Ron Wood & Bo Diddley – Live In Japan (no label)

Live In Japan
With The Jim Satten Band [The Gunslingers Tour In Japan]
Shibuya Live Inn, Tokyo, Japan 2nd March 1998
Stereo Soundboard Recording

1. Crackin’ Up 2. Guitar Medley (Around The Plynth~Gasoline Alley~Prodigal Son~Stay With Me~That’s All You Need) 3. Little Red Rooster 4. Ooh La La 5. Honkey Tonk Women 6. Diddley’s A Gunslinger 7. Who Do You Love? 8. It’s Mine 9. It’s All Over Now

“Live In Japan” is a pristine clean sounding stereo soundboard recording. In Feb 1988, Jagger was rehearsing for his upcoming solo tour in Japan and actually rehearsed between the 12th and 14th of March in Osaka.  Wood + Diddley were joined by the Gunslingers from March 2nd through March 15, 1988 to play clubs in Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Sapporo, Japan. The Stones of course had never played in Japan up to this point.

“Live In Japan” was recorded in Tokyo and was the first of eleven club gigs for Ron Wood & Bo Diddley in March ’88.  “Crackin’ Up” was a compelling reggae-influenced track that jammed with crowd exuberant cheers intermittently audible surfacing in the softer passages. Mike Fink on drums offered excellent rhythm + percussion for this 9:00 minute performance. Wood broke into the chorus of “Prodigal Son” in the “Guitar Medley” and then right into a sizzling blues jam that continued to build in “Little Red Rooster”. He ended it with: “Regards from the rest of the Stones. Alright”. The harmonies were strong to sweeten Wood’s delivery on “Ooh La La”. Hal Goldstein kicked into gear on keyboards and the Jim Satten Band sounded tight.  The Wood lead “Honky Tonk Women” sounded lean and fresh with on key chorus harmonization. The crowd went wild after this one ended. Bo cranked it up even more on “Diddley’s A Gunslinger”. The separation was outstanding and the performance rock solid. Once again, a nice touch on keyboards from Goldstein.  It’s a shame the track had to end at 4:57.

The band was totally fired up for “Who Do You Love?” as the track exploded into a guitar frenzy with Bo chanting: “Go go” as they continued to sustain their fever playing pitched pace and then let up just as fast. The Jamaican reggae-tinged “It’s Mine” featured an extended gentle sounding finger picking guitar fade out. Wood sounded more like a latter day Bob Dylan on vocals as the band let it all out on “It’s All Over Now”. Total track time was 44:17.

Wood, Diddley and The Gunslingers laid claim to an inspired upbeat performance that could have been easily extended on just about every track. The flawless stereo soundboard recording incorporated the crowd’s enthusiasm beautifully. The magnificent separation allowed for appreciation of the intricacies of all the instrumentation  and the band sounded as tight as a well fitting glove. This release comes with high recommendations.

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