Billy Joel / Osaka 1981 1st Night / 2CD

Billy Joel / Osaka 1981 1st Night / 2CD / Zion
Live at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Osaka, Japan 20th April 1981

Play sample :

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At the time of the release of “GLASS HOUSES IN JAPAN”, Osaka Gakuinkan on April 20 was described as “Sound quality surpasses Budokan” in a professional magazine. The secret is a sound image with a more direct feeling than the Budokan. Above all, the power of Liberty Devit’s drums is amazing, and the outstanding play of the drummer who has supported Billy Joel Band for a long time can not enjoy such a dramatic drumming on the sound board. It is recorded in such a realistic state. Even so, it is not a saturated balance where Liberty’s drums cover everything. It is a big attraction to have captured the full open stage of Billy and the band’s engine with realistic sound quality.
However, now more than 5 years have passed since the release, it is also true that the two performances are audience recordings of completely different texture. The overall balance and clearness etc. seem to go up to the Budokan, but as the audience recording of 1981, it is the wonderfulness of this sound source that I caught with amazing sound pressure. Of course, the audience’s upsurge and again, “Billy!” Just inspiring the atmosphere of the Showa-sensey venue where only the call of “Billy!” The unique recording condition seems to have been created just because it is a venue called a gymnasium different from the Budokan.
And it should be remembered that he catches even the wonderful play of bassist Doug Stigmeier who achieved a tragic last about 15 years from this visit to Japan. At the enthusiasm, the intro of “Gimme Some Lovin ‘” is played for a moment before introducing the members, but it is the unique Doug’s base that rang it. As a result, it can also be called a superb audience album that conveys the greatness of Billy Joel Band’s rhythm team at its peak.

Billy, supported by such high peak bands and fans’ cheers, defeated the Budokan and performed well with great performance. As it is a recording state full of direct feeling somehow, it is possible to hear how he showed “Movin ‘Out” as a substitute for “Movin’ Sushi (lol)”, and before I start “Piano Man” In the end, it is more escalated than the Budokan. The reaction of the audience who is irritated to it is also really smiley. Also on this day, it is interesting to hear how many times it starts playing just plainly without any prelude to Billy’s chant “Honesty” in our country.
Starting with the scene, many of the masterpieces of the amazing music until “THE GLASS HOUSES” are also played on this day, and it is a level that can not but betrayed. At that time, just by saying that the live track that everyone listened to and listened to was tightly packed, Billy’s greatness was once again realized. The contrast between the heyday Billy Show with such extravagant content and the realism of the Showa style as with the Budokan is so enjoyable. It was a long time ago.

And in this re-release, the sound source was reviewed, and the texture that was originally rich in warmy was pushed out more, and it is finished in a form that suppresses the hiss noise a little more prominent than that at Budokan. Again, the direct performance of the performance, including the rhythm team, is an attractive sound source. By this new finish, the extraordinary power may be felt realistically. In fact, the sound and the air that the audience who was watching near the stage of Osaka Prefectural 3D Center had heard should have been just like this sound source.
The best audience album that you can hear in just a moment with the rhythmic force and Billy’s high energy performance. When it comes to hard numbers such as “All For Leyna” and “Big Shot” in the second half of the live, you can cut into the guitar sounds of Russell Jayberth and David Brown who were particularly popular among back members. It is a tremendous force. One of the crowds who was overwhelmed by such excitement, it’s also smiley to be impressed not by “Billy” but by the last minute and shouting “Thank you!” Lol

「GLASS HOUSES IN JAPAN」のリリース時、専門誌において「音質は武道館をも上回る」と評されたのが4月20日の大阪府立体育館。その秘訣は武道館と比べ、よりダイレクト感が押し出された音像でしょう。中でもリバティ・デヴィートのドラムの迫力が凄まじく、ビリー・ジョエル・バンドを長きに渡って支えたドラマーの卓越したプレイがサウンドボードでもこれほどの生々しいドラミングが味わえないのでは?というほどリアルな状態で記録されているのです。それでいてリバティのドラムが全てを覆いつくしてしまうような飽和したバランスでもない。あくまでビリーとバンドのエンジン全開なステージをリアルな音質で捉えてくれたことが大きな魅力かと。
そして忘れてはならないのは、この来日から約15年後に悲劇的な最後を遂げたベーシスト、ダグ・スティッグマイヤーの見事なプレイまでも捉えてくれているということ。大いに盛り上がったアンコールではメンバー紹介の前に一瞬だけ「Gimme Some Lovin’」のイントロが弾かれますが、それを鳴らしたのが他ならぬダグのベース。結果として絶頂期のビリー・ジョエル・バンドのリズム隊の素晴らしさを伝えてくれる極上オーディエンス・アルバムだとも呼べるのです。

そんな絶頂期のバンドとファンの大歓声に支えられたビリーは武道館に負けじと余裕たっぷりで最高のパフォーマンスを披露。何しろダイレクト感に溢れた録音状態ですので、彼が「Movin’ Out」を「Movin’ Sushi(笑)」と替え歌してみせた様子がばっちり聞き取れてしまいますし、「Piano Man」を始める前のじらしに至っては武道館よりもエスカレート。それに対して一喜一憂するオーディエンスの反応も本当に微笑ましい。また、この日も我が国におけるビリーの聖歌たる「Honesty」を何の前触れもなく、実にあっさり弾き始めてしまうのが何度聞いても面白い。
その場面を始めとして、この日も「THE GLASS HOUSES」までのめくるめく名曲の数々がズラリと演奏されていて、それを聞き惚れずにはいられないレベル。あの頃は誰もが聞き漁った名曲がここまでぎっしりと詰まっているライブと言うだけでも、改めてビリーの偉大さを思い知らされます。こんな贅沢な内容の全盛期ビリー・ショーと、武道館と同じように昭和っぽさ丸出しな臨場感とのコントラストがあまりにも楽しい。昔はそれが当たり前でしたよね。

そんなリズム隊の迫力やビリーのハイエナジー・パフォーマンスだけでもあっという間に聞き終えてしまう最高のオーディエンス・アルバム。それがライブ後半の「All For Leyna」や「Big Shot」のようなハードなナンバーになると、バックメンバーの中でも特に人気が高かったラッセル・ジェイバースとデヴィッド・ブラウン両人のギター・サウンドまで切り込んできて凄まじい迫力。そんな盛り上がりに打ちのめされた観客の一人が、最後の最後で「ビリー」でなく感極まって「サンキュー!」と叫ぶのも微笑ましい!笑


Disc 1 (40:16)
1. Intro
2. You May Be Right
3. My Life
4. Honesty
5. Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
6. Piano Man
7. Don’t Ask Me Why
8. Vienna
9. The Stranger

Disc 2 (61:51)
1. Stiletto
2. Until The Night
3. Root Beer Rag
4. She’s Always A Woman
5. Just The Way You Are
6. Sleeping With The Television On
7. All For Leyna
8. Sometimes A Fantasy
9. Big Shot
10. It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me
11. I’ll Cry Instead
12. Band Introduction
13. Only The Good Die Young
14. Souvenir

Billy Joel – Vocal & Piano Russell Jayors – Guitar David Brown – Guitar
Richie Cannata – Horn & Saxophone Doug Stegmeyer – Bass Liberty Devitto – Drums


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