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Steve Hackett - The Tokyo Tapes CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 67 ratings

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4 stars Review Nš 387

"The Tokyo Tapes" is a DVD of Steve Hackett and was released in 2001. This is the twin brother of his double live album, with the same name, and released three years before. It contains, precisely, the same seventeen live tracks of the double CD plus eighteen minutes of bonus rehearsal footage and the personal biographies of this band's line up. It was compiled from two live concerts that were recorded at Koseinenkin Hall in Tokyo, Japan on December 1996.

The line up on "The Tokyo Tapes" features, besides the ex-Genesis' guitarist, Steve Hackett, a truly progressive super rock group with the vocalist and bassist John Wetton from King Crimson, UK and Asia, the drummer Chester Thompson from Weather Report, Frank Zappa and Genesis live, the multi instrumentalist Ian McDonald from King Crimson and Foreigner, and the former professional keyboardist Julian Colbeck which worked with the Yes' super group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe and that usually works with Steve Hackett on many of his live shows.

The set list of "The Tokyo Tapes" includes many Genesis' songs, as well as several songs taken from Steve Hackett's solo archive. The original Genesis' songs performed live are six: "Watcher Of The Skies", "Firth Of Fifth", "Horizons", "In That Quiet Earth", "Los Endos" and "I Know What I Like". These songs were originally released on some Genesis' studio albums, such as, "Foxtrot", "Selling England By The Pound", "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Wind And Wuthering". The original Hackett's songs performed live are seven: "Riding The Colossus", "Camino Royal", "Walking Away From Rainbows", "Vampyre With A Healthy Appetite", "Shadow Of The Hierophant" and "Black Light". These songs were originally released on various Hackett's studio albums, such as, "Voyage Of The Acolyte", "Highly Strung", "Bay Of Kings" and "Guitar Noire". This DVD also contains some other several songs written and released by some other several bands and artists. So, we have "Battlelines" which is a composition by (Wetton/Marlette/Mitchell) from John Wetton's studio album "Battle Lines", "The Court Of The Crimson King" which is a composition by (McDonald/Sinfield) from King Crimson's album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", "Heat Of The Moment" which is a composition by (Wetton/Downes) from Asia's eponymous debut studio album "Asia" and "I Talk To The Wind" which is another composition from King Crimson's debut studio album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", also by (McDonald/Sinfield).

Most of these songs are performed differently from the original studio versions, with other arrangements and with some extended instrumental sections. The Genesis classics "Watcher Of The Skies", "Firth Of Fifth", are completed with a monstrous Hacket's guitar solo, "In That Quiet Earth", "Los Endos", and "I Know What I Like" are played with renewed vigour, with John Wetton handling most of the lead vocals. John Wetton also covers his song "Battlelines" and an acoustic version of Asia's hit "Heat Of The Moment". King Crimson's fans will revel in the inclusion of "The Court Of The Crimson King" and "I Talk To The Wind", which features some great flute playing and Mellotron sounds from Ian McDonald. Steve Hackett also covers a bunch of tunes from his many solo albums. The highlights are, maybe, "Riding The Colossus", "Shadow Of The Hierophant", and the lovely track "Walking Away From Rainbows". Steve Hackett on this live show exhibits is in fine form, displaying his unique talents, on both electric and acoustic guitars throughout.

The DVD recreates the entire performance providing a rare opportunity to view great vintage material. The stage setting is very spacious with, from left to right, Colbeck, Hackett, Wetton and McDonald, positioned stage front, and Thompson centrally located behind the guitarist and bassist. The stage backdrop and lighting here are economical but effective, a true reminiscent of Genesis' shows from the early 70's. A good deal of the footage is shot from the audience's view point although the onstage cameras ensure that individual solos and Thompson in particular, are not overlooked, really.

Conclusion: When I reviewed the CD version of "The Tokyo Tapes", which was actually one of my first reviews on Progarchives, I wrote that "The Tokyo Tapes" is one of my all time favourite live albums. The same goes with its video version. This is an excellent live show made by Steve Hackett, which always was one of my favourite guitarists and progressive musicians. It has some of my favourite songs recorded on some of my favourite albums by some of my favourite bands. It's superiorly performed by some of the best and my favourite musicians too. This is a winner DVD, really. Considering that there isn't enough progressive rock music represented in the DVD format, this is a must have for any fan of this genre. Here you have an excellent souvenir of a fine performance that comes highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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