Tokyo 6:30PM (Tarantura TCDSXN-1-1/2)
Nakano Sun-Plaza, Tokyo, Japan – May 4th, 1981
DISC 1: (46:28) Opening 1, Opening 2 (To Mr. Seisoku), Introduction, Heavy Metal Thunder, See The Light Shining, Hungry Years, And The Bands Play On, Rainbow Theme/Frozen Rainbow”, Strong Arm Of The Law, 20,000 FT., “747 (Stranger In The Night”), Freeway Mad
DISC 2: (40:40) Dallas 1PM, Stand Up And Be Counted, Stallions Of The Highway, Wheels Of Steel, Audience, Motorcycle Man, Machine Gun, Ending SE/Announcement
Saxon are a British heavy metal band formed in 1976. Although never really popular in the United States, they were popular in the early 80’s in the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan. The release I’m reviewing below was with the original line up of the band which consisted of Biff Byford (Vocals), Graham Oliver (Guitar), Paul Quinn (Guitar), Steve Dawson (Bass), and Peter Gill (Drums). This tour was in support of their 3rd album “Strong Arm Of The Law” released in October of 1980 and which debut at #11 on the U.K. charts.
After a long introduction including what sounds like a band member shouting “Gimme A Beer” and the Japanese audience shouts “Encore”, The band kick off their first Tour Of Japan concert with “Heavy Metal Thunder” that sounds very similar to what was one of my favorite cassettes in the 80’s “Strong Arm Of The Law”. Listening to this clear release takes me back to those wild and crazy years of serious partying and heavy metal indulgence. Back to the review. Next we have “See The Light Shining” from Wheels Of Steel released in May of 1980 and then a killer “Hungry Years” from Their 3rd album. Moving right along, we have the only song from their 4th album released in 1981 which is “And The Bands Play On” and I had never heard until reviewing this title.
Rainbow Theme/Frozen Rainbow from Saxon their debut album released in 1979, is next and another new tune to my ears. The show continues to build with an excellent version of “Strong Arm Of The Law” and “20,000 FT again from my favorite album. The last two tracks on the first disc are from “Wheels of Steel”. Disc two begins with an awesome version of Dallas 1PM which is about the assassination of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy” and again from this reviewer’s favorite album. “Stand Up And Be Counted” is the following track from their second album and is another rocking tune that gets your head “Bangin”. Next we travel back to their debut album and have a very energetic version of “Stallions Of The Highway” that has me bouncing in this chair while writing this review. “Wheels Of Steel”, “Motorcycle Man” and “Machine Gun” finish off this classic concert.
This is a previously unreleased source from the “Mr. Peach” archives and is clear mix with the vocals slightly in the distance. This title is pressed with two picture discs and comes with a poster of the front cover of the gatefold, which also contains several live shots on the inside and back cover.
I picked up this title not long after it was released and to this day I’m still not tired of it.
I was lucky to have seen Saxon live many years ago with this same line up. To say they are a high energy act is an understatement.
This is an excellent title and to anyone who likes to rock this is for you.
I agree that the vocals could be a little higher in the mix, but in no way does it detract from the enjoyment of this release.
Hats off to Tarantura for this one – thanks.