History Question: Why Were So Many Live Albums Recorded at Japan’s Budokan Theatre?

Whenever I’m in London on a Sunday, I immerse myself in all the papers. Yesterday, I spent about six hours going through 11 pounds of newsprint: Sun, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times, Mirror and half a dozen more. I am and always will be an unabashed fan of reading these dead trees.

Why? Because I never fail to learn something from digging through all these British papers and their Sunday supplements. Even the weekday papers are a pleasure to read. For example, I found out why so many Western acts recorded live albums at the Budokan Theatre in Tokyo.

You know the Budokan, right?

Cheap Trick was only one act who enjoyed Budokan love and profit. So have Ozzy, Blur, Bob Dylan and even the Beatles. What’s the attraction?

According to the Answers to Correspondents column in the Daily Mail, there are three main reasons:

  1. It can hold up to 14,000 traditionally super-appreciated Japanese fans. They listen quietly during the songs and then erupt rapturously at the end.
  2. Great acoustics. The hall is based on the Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) found at  a Buddhist temple called Horu-ji, which dates back to the 7th century. It was built to house the judo competitions for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
  3. Japanese promoters are willing to pay top yen to bring in big Western acts.

Love those UK papers.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “History Question: Why Were So Many Live Albums Recorded at Japan’s Budokan Theatre?

  • November 23, 2015 at 11:26 am

    In these days where the attention spans get shorter and shorter(just watch someones facial expressions when you talk to them),you have to wonder how much longer these fine papers will be around.
    Thank God for Libraries,hope they,ll stay….


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