Live At Budokan 1974 (Zeus Z902001/2)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – February 20th, 1974
Disc 1 (55:10): The Stripper, MC (TETSU), It’s All Over Now, I’m Losing You, Angel, True Blue, Stay With Me, I’d Rather Go Blind, Memphis Tennessee, Too Bad / Drums Solo, Every Picture Tells A Story, My Fault
Disc 2 (47:02): I Wish It Would Rain, Jealous Guy, You Wear It Well, Maggie May, Borstal Boy / Amazing Grace / Gasoline Alley, Twistin’ The Night Away, Pool Hall Richard, Acapella, Amazing Grace
The Faces only tour of Japan during their heyday consisted of two dates in Osaka (February 15th and 17th), and two at the Budokan in Tokyo on February 19th and February 20th. Live At Budokan 1974 on Zeus documents the final night of this short tour. Released in 1999, the label utilizes a fair to good recording of the entire concert. It is a bit distant from the stage and is flat, lacking in significant dynamics.
It is an adequate record of the show. Several years after this another tape source surfaced and was pressed on Drunken Angels on Reel Masters (RM 005/006) in improved sound quality.
For the final night, the band are in a mood to have fun and party (not like that wasn’t always their intention). The opening “stripper” beat leads to the promoter introducing the band before bassist Tetsu Yamauchi says a few words. The former bassist for Free replaced Ronnie Lane several months before the show and it was a novelty for the Japanese audience to see a countryman playing with a British rock group. (He’s introduced second, after Rod Stewart).
The set begins with a sloppy version of “It’s All Over Now.” They get so into the song that they forget how to end it and extend the end until the figure it out. “I’m Losing You” (without drum solo at this point) follows and afterwards Stewart has to play cop and calm down some fans in front of the stage.
During “Stay With Me” the massive audience can be heard singing along. “AWESOME” Stewart tells them before the song speeds up in the middle. “This is the last night of our tour since we’re going home tomorrow, and we want you to join in the festivities. We really enjoyed ourselves” he tells the audience afterwards.
“Too Bad” from A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse leads into the Kenny Jones drum solo which in turn segues into a bit of “Every Picture Tells A Story.” It’s a masterful arrangement of early seventies Faces and Rod Stewart classics which leaves the audience cheering.
Ronnie Wood sings “My Fault” from Oh La La, their latest studio album. Their funky arrangement of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” was added to the setlist (compared to the previous night) before a short medley of “You Wear It Well” and Stewart’s biggest hit “Maggie May.”
The set comes to a crashing finale with “Borstal Boys” starting a section which features Wood’s guitar solo and references to “Amazing Grace” and “Gasoline Alley.” The final song of the night is “Twistin’ The Night Away” with “Pool Hall Richard” serving as the encore.
Afterwards the band come out onstage again and sing “One Last Sweet Cheerio” a capella to say goodbye to Japan and the far east and leave the stage to very loud bagpipe music playing “Amazing Grace.”
It is a tremendous concert which displays the talents of all the musicians, not only Stewart. It’s the most most common circulating document from the Faces’ only trip to Japan and is worth having. Zeus package Live At Budokan 1974 as a Rod Stewart & The Faces release in a cardboard gatefold sleeve with several photographs from the era.