It’s been speculated that this album, taped in front of an enthusiastic Tokyo audience in the early '70s, was recorded without UFO's knowledge. When it was issued, however, it ended up as the final recorded document of the band with original guitarist Mick Bolton still in the lineup. It was an unnecessary exercise, five of the six songs being rehashes of songs from their first two albums that were, as many live albums are, prone to bloated extended arrangements. Here the bandmembers favored their bluesy boogie side rather than their art rock aspirations, with the exception, in some respects at least, of their long "Prince Kajuku"/"Coming of Prince Kajuku" suite (which, in its studio version, had taken up much of the space on their second album, Flying). The only one of the half-dozen tunes not to have appeared in a studio arrangement on the first two UFO albums was a long, slow, and heavy slog through Paul Butterfield's "Loving Cup." The crowd certainly sounds as if it was eating the music up, and there's a somewhat more edgy raucousness than was heard in the studio counterparts, but it's not an essential release, even for fans.
1 C'mon Everybody
2 How Do You Love
3 Loving Cup
4 Prince Kajuku / The Coming of Prince Kajuku
5 Boogie for George
6 Follow You Home
There is a reason UFO wasn't able to pull an audience in England and America during their early years. The material from the group's first two LP's, 1 and Flying, consisted of overblown boogie and '60's styled blues jams, that failed to excite even a cult following. Somehow, the first pair of albums did manage to pull a solid following in Japan. The market demanded a tour and the high flyers delivered. The group's performance in Tokyo was recorded for a live LP, Live In Japan, which finds the group sending out an energized cover of "C'mon Everybody" to open the set, before UFO get bogged down in washed-out progressive blues, that bring this concert recording to a crash landing.
Shortly after the Japanese tour, guitarist Mick Bolton ditched UFO to join the Pink Fairies. A succession of axe slingers came and went before Michael Schenker was pulled from the Scorpions. The addition of the young blonde German guitarist injected new life in UFO and thankfully, a musical change of direction.
Live In Japan closes chapter one in the long UFO story. The concert recording is for the hardest of die-hard fans of band only. Live In Japan isn't in the same solar system as UFO's legendary 1979 double-live effort, Strangers In The Night.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)