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Steve Hackett - The Tokyo Tapes CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 160 ratings

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4 stars I bought this record on the strenght of some comments and reviews on this website, and I'm glad to say it is a really excellent album, with stellar performances from a prog lover's dream team. Back in 1998, for only one night in Tokyo, Steve Hackett invited some of his friends to share the spotlight with him - and the result is immensely enjoyable, a mix of Hackett's original tunes, Genesis and King Crimson classics and a couple of contributions from bassist and vocalist John Wetton's variegated career.

As one can expect, the musicianship is fantastic throughout, with a special mention for Ian McDonald's performance on flute and saxophone. Wetton's voice is warm and passionate, his "Battlelines" being easily one of the highlights of the record (and that from somebody who's never been a Wetton fan!). His performance on the two KC classics is also quite good, although Lake will always be in a different league.

However, the Hackett-penned instrumental tracks are in no way inferior to these "golden oldies", especially "Shadow of the Hierophant", which opens in style the almost completely instrumental second CD. This also contains a stunning version of "Los Endos", driven by the powerhouse rythm section of Chester Thompson and John Wetton (who remains a great bassist). It's a pity, though, that the beautiful, melancholy "Blood on the Rooftops" is only hinted at. The two studio tracks that close the second CD feature Hackett on guitar and percussion and Iron Friedman on keyboards and programming; they're rather interesting, though not as good as those performed live.

Overall, "The Tokyo Tapes" is surely a recommended listen for every self-respecting fan of '70s prog rock.

Raff | 4/5 |


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