr. Peach recording is as expected, clear and well balanced and very powerful. Far better than an soundboard, the excellent recording is full of life and ambiance, at times there is slight distortion on the vocals but I believe it is from the PA system and not the recording equipment. The band had the previous night off and are obviously glad to be back on stage, the launch into a crushing version of Kill The King and you wonder how Peach’s microphones could achieve such clarity considering the thunder coming from Cozy Powells double bass drum. Dio warmly greets the audience and introduces “…a song from our last LP Rainbow Live On Stage recorded live in Japan….A song called Mistreated”.
Japanese audiences love Ritchie Blackmore, the shout and scream for him and he noodles around before silencing them with a flurry of notes augmented by David Stone’s keyboards that give it a heavy feeling right in your gut then he subtly leads the band into the song. If the sound level you are listening to this show at are low please take an second and turn it up, this recording sounds better played loud. I think what I love most about Ronnie’s vocal delivery circa the 75-78 Rainbow years is he sings with a much simpler fashion, he has not adopted the kind of evil snarl that would greatly accent his work with Black Sabbath and Dio.
His delivery on Mistreated is always phenomenal, tonight he is laid back and gives the feeling that although he has been mistreated, he is happy to move on. But it is the guitar playing that always gets to me, Blackmore is left alone to just weave though an invisible fabric that is beautiful to listen too. The audience roars their approval at its conclusion.
Greensleeves intro is beautifully played as well, Blackmore plays a lot of notes but not of them are lost, David Stone at times adds some harpsichord effects when needed to great effect, medieval textures that leads into 16th Century Greensleeves. The heavy song play an important part in Blackmore history as it was written when he was still in Deep Purple, it was written on the road when Dio’s band Elf was the opening band and he and Ritchie started witting together and was the first song they wrote (They already had been working on Black Sheep Of The Family that was a cover song). Melodic but very heavy it is obvious Ritchie has a huge affinity for the song as he has played it throughout his career, I love the 78 versions as they always seem so heavy.
The intro to the next song is interesting, Ronnie starts by acknowledging a man down front who looks like Jon Lord and says you can buy him in an arcade, interesting as the song is chaptered as Rainbow Or Peach and has me wondering if Ronnie talking about him and in a way gave him his name ? Now is the time to turn down the lights and close your eyes, you are about to start a journey through the heavens, the band starts the notes that are reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’ Little Wing and another classic version of Catch The Rainbow takes flight. Again notes are pouring out of Ritchie and non are wasted as he adds to the fabric of the song, Ronnie’s vocals are majestic and so passionate and the drumming of Mr Powell is spot on, his patterns are perfection and makes for 20 minutes of musical bliss.
Ronnie has a long introduction spot while Blackmore tunes his guitar where we find out such things as Cozy Powell wears two different colored socks and Bob Daisley cannot shag for six days. Ronnie tries to fill in the gaps, possibly Ritchie is changing a string ? then wham the band roars into Man On The Silver Mountain with a vengeance. As with most of the songs in the set it is full of improvisational movements and begins fast paced through the well know part of the song before Blackmore just goes off intro a guitar solo full of aggression and fast playing with a chaotic feel.
It abruptly stops and goes right into a jazzy blues section that features some nice interplay between Blackmore and David Stone who has switched to an organ. At time Blackmore teases the audience, they are enjoying it and scream and clap for him. The band is in almost an open dialog with the audience as Ronnie starts off “I climb my boots to touch the sky……(girl from audience “Ronnie !)…….What ?” before going into a fast paced Start Struck, but it’s just a tease that leads into the Night People interlude. A very enjoyable version, faster pace than most versions that feature Blackmore picking some notes in the background before the band launches back into MOTSM.
Stones solo sounds as if he were playing in a cathedral and has for lack of a better word a holy feel to it and there is the sound of sizzling amplifiers in the background and slowly you hear the presence of Ritchie who comes in with some fast rhythm that evolves into Still I’m Sad, the song has a heavy metal feel to it, mechanical and raw but has moves into a beautiful take on the Beethoven piece. The David Stone solo is interesting and sounds, to my ears, very Rick Wakemanish if there could be such a thing. At times he seems like he is doing a call and answer spot against himself. Cozy plays a wonderful fast paced solo
and thanks to this recording has a very in your face feel, he goes through a variety of rhythms before culminating in the 1812 epic. After some fanfare for Cozy Blackmore is there to start the Still I’m Sad reprise and he is not quit finished, he leads the band through some riffs that seem to just stomp you down in a very heavy fashion, the crowd roars the approval at its conclusion and quickly the Dorothy outro goes over the PA system……fantastic show !
The packaging is typical for the Rainbow series, gatefold glossy cover with what I guess are pictures from the concert, inside has pictures of the master cassettes, a ticket stub and pictures of the band live and backstage. Another fine Rainbow release from the Peach archives and highly recommended.