Uijin’ (Tarantura TCDRAINBOW-3-1, 2)
Tokyo Taiikukan, Tokyo Japan Thursday December 2, 1976
CD 1: Band Tuning, Over The Rainbow, Kill The King, Mistreated Introduction, Riot, Promoters Speech, Mistreated, 16th Century Greensleeves, Niji, Herz and Mund und Tat und Leben BWV147 – Catch The Rainbow, Band Intro, Guitar Solo, Lazy, White Christmas, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Man On The Silver Mountain, Starstruck, Man On The Silver Mountain
CD 2: Ronnies MC, Keyboard Solo, Stargazer, Still I’m Sad, Keyboard Solo, Drum Solo, 1812 Overture, Drum Solo, Still I’m Sad (reprise), Do You Close Your Eyes (guitar clashing), Over The Rainbow
Rainbow’s first Japanese tour in December of 1976 is well covered in traders circles as recordings for all the gigs circulate and some shows have multiple recordings, also the band professionally recording some of the dates for the On Stage record. This release covers the first show in Japan and the first of three shows in Tokyo. The recording is slightly distant and muffled and becomes distorted at the really loud parts but you can make out the individual instruments for the most part and there is little if any hiss present.
The recording is said to come from the master cassette from Aquarius. The show opens with a typical brutal version of Kill the King that starts the crowd off, by the time Ronnie James Dio does the introduction to Mistreated the crowd is so worked up they beginning to get out of hand and a rush the stage so the concert is halted while order is restored. While know for his fantasy based lyrics Dio does very well singing this classic song and it is very well received.
Niji is nothing more than Ronnie lighting up the large rainbow that would cover over the stage and serves as the introduction the a beautiful Catch The Rainbow. The studio version is merely a introduction the live versions from this era, 14 minutes of fantastic playing as Blackmore pushes himself in a flurry of notes.
Band introductions, a breif snatch of Purples Lazy and a little White Christmas flows into a nice Man On The Silver Mountain, the sound of the band and the clapping of the audience is almost too much for the recorder the handle, typical of the era the track includes a nice blues section and a snippet of Starstruck. What is nice when Blackmore goes into a solo with out the band the recording clears up significantly so you can really enjoy the sound.
Disc 2 begins with Ronnie introducing a song about wizards and a typically heavy version of the classic Stargazer follow a brief solo from Tony Carey that sound a little like a Jon Lord solo at times. Stargazer on stage is stunning and is a shame that the recording is not clearer to even further enjoy is magnificent’s even more.
The old Yardbirds classic Still I’m Sad is up next, used as a vehicle for Cozy’s drum solo and the 1812 orchestration is it an essential part of the show. His drumming gives such a powerful backbone to the music it is often overlooked by Blackmore’s guitar, which leads us the what you would guess is the encore. The crowd is whipped into a frenzy by this point and goes crazy as Blackmore demolishes his guitar. The recording comes to an end, the band leaves the stage to the sounds of Judy Garland sing the famous Over The Rainbow.
The packing is a gatefold sleeve with a full shot of Ritchie Blacmore in front of Cozy’s drum set with the castle from the first Rainbow album in the background while the inside is a couple of live shot and promotional black and white shots. The CDs have pictures on them, the first disc has Ritchie and the second had Cozy’s bass drum with a simple “Powell” on it (his drum set up was a double bass drum with cozy on one, Powell on the other) and are house in colored envelopes that fit nicely into the sleeve. The casual collector will find this a little hard on the ears and may want to try eithe Rising or Fujin on the Tarantura label as they are better recordings, but for the hard core fan or collectors this is a great release.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)