Another Osaka (Screamer-04027)
Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – March 4, 1976
After The Goldrush, Too Far Gone, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, A Man Needs A Maid, No One Seems To Know, Heart Of Gold, (with Crazy Horse): Country Home, Don’t Cry No Tears, Down By The River, Lotta Love, Like A Hurricane, The Losing End, Drive Back, Southern Man, Cinnamon Girl.
Another Osaka documents the second of seven stops in Japan on Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s world tour in 1976. By this time he was hitting a commercial peak and we hear a very confident musician with the reformed Crazy Horse. The show is divided into the acoustic solo Neil in the first half and the electric set with the full band in the second half. This is a brand new tape source documenting most of the show. The old tape source clocks in at 100 minutes. This new source is over an hour and unfortunately misses the opening two numbers “Tell Me Why” and “Mellow My Mind” and the final track “Cortez The Killer”. It begins at the very first verse of “After The Goldrush” and cuts out the intermission and a pause before “Cinnamon Girl” for a broken string.
The first half is what can be expected from Young alone on the stage. Very moving and intimate with lots of interaction with the Japanese audience. “Politics can break your body, but only love can break your heart” he states before “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”. “A Man Needs A Maid” is met with very loud applause, and Young introduces “No One Seems To Know” as “A Man Needs A Maid Part II”. As good as the opening solo part of the show is, the second half with Crazy Horse is much better. There are long jams on “Down By The River” and “Like A Hurricane”, and “Lotta Love” is stopped at the very beginning. “Can you turn the drums down in the monitor” Neil tells the sound mixer. “Pretend you didn’t hear that” he then tells the crowd.
Screamer could have improved this release by using the older tape source to complete the show. I’ve not heard the older source, but this new one is a phenomenal three dimensional stereo audience recording that sounds as good as any Millard tape. We have to be thankful that a fan was there to capture this show in all its glory. Screamer thankfully pretty much left this tape alone. The mastering on this tape is minimal if at all. Screamer wants us to play this at maximum volume and it’s hard not to when the tape is this good. I am very impressed by this newcomer on the scene and Another Osaka is an essential release. (GS)