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Bay City Rollers “Live In Japan” Reviewed

A1 Shang-A-Lang
A2 Summerlove Sensation
A3 Remember (Sha-La-La)
A4 Bye Bye Baby
A5 Give A Little Love
A6 Money Honey
A7 Rock And Roll Honeymoon
B1 Rock ‘N’ Roller
B2 Lonely Nites
B3 Dedication
B4 I Only Wanna Be With You
B5 Let’s Have A Party
B6 See The Way You Dance (Funky Music)
B7 It’s A Game
C1 The Way I Feel Tonight
C2 You Made Me Believe In Magic
C3 Shanghai’d In Love
C4 You’re A Woman
C5 Thinking Of You
C6 Jig
C7 Long Distance Love
C8 Turn On The Radio
D1 No Doubt About It
D2 Underground
D3 I Remember
D4 Piece Of The Action
D5 Rock And Roll Love Letter
D6 Don’t Let The Music Die
D7 Saturday Night

After three critically acclaimed, commercially disastrous albums as the Rollers and without Les McKeown, the band reunited to perform yet again at the Budokan for the Japan only double album, Live In 1983. In 2001 there would be another live album, recorded in 1977, but this is the great reunion tour and it covers their entire career, including two Rollers songs sung by Eric Faulkner, four songs off Dedication, spotted tracks from all their albums, and those great covers from Elvis Presley to the Four Seasons to Dusty Springfield, and all the hits, “Shang-A-Lang” “Saturday Night” and beyond.

BCR came out with something to prove even if the audience of Asian tweens and teens were mostly there to scream, technology had begun to catch up with their audience and the band, which included a total of seven BCR’s, yes, Ian Mitchell and Pat McGlynn both rhythm guitarists, were there, Les sang most leads, Woody and Eric after the the debacle Rollers stood back (though Eric did take two leads) and Les made his return as a natural band leader.

The 26 song set was a goodie though it lulled from time to time, but the performances were the best you’ve ever heard from the band: tight as a drum, the band were better than ever and the sound was glorious whether glam, bubblegum, disco, or hard rock it was all unmistakably BCR and also a mature band comfortable embracing the past fifteen years of their lives, whether playing the kid stuff hits or the latter day AOR.

Les is not quite a revelation here, we know he can sing this stuff, the guitar solo on “See the Way You Dance (Funky Music)” by Eric is no surprise, the consistent, joyful excavation of their catalog is not a surprise. What is a surprise is just how great a band they had become, Bay City Rollers on their eleventh album had become the real deal, a memorable band who were never better than here…

Grade: A-

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