Live in Japan (George Harrison album)

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Live in Japan
Live album by George Harrison with Eric Clapton and Band
Released 13 July 1992 (UK)
14 July 1992 (US)
Recorded 1–17 December 1991
Genre Rock
Length 87:16
Label Dark Horse
Producer Spike and Nelson Wilbury
George Harrison chronology
Best of
Dark Horse
1976–1989

(1989)
Live in Japan
(1992)
Brainwashed
(2002)
Eric Clapton chronology
Journeyman
(1989)
Live in Japan
(1992)
Unplugged
(1992)

Live in Japan is a live double album by English musician George Harrison, released in July 1992. Credited to "George Harrison with Eric Clapton and Band", it was Harrison's second official live album release, after 1971's Grammy-winning The Concert for Bangladesh. The album was recorded during his and Clapton's joint Japanese tour in December 1991, and it features a selection of Harrison's hits as a solo artist alongside some of his best-known Beatles songs. Live in Japan was Harrison's last solo release in his lifetime.

History[edit]

In 1991, a year after releasing the second Traveling Wilburys album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, Harrison was persuaded by close friend Eric Clapton to tour Japan with him. Although mindful of his troubled 1974 North American tour for Dark Horse, Harrison performed a series of well-received shows in December 1991, which also featured a short set of Clapton's songs. The experience proved to be an enjoyable one for Harrison, whose setlist included a variety of his Beatles-era songs alongside selections from his solo career.

Release[edit]

A double album, Live in Japan was issued in July 1992, with production credited to "Spike and Nelson Wilbury", Harrison's two personæ on the Traveling Wilburys releases. The live album failed to chart in the United Kingdom and debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 126,[1] its peak position in the United States.[2] The album reached number 15 on Japan's Oricon chart.[3]

In 2004, Live in Japan was remastered and reissued, both separately and as part of the deluxe box set The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992, on Dark Horse with new distribution by EMI. The release offered a bonus SACD 5.1 surround sound remix alongside the original.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
Billboard "Spotlight"[5]
Entertainment Weekly D[6]
The Music Box 3/5 stars[7]
MusicHound 4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]

Billboard magazine described Live in Japan as "a skin-tinglin' romp, delicious and indispensable" in which "several renditions surpass the originals". The reviewer praised Clapton's playing and found Harrison's singing "splendidly nuanced throughout" before concluding: "A portable, utterly fab house party; just add plenty of room to dance."[5] Conversely, Billy Altman wrote in Entertainment Weekly: "you'd need a case of Coke to crack the crust on Harrison, who sounds so woefully out of shape (he's continually either short of breath or struggling instrumentally to keep the tempo) that it's a wonder no medical advisers are listed in the credits … The lone shining moment belongs to Clapton, whose solo on 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' is perhaps even more spectacular than the one he played on the original …"[6]

In a review for Rolling Stone in which he considered Harrison's live album in the context of other Beatles-related releases, twelve years after the band's break-up, Parker Puterbaugh wrote: "by and large this is a rocking, extroverted performance, and that is where Clapton and band, providing a solid foundation, helped firm up Harrison's repertoire and resolve. From the sprung rhythms and tart slide licks of 'Old Brown Shoe' to the crunching satire of 'Devil's Radio,' it is a pleasure to hear a pair of past masters bring out the best in each other."[9]

Writing for MusicHound, Roger Catlin views Live in Japan as "a remarkable live set, featuring Harrison … playing a repertoire that blends the best of his Beatles writing with his solo material".[8] AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine describes the album as a "fine double-disc set" on which Harrison "turns in surprisingly strong versions of his best solo material". Erlewine adds: "it easily surpasses Paul McCartney's double-disc Tripping the Live Fantastic or Paul Is Live. Not bad for a guy who doesn't like to give concerts."[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by George Harrison, except where noted.

Disc one
  1. "I Want to Tell You" – 4:33
  2. "Old Brown Shoe" – 3:51
  3. "Taxman" – 4:16
  4. "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" – 3:37
  5. "If I Needed Someone" – 3:50
  6. "Something" – 5:21
  7. "What Is Life" – 4:47
  8. "Dark Horse" – 4:20
  9. "Piggies" – 2:56
  10. "Got My Mind Set on You" (Rudy Clark) – 4:56
Disc two
  1. "Cloud 9" – 4:23
  2. "Here Comes the Sun" – 3:31
  3. "My Sweet Lord" – 5:42
  4. "All Those Years Ago" – 4:26
  5. "Cheer Down" (Harrison, Tom Petty) – 3:53
  6. "Devil's Radio" – 4:25
  7. "Isn't It a Pity" – 6:33
  8. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" – 7:09
  9. "Roll Over Beethoven" (Chuck Berry) – 4:45

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Japanese Oricon Weekly Albums Chart[3] 15
US Billboard 200[2] 126

Sales[edit]

Country Provider Sales
Japan Oricon 34,000+[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Billboard 200 continued", Billboard, 1 August 1992, p. 112 (retrieved 20 November 2014).
  2. ^ a b "Awards: George Harrison Live in Japan", AllMusic (retrieved 20 November 2014).
  3. ^ a b ジョージ・ハリスン-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "(Highest position and charting weeks)". oricon.co.jp. Oricon Style. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  4. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "George Harrison Live in Japan", AllMusic (retrieved 18 November 2014).
  5. ^ a b Melinda Newman, Chris Morris & Edward Morris, "Album Reviews", Billboard, 25 July 1992, p. 45 (retrieved 20 November 2014).
  6. ^ a b Billy Altman, "George Harrison: Live in Japan (1992), George Harrison", Entertainment Weekly, 28 August 1992 (retrieved 20 November 2014).
  7. ^ John Metzger, "George Harrison The Dark Horse Years (Part Six: Live in Japan)", The Music Box, vol. 11 (12), December 2004 (retrieved 14 August 2014).
  8. ^ a b Gary Graff & Daniel Durchholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 529.
  9. ^ a b Parker Puterbaugh, "George Harrison Live in Japan", Rolling Stone, 6 August 1992 (archived version retrieved 18 November 2014).
  10. ^ Saulnier, Jason (8 April 2010). "Chuck Leavell Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "George Harrison Japanese Album Chart trajectories". Retrieved 2008-07-01.