Live albums aren’t usually that good but this Polnareff Live à Tokio LP is amazing – personally I think it might even be better than the more popular Polnarévolution LP of the same year. This album was recorded live with Dynastie Crisis at Koseinenkin Hall, Tokyo on 20 November 1972.
My copy doesn’t have an obi with it but it does have the lyrics insert and although I can’t read what it says there are also 6 pages of photographs and text inside the gatefold sleeve. It’s a quadraphonic album, not that that means much to me because I don’t have anything that would play quadraphonic audio and, quite honestly, because I’m a record collector I don’t play my vinyl after I’ve run it off on my USB turntable these days anyway.
Aside from the quality of the recordings, the great set list, the lovely packaging, the fact that Polnareff delivers (as ever) a perfect live performance, the other thing I really like about this album is the lyrics sheet:
It’s worth clicking on these to take a closer look – forget the typos (“horridle monstre”, “Je cherce un job”, etc), the lyrics to Great Balls of Fire are something else and have clearly been misheard by whoever transcribed them. Imagine this, you’re Japanese, you’re listening to a French guy singing in English with a really strong accent. Furthermore, you obviously don’t know the Jerry Lee Lewis’ version of the song, so you just have to write down what you hear. This is what you hear:
You shake my nose, you ride on my brake, You got the love to drive a woman insane, You broke my whip but I fell, Goodness gracious, great balls of fire…
I treat my nails and I tread on my foot, I don’t know what love is, but it sure is fun a, Oh, baby, you drive me crazy, Goodness gracious, great balls of fire
Laugh? I nearly trod on my foot!