Live In The Afternoon (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE-9-1,2)
Early Afternoon Thursday 16 December 1976 Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan
Disc 1 (51:34) SE, Monitor Check, Band Tuning, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start, Kill The King, Guitar Solo, Mistreated, Greensleeves, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, Niji Flahing Working, Das Wohltemperirte Clavier, Hetz und Mund und Tat und Leber BWV147, Catch The Rainbow, Band Introduction, Man On The Silver Mountain, Starstruck, Man On The Silver Mountain
Disc 2(36:59): Tony Carey Keyboard Solo, A Light In The Black, Still I’m Sad, White Christmas, Still I’m Sad, Keyboard Solo, Cozy Powell Drum Solo, 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad, Over The Rainbow, Announcement
Rainbow’s first trip to Japan was well received and attended and well documented, officially as the tapes were used to produce the On Stage record and unofficially as recordings for all the dates have surfaced in trading circles and on vinyl and compact disc format bootlegs. The anticipation must have been huge for the last two concerts in Tokyo, early and evening concerts performed on one day.
There are multiple recordings for each concert, the recording used here is from Mr. Peach and to my knowledge is the first time silver release of his recording, other recordings have been released on the titles Black Tapestry Rising Arrow-027 and Foojin’ (Tarantura TCDRAINBOW-0-1,2).
The Peach recording is excellent, full of detail with little interference close to the recorder and full of ambiance, the concert itself phenomenally played with the band giving their all in the seconds to last concert Japan. Mr. Peach is a true archivist, I enjoy the way his recordings start with the faint sounds of music being played over the PA system and the tune ups, you can feel the anticipation in the crowd before the bands takes the stage.
The mix of instruments is excellent, all are clearly heard and with the drums are right up there making this an enjoyable listen as it is clear Cozy is on fire. The band storms the stage with a blistering version of Kill The King, very intense and clearly sets the stage for what is to follow. After a short introduction Ritchie can hardly contain himself as he lets go with a flurry of notes that leads into Mistreated. Ronnie is in fine voice and he gives a superb performance, adding a passion and there are points during the song where the echo effect on his voice gives the piece a very dramatic vibe.
After 16th Century Greensleeves the Rainbow gets its own introduction and the stage itself is set for the first epic. Aside from some crazed individual (who wouldn’t be crazed seeing this band live) whistling far in the distance you can almost here a pin drop as Ritchie plays his Das Wohltemperirte Clavier, Hetz und Mund und Tat und Leber BWV147 introduction to Catch The Rainbow.
When the songs gentle opening notes are started the crowd gently claps in unison to the band, Ronnie’s vocal is spot on as is the backing vocals by Jimmy Bain right before the heavy part of the song as they share the ooooohhhh parts. 12 minutes of light and shade bliss. There is a small tape cut after the song is over, no music is missing and leads us to band introductions and the every popular Man On The Silver Mountain, again played with the StarStruck interlude in the middle.
The song that could be considered the signature tune for the Dio fronted versions of Rainbow is well played and received by the audience. The second disc starts off with Tony Carey’s solo, an interesting version at times sounding very much like Rick Wakeman from Yes and at other times sounding like you should be watching images of outer space.
His sound to this band was very important, his solo ends almost abruptly and Blackmore rips into the opening of A Light In The Black, also know as a lesson in double bass drum playing from one Mr Powell, clocking in at just over eight minutes it is no wonder it was by this time rarely played due to the energy needed to keep the time. More aggressive than its studio counterpart the song is clearly a vehicle for Blackmore to let loose and let loose he does, check out the was he rips into a solo at about the 4:30 mark of the songs.
There is a nice harmony section where Ritchie and Tony play in unison a la the way he used to play with Jon Lord, and at its conclusion Ronnie follows the songs saying “At this particular point we’d like to shoot ourselves” is the feeling of the other band members after the song. The other improvisation epic Still I’m Sad follows complete with a Ho Down version of White Christmas, perhaps sounding a little odd as it is followed by the opening notes by the former.
Tony does not travel far from the main theme of the song before being taken over by Cozy Powell. The crowd clap loudly for his solo and he responds how most drummer do, pounding the hell out of the drums and the epic 1812 Overature does not fail to delivery either. After the Still I’m Sad reprise the concert is over and we are still left pondering the question raised by Hagar in his review, if the was only one show that day what would it been like ? The band turned in excellent performances in both shows and both should be considered essential to fans of Rainbow.
Since I do not own any other version of this concert I cannot say this is the definitive version but for this reviewer it certainly is. The packaging is the same as the other Rainbow titles, glossy gatefold sleeve adorned with live shots of the band, Ritchie and Ronnie and of course the master cassettes themselves. Another highly recommended release from the Mr. Peach vault, hopefully we will be treated to the evening show in similar sound quality.