March 18, 2009 – 4:30 am

Neil Young’s first tour of Japan left a lasting impression. Every show was recorded. Here’s the final night in Tokyo.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Arena Of Gold [Tarantura TCDNY-7-1,2 2CD]

Live at Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan, March 11, 1976.

Last March, Tarantura, the Japanese Led Zeppelin label, released a new uncirculated master audience recording of Neil Young’s last show in Japan, 1976. It was an incredibly clear and well recorded show with a nice stereo image.

As was the composition of Young’s shows at the time, the first set was solo Neil Young with acoustic guitar or piano. And he liked to add new songs. For this evening, Young introduced Let It Shine which by the end of the year would appear on the Stills-Young Band’s one and only album, Long May You Run. A close look at the setlist suggests the singer was getting over his failed relationship.

The second set brought on his heavy band, Crazy Horse. It is a delight to hear this period of Young’s career when songs like Cowgirl In The Sand, Like A Hurricane, Drive Back, Southern Man, Cortez The Killer and Cinnamon Girl all benefited from the stress and distress of touring before the rock star business culture set in. You can sense tension, surprise and a certain desperation whereas these days everything is so well thought out.

An interesting thing to note is that tapes of these shows do exist probably in Neil Young’s archives. The first hint was in the production of his triple LP, Decade. It was assembled by Young and planned for release late in 1976 but was delayed at the last minute.

The initial liner notes indicated that one song (a live version of “Don’t Cry No Tears”) was recorded in Japan in 1976. But this song and Pushed It Over The End never made it to the final version of Decade.

Of the song, Young wrote, “Don’t Cry No Tears. Initially titled ‘I Wonder,’ this song was written in 1964. One of my first songs. This is a live recording from Japan with Crazy Horse.”

If he ever releases the first installment of Neil Young’s Archives, hopefully the entire 1976 tour of Japan will follow. Till then, we have this very good audience recording. Thanks to Tarantura for making it happen.
- The Little Chicken

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.Disc 1
Tell Me Why (5.8MB)
Mellow My Mind (5.0MB)
After The Gold Rush (6.1MB)
Too Far Gone (4.4MB)
Only Love Can Break Your Heart (4.8MB)
Let It Shine [released on Stills-Young Band’s Long May You Run album] (6.5MB)
A Man Needs A Maid (5.4MB)
No One Seems To Know [unreleased] (4.8MB)
Heart Of Gold (5.7MB)

Disc 2
Intermission (581k)
Country Home (8.6MB)
Don’t Cry No Tears (3.5MB)
Cowgirl In The Sand (9.7MB)
Lotta Love (5.3MB)
Like A Hurricane (12.1MB - visit the html page to download the track)
The Losing End (6.4MB)
Drive Back (6.9MB)
Southern Man (13.3MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Cortez The Killer (10.5MB)
Cinnamon Girl (4.8MB)

Neil Young - guitar, vocals
Billy Talbot - bass
Frank Sampedro - guitar
Ralph Molina - drums

The last time we featured this tour, it was March 3 live at Aichikan, Taiikukan, Nagoya. Follow the link here.

Neil Young embarked on his world tour with Crazy Horse in 1976. His album at the time was the powerful Zuma. You can buy it here.

  1. 9 Responses to “LAST NIGHT IN JAPAN”

  2. Feeling a little Neil Young’d out, I nevertheless gave this boot a whirl. I’m glad I did. It’s got a very odd, yet appealing sound quality to it. As audience recordings go, this is top shelf. It sounds like you’re in the crowd, with clapping and hoots around you, but with clear voice and guitar/ piano. Loads of fun. And the performances are good. If you like his Massey Hall release you’ll probably like this too. Looking forward to part 2. Thanks for the post.

    By Dave C. on Mar 18, 2009

  3. Hmmm…it’s gettin’ kinda late, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are over…a little after-midnight, now it’s the eighteenth so it’s Dan’s birthday party is over, too…so I’m left to myself to contemplate the mysteries of actually reaching 59, which means I’m starting my sixtieth year on the planet…

    Not diggin’ it, like when I turned 40…or 30…or 21…or 16…or 13, when the older kids got me–well, that’s a story for another time…

    Let’s see what Big O has left under the birthday tree…

    “Ho ho ho, O.B. Dan, this is just what you wanted (okay, I’d have liked the three hos, too)…Neil Young on tour in Japan, 1976…great sound for an audience tape…and a bootleg, just like those boots that made the 1970s great, back when you were in your twenties…and it’s a great songlist, too…and Part 2 will be available tomorrow!”

    Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to me…happy birthday O.B. Dan…happy birthday to me!

    By O.B. Dan on Mar 18, 2009

  4. What a cool reminder of how things change yet stay the same.

    Great post. Look forward to Part II

    By Varth Dader on Mar 18, 2009

  5. Many thanks for this, I listened to part one last night and was impressed with the musical and sound quality. As ever, keep up the excellent work

    By Mal on Mar 19, 2009

  6. Ireland have just won the SixNationsRugby Grand Slam … and then I discover this set of Neil’s from Japan … happy days, indeed. Cheers!

    By Canute on Mar 22, 2009

  7. thanks for this!

    By tylerw on Mar 26, 2009

  8. I saw Neil Young in concert about 20 years ago when I was 16.I feel like there are so few artists who can survive the test of time. With 1 hit wonders, musicians who don’t even write their own music anymore or even play an instrument… it is refreshing to see someone like Neil Young… a guy who is a solid misician from head to toe and who can survive the test of time. Thanks for your post!

    By Boise News on Dec 9, 2009

  9. This show has been identified as an audience recording made by Mr Peach, whom some call the Japanese Mike Millard. That’s a trademark of quality folks.

    Mr Peach apparently recorded 300 plus shows in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyushu and who knows where else.

    By Admin on Aug 18, 2010

  10. Hey BigO,
    I love your site and everything and I keep coming back for years. But please change the part with “high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps”. Nowadays 320 kbps or FLAC is high quality. 192 is average, nothing more.
    And, by the way, why don’t you offer your ROIOs with 320 kbps?
    Sometimes it’s annoying when I find the same recordings on another site and have to download it again, because the sample rate its better (and I’m not even talking about FLAC here).

    By jack candy on Oct 17, 2013

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