Western Pop-Rock Acts Bootlegged In Japan 1975-76: Queen, Suzi Quatro, Deep Purple, Sweet and Bay City Rollers

This post ties in with the following, so bear with me. 1975 was the year when bootlegging in Japan really took off and Queen’s first tour in that year was a major catalyst with almost every concert captured and up to six known sources per show. Queen arrived at the right time and elicited enough desires to produce a memento of the performance with the aid of progress made in Japanese home consumer recording technology. As a result, bootlegging really took off in Japan and formed the basis for a couple of choice copies made in the West.

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QUEEN – Budokan, Tokyo – 19 April 1975 (1st night of the tour) OG label Japan: OG-860 (“Aprilfool” version) & OG-877 (“Now I’m here” version; OG would issue all its re-releases under a new number); released in 1975, called LIVE in Hot Wacks.

Queen ABA L

Queen Aprilfool OG 860

Queen Now I'm here OG-877

This version has a wrap around insert with an additional photo on the back insert. Total duration: 49:41

Too rare to be copied in the West by the likes of Vicki Vinyl: “Less than 100 copies of the “Aprilfool” version exist, and under 30 copies of the “Now I’m Here” version exist.”

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QUEEN – Kokusai Kaikan, Kobe – 23 April 1975 (3rd night of the tour); QUEEN/”Live in Kove” LLX 2622; released ca. 1975, copied in the Netherlands in 1992 in very small numbers with many reportedly being confiscated in a raid.

Queen Live Kove orig

Queen Live Kove 2

Queen Live Kove RE

One of the Dutch reissues. Apparently, a white label on one of the sides is the clearest indicator that you are looking at a Japanese original. Despite the poor artwork, the sound quality beats the OG release considerably.

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QUEEN – Budokan, Tokyo – 1 May 1975 (7th show and last night of the tour). KIMONO MY PLACE LIVE! –  MARC Records label Japan # 75122, released in 1976.

Queen Kimono 4

Queen Kimono lbl

Queen Kimono b

“Six audience sources exist from this show, and five of them have been bootlegged. This short recording was the first source to come out, in 1976.  The track listed as “Shag Out” is just the last segment of Hangman (although Freddie shouted those words later in the show, during his vocal exchange with the audience in Liar). The uncut tape of this source has never seen the light of day.
This was the best-sounding recording of the show available for decades, until the Tarantura bootleg [CD FOUR YOUNG NOBLES OF ROCK taken from an even better recording by the tapers known as “Song Brothers] was released in 2007.” queenlive.ca

Copied by Vicky Vinyl as “STUNNING” on the Blue Ribbon Records (# 006) and Rodan Records side labels between 1977 – ’79.

Queen Stunning Rodan

With Idle Mind labels. deluxe cover version here and below. Despite what is written in Hot Wacks, the deluxe version may have come first.

Queen Stunning b

Queen Stunning BRR 3

With added BRR Cobra logo. Obviously, VV didn’t try very hard to make a big distinction between BRR, SLA & Rodan Records, using and adding label logos as she pleased.

Queen Stunning RR

queen-bohemian-rhapsody J 45

Things continued in a similar vein for Queen’s second Japan tour in 1976.The following titles were presented on this blog for and more in detail reviews can be found via the Search function at top right. Hence, now in short form:

QUEEN – Budokan, Tokyo – 31 March & 1 April 1976

MARC’s 76059: Invite You To A Night At The Budokan  LP

Queen InvYTANATBudokan

was copied by VV on her Idle Mind label:

Queen Merc Pois Dragonfly

MARC’s release # 76042: Lazing On A Sunday Evening

Queen Lazing On A Sunday Evening Marc

was copied by Ken:

Queen Crowning Glory

AND by VV – to become the first release on her side label SLA:

Queen Geisha Boys IMP

Queen Geisha Boys bl lbl

Also available with Ruthless Rhymes labels.

Queen Geisha Boys

I tried to decipher what it says inside the Japanese flag but was not able to.

Queen Geisha Boys b

Queen Geisha Boys details

The text used on the back insert part was taken from the 1976 paperback Queen – An Official Biography plus their recent U.S. Royal Tour. Larry Pryce, Star Books. There is however one crucial change as the sentence “…‘arriving on the heels of their ‘A Night At The Opera’ album, the group was greeted with almost universal acclaim.” was altered to “…‘arriving on the heels of their ‘American Tour 1975′ album, … .” substituting the Wizardo bootleg ROYAL AMERICAN TOUR  for the official studio album (thanks to John for pointing this out).

Queen book 76

This bootleg is sometimes called “very rare/limited” and “Japanese” when offered but it is neither.

Queen Geisha Boys RE

The version with the brown cover and strange Japanese drawing of the two figures (I always thought it was a Sumo wrestler whose fundoshi had come undone but it is actually a white female (?) figure clinging to a crawling male – this type of Japanese erotic art is called “Shunga” – who says you don’t learn anything on this blog?) was produced 1981 in the UK.

Too bad that the incredibly rare ZOOM QUEEN (LLX 314) double LP from the 1976 Osaka afternoon performance never made its way into the hands of any of our bootlegging heroes as the quality is quite amazing for a 1976 audience recording. However, with only 20 original copies circulating (how do you tell the forgeries from the originals?) that would have been an amazing feat of synchronicity. One of the most valuable bootlegs ever, although due to digital copies circulating these days, prices have come down in the last 10 years. … Plus, the also excellent sounding evening performance with a slightly inebriated Freddy has surfaced and is even more fun to listen to.

Queen Zoom

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SUZI QUATRO – Shibuya Public Hall, Tokyo – 19 October 1975; MARC Records 75111 (the very first MARC records release late 1975/early 1976)

Quatro CAfSuzi! 3

Quatro CAfSuzi! b detailQuatro CAfSuzi! lbl detail

Total duration: 43:28

Copied on Blue Ribbon/SLA with a thank you to J. Wizardo

Quatro NUL yel

Quatro S Naked Under Leather blue

Exists in red as well. Matrix: sla-000005

Quatro S NUL b

The very first Hot Wacks book I ever bought had this cover reproduced, maybe not what I should have been looking at at 15… Needless to say. I’ve been wanting to listen to this ever since. I can report back that the mic used in the recording device reaches its limits sometimes and this is not in the same league as the Queen Song Brothers or a “Mr. Peach” recording; verdict: Vg+

****

DEEP PURPLE at the Budo Kan – 15 December 1975

Deep P 75 Budokan

Set list:

Burn
Lady Luck
Love Child
Getting Tired
Smoke On The Water / Georgia On My Mind / Smoke On The Water
Tommy Bolin Introduction
Wild Dogs   
I Need Love
Soldier Of Fortune
Jon Lord Keyboard Solo
Woman From Tokyo
Toccata And Fugue In D Minor/ BWV 565:I. Toccata / For Elise
Lazy/Ian Paice Drum Solo / Lazy
This Time Around
Owed To “G” / Jon Lord Keyboard Solo
Tommy Bolin Guitar Solo
Drifter
You Keep On Moving
Stormbringer

Encore: Highway Star  

MARC Records # 76045:

Deep Purple Get It While It TastesDeep Purple Get It While It Tastes b

Deep Purple Get It While It Tastes lbl a

Also exists with alternate picture labels

Deep Purple Get It While It Tastes lbl b

The official Last Concert in Japan LP was released as a Japan only live album in March of 1977.  Vicky Vinyl copied the MARC Records LP around the same time as SLA 003.

Deep Purple Made For Japan red

Deep Purple Made For Japan red b

Deep Purple Made for Japan yel

Deep Purple Made for Japan blue

Most copies are on black PVC – clear similarities to the Suzi Quatro release. These two seem to be the only ones in the BRR/SLA series for which colored vinyl was used.

Sound quality listed as “Gm” only.

Deep Purple Made for Japan SM Pig

In 2001, the complete show was officially reissued from an improved master on This Time Around: Live in Tokyo

Famous Japanese taper “Mr. Peach” attended this show as well and produced a much better recording than what MARC/SLA had to work with. This was released on the Tarantura CD bootleg label as Made In Tokyo in 2010.

“In a 1995 interview, Glenn Hughes calls Last Concert in Japan an “awful record,” and says that it “should never have been released” because “Tommy couldn’t play.” “

****

THE SWEET – Nakano Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo – 19 August 1976

BYBLOS 37, earning just a “Gs” rating.

Sweet Aimes Vous LYN

Sweet AVLYN

The long forgotten Sweet. Their music was everywhere when I grew up but I never really liked them. The big rivalry back then was Sweet vs. Bay City Rollers…

****

BAY CITY ROLLERS – Budokan, Tokyo – 14 & 15 December 1976

Another “Gs” recording. The Sweet and this title were never copied and accordingly incredibly rare and expensive if sighted in Europe.

Bay City Rollers Ka Ga Ya Ke! 2

Bay City Rollers Ka Ga Ya Ke!

Japan Rollermania

****

In a way, this post also shows the aspect of growing commercialization that followed progress; clearly this was no longer about releasing a rare tape by a visionary artist that spoke to a generation of counter culture individuals.

20 comments
  1. John said:

    sorry, but why is Marc the post main title?..while it started with OG recs and contains other labels releases?

    As far a i know…Kimono was released in 75 and not in 76…. Marc put the year of release as the first numbers in the catalogue numbers…..fe Kimono 75 122,,… Lazing on a sunday…76 042…, Invite you to a night … 76 059.., Suzy come alive..recorded in 0ct 1975.., and catalogue number 75 111.

    • “…why is Marc the post main title?” Not sure what you mean by that as Marc isn’t even mentioned in the title in the first place.

      Regarding Kimono My Place, I went with the date given on queenlive.ca These are the earliest Marc releases I found and I am going with a chronological listing based on the last three letters (the numbers obviously do not reflect the recording dates).

      SUZI QATRO COME ALIVE FOR SUZI 75111 rec. 10 Oct ’75
      BEATLES LIVE IN GERMANY EP 75112
      QUEEN KIMONO MY PLACE LIVE! 75122 rec. 1 May ’75

      Clearly, the Quatro title could not have come out before the very end of 1975, then there was the EP and then Kimono…

      • John said:

        strange….when you put on the MARC records section..on the right..you’re latest post about the Japanese releases appear..that’s why my first question.

      • John said:

        no not the recording date. you’re right..but the year of release isn’t it?

    • The newest post that had that category checked/included always appears on top, that’s why.

  2. Yesdays said:

    Great post. Very interesting to see the record covers and labels of the Japanese releases, some of which I have never seen before. Also, an insightful point about “commercialization” …..and how this contrasts with some of the key American producers of the day, ….or at least at the time they started producing, prior to the original releases of these Japanese titles.

  3. John said:

    dear..you’ve added to this section the other Queen titles….Geisha , Zoom and more?….cause yesterday, when i looked this chapter it wasn’t there….great ;posts again anyway..don’t get me wrong!!
    you’re my hero 🙂 !!

    • I often go back and re-work posts, yes. Until I am happy with them..

  4. John said:

    The Crowning Glory release is an extremely rare piece of vinyl..heavenly underrated…….very few survived the shipping to europe…as most of them were sized… , and i’m the lucky one who has a sealed copy!! The Text on the flip side of the Geisha Boys….is a text found on the first pocket booklet ever written about Queen. A very interesting written piece…as Vicky changed some liner notes….( please notice the Queen booklet was an official licenced one,) In this booklet was a big chapter about the live show of Queen.!! The text in the book goes about the enourmous succes and fanadoration of Queen in Japan. Original > ‘arriving on the heels of their ‘A night at the Opera tour’ the group was greeted with almost universal acclaim. Vicky’s notes ..:-) > arriving on the heels of their ‘American Tour 1975 ‘..album, the group was greeted with almost universal acclaim;’. Got it? 🙂
    So back in those days, when i bought this Geisha record and read the liner notes, i’ve jumped in my record collection to take a look at Wizardo’s Royal A Tour, and was really thinking that this Wizardo record was an official Queen release. Vicky’s humor worked out very well!!.

    • Thank you, John – interesting. What is the name of the paperback (?) the original text can be found in?

      • Ernst said:

        Interested this information. I have Crowning Glory myself. Have collected original Queen bootleg vinyls since 1980.

  5. John said:

    queen – an official biography plus their recent US royal tour. Larry Price, Starbook. 1976

  6. John said:

    one more thing to say….the 2 deluxe cover versions of Stunning….., the second from above…the one with the black type, must be a second cover printing and problaby a re-release of the blue type design. And i think it’s done in Japan.
    The black type cover has the Cobra logo added…problaby copied from the insert ( the second edition.) of Stunning.
    The first pressing of Stunning came with the blue printing and without the Cobra logo. I dare say the black type was really the work from someone else. For example….when Queen’s Duck Soup was released..the first bunch of records came with the Duck Soup insert sealed over the Stunning ( deluxe blue edition ). ( i found it out years later when i opened the shrink wrap to see what kind of label was used ( yes…i do also collect – same- titles with different labels..how deep can you sink 🙂 ..)!! At that time i thought that particulair Duck Soup was a deluxe cover version…as it had a big b/w back cover. ( the same as Stunning 1st edition.)
    were was i?…oh yes.. ..the black cover type…why a second cover printing done by someone else….? It is quite possible that the original Vicky release had a left over of their Stunning record covers and used them to put Duck Soup in. So why should Vicky ‘trow”away her Stunning covers if she had Stunning vinyls left over?. I hope you’ll understand what i mean. :-)….!! my final conclusion = Stunning blue printing cover > first release. Stunning Insert version > second release> Stunning black printing cover > a re-release of the insert version and record !!
    But one thing is bothering me. …after the first cover release there was the insert release….why did Vicky put in the original first cover printings ‘Duck Soup ‘records? She easely could put the second pressing..or at least some copy’s of Stunning in the left over deluxe blue printings!!

  7. Powerfan said:

    Spinalcrackerbox, I’ve been checking out your blog for several weeks. Truly a treasure trove of fascinating history! Great stuff 🙂

    I have a slightly odd request. Can you please email me?

    My address is: powerfan.trader@gmail.com

    I’d like to ask you a question about Vickie Vinyl, but I can’t find your email address.

    Thanks

    • John said:

      no personal questions to our blogmaster…keep it public please..! Questions about our ‘hobby’ interests us all 🙂

      • powerfan said:

        Very well. Didnt mean to seem so secretive :p

        Did anyone ever hear back from Vickie Rock after she posted on the power pop blog back in august? She seemed to know Vicki Vinyl and John Wizardo, possibly on a personal level.

        I ask because im looking to speak with Vickie Rock personally – im currently in preproduction of a video documentary about bootlegging and im looking for people who used to run bootleg labels / had experience in the bootleg industry.

  8. John said:

    WOW!!…..great plan powerfan……there are people in Italy who knows more about that world. One guy is selling his whole amazing collection…Spinal knows his name. The son of Ken Douglas sold some time ago masters, acetates from Zeps and old stones..he found on an old toilet!! later on he sold stamps from legendary titles.
    Ken Douglas, i do have him as a friend on facebook.
    If you google on the real names of people involved in Wizardo, you come to a great world with lots of interesting photo’s.
    A couple of years ago i bought a lot of japanese records and cd’s from a guy in the states, and i became a sort of friend with him..just by mail…, after several mails he knows he could trust me and he told me that he was involved in the TMOQ world. , with fascinating stories…due to a pc crash i lost his adress and all the mails.
    .

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