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Oil On Canvas Single, Live, Original recording remastered, Import
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Digitally remastered reissue, in standard jewel case, of this 1983 live album featuring 15 tracks. Original pre-remastered copies of this album did not include all 15 tracks originally on the vinyl version. The 2003 remastering added the missing tracks back onto the album, making this more than essential. Features live versions of 'Ghosts', 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids', 'Nightporter' and others. Virgin.
Top Customer Reviews
The CD packaging is first rate, and while there isn't much in the way of liner notes, most people buying this are going to be familiar with the band anyway.
I like this live album more than any of Japan's studio albums. This is one of the best live albums I've ever heard, and I'm thankful that this isn't one that was taken directly from the mixing board with "audience noise" thrown in. I don't know how they were able to mike an auditorium and not make it sound like a bootleg, but they manage and it sounds like you're there. I guess the acoustics of Hammersmith Odeon must be great if this album is any judge. The band is spot on, sounding better and more immediate than their studio albums.
For what it's worth, I haven't had any trouble playing this in several CD players and on my computer.
during the 80's it was a time to be in when it comes to the music seen. At that time music not only in the states that was loaded with talent artist but so was London and the rest of Europe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Am I disappointed? Yes and no. It was about time that this remaster was done. But like this? Thanks but no thanks...
The live material finds the leaner Japan of their last album (David Sylvian- vocals, keyboards, Mick Karn- bass, clarinet, alto saxophone, vocals, Steve Jansen- drums, marimba and Richard Barbieri- keyboards) augmented by guitarist Masami Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya proves brilliant, providing the band with the sort of ambient-with-an-attitude (to steal David Torn's term) edge that they needed.
As a rule, I found the material on the live record far exceeds that of the studio recordings-- probably the best example of this is "Ghosts", where Tsuchiya provides suitable atmosphere, providing the piece with an even more haunted air and Karn provides a moody sax to interplay with the piece. And certainly to hear just how powerful the band has become, check the first live piece, "Sons of Pioneers". Karn's bass positively throbs as he inserts agile fills around the main line and is supported gently by Jansen's simple and perfect tribal line. Barbieri and Tsuchiya maintain mood and ambience and Sylvian, whose voice has acquired more depth since the studio recording, sounds positively despondant.
The studio recordings are of mixed value with each disc being bookended by studio recordings. The three instrumentals are nice and pleasant enough, and provide good entry and exit into the record, but don't really stand too well on their own. The rerecording of "Nightporter" I'm rather mixed on. I find both Sylvian's vocal and the lovely clarinet solo from Karn to be superb and a definite improvement (the former is particularly surprising as I rather enjoyed Sylvian's vocal on the original.
The remaster packages the album in a digipack with all artwork reduced curiously to black and white and nice portraits of each band member on a full panel. The remastering has lifted the quality out of the gutter that the previous American CD transfer had. People have complained in the past about the sound, but I find it a drastic improvement, crisp and clean and sounding like it was recording yesterday, not in the early '80s. I can't speak to copy protection, I picked up the UK copies (which came out substantially in advance). I have mixed feelings about the decision to split the record onto two discs-- the album stretches about 72 minutes and could easily keep on one disc, but the original studio bookends around live tracks would then be violated and whatnot, so it's sort of integrity of original release vs. saving a few bucks. I could go either way, I'm certainly happy to have it this way. It should be noted that all the material on this record is pulled from the last two records-- it's a pity, as live recordings are circulating with additional pieces from "Quiet Life" (the title track, "Alien" and "Fall in Love With Me") as well as "European Son" and "Life in Tokyo" that could have been easily squeezed on here.
Either way, this is a fine live record, well worth the investment for fans, and as good an introduction to Japan's later material as anything else. Highly recommended.
The remastering CD improves vastly over the 2 record set in many ways (song and quality-wise). You can also see the video version on YouTube or perhaps DVD, but the real gem is this audio recording. This is prime quality Japan. They truly went out on a high note, since the music quality is top notch.
Highly recommended to anyone who has enjoyed any 80's Japan albums.
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