Boøwy

Last Gigs

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Even though they had a fairly short time at the top, the band Boøwy gained legendary status in Japan with their revolutionary four-piece format (previous stars had often been solo vocalists) and their introduction of Western rock and new wave ideas. Their final performances, held in the Tokyo Dome in 1988, gained a status as some of their prime material. The bandmembers pulled no punches in what they knew was their last hurrah, playing through all of their big hits and improvising in new versions of a few. The crowd was with them the whole way, and sang along with as much intensity as the band itself from time to time. The recordings wandered around, but were given CD treatment in 2001, 13 years after the band had broken up. In 2008, they resurfaced with a better remaster and an additional 13 tracks not on the previous version. Despite being a full 20 years out from the band's end, the album immediately shot into the Oricon Top Ten. On the long sets, Boøwy make a clear case for their long-term status -- the works take from the best of the American and British sounds of the day, incorporating elements of art rock, rockabilly, new wave, and punk, but at the same time put an entirely original spin on those influences. The music can be heard on other compilations, but the energy of the crowd gives the songs an extra push here. What's perhaps more amazing, though, is that the band actually sounds really great in its last gigs. The performers stay near their mikes, the mixes are good, and the mastering is perfectly clean. If it weren't for the crowd joining in from time to time, the album would sound like a proper studio album with the addition of some added bits of fun and ad-libbing from the band. Fans of Boøwy all already own this one, and with good reason. Despite representing the band's last gigs, this set also makes a good first impression.

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