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Steve Hackett The Tokyo Tapes album cover
4.13 | 73 ratings | 7 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Watcher of the Skies (8:59)
2. Riding the Colossus (3:32)
3. Firth of Fifth (9:32)
4. Battlelines (6:43)
5. Camino Royale (9:06)
6. The Court of the Crimson King (7:39)
7. Horizons (1:53)
8. Walking Away from Rainbows (3:47)
9. Heat of the Moment (4:06)
10. In That Quiet Earth (4:02)
11. Vampire with a Healthy Appetite (7:26)
12. I Talk to the Wind (5:28)
13. Shadow of the Hierophant (7:14)
14. Los Endos (6:54)
15. Black Light (2:30)
16. The Steppes (6:48)
17. I Know What I Like (5:51)

Total Time 101:30

Bonus features:
- 18 minutes of bonus rehearsal footage

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Hackett / guitar, harmony vocals, vocals (11)
- John Wetton / bass, guitar, vocals
- Ian McDonald / flute, saxophone, guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Chester Thompson / drums
- Julian Colbeck / keyboards, vocals

Releases information

DVD Camino Records DR-3996 (2001)
Sound options: Stereo

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy STEVE HACKETT The Tokyo Tapes Music

STEVE HACKETT The Tokyo Tapes ratings distribution

(73 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STEVE HACKETT The Tokyo Tapes reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Steve Hackett's Tokyo Tapes is a concert video featuring him and a slew of his former colleagues in all of his years of work. The colleagues in question are John Wetton (ex-King Crimson, ex-Asia), Ian McDonald (ex-King Crimson), Chester Thompson (ex-Frank Zappa, Genesis), and Julian Colbeck (Steve Hackett). What you'll find on this dvd is highly polished songs ranging from Shadow of the Hierophant to Heat of the Moment, and even some King Crimson, but it's all performed wonderfully and the group really puts their own spin on it to make it a unique experience. While the show isn't perfect (marred because of very dated keyboards and a somewhat disastrous vocal performance on I Know What I Like from Hackett [only in parts, though]), there is a lot to like here and most fans of any of the groups that these performers were in will find something to like here.

As a classic Genesis staple, the show opens with Watcher of the Skies, with Colbeck performing the famous Tony Banks mellotron lines, with some help by Ian McDonald. It sets the mood of the album wonderfully and while there isn't a great visual offering in the vein of Gabriel, it's rather fun watching Hackett and the rest of the group perform. You'll find some great extended and modified pieces in Firth of Fifth and Camino Royale, the first getting the Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited middle section that really has nothing to do with the song itself, and the latter getting an extensive Hackett harmonica solo. The first cover song of the night is Battlelines off of John Wetton's solo album of the same name. It's a ballad by and by, but Wetton's voice (which has aged nicely since the 70s) is comforting and Hackett's guitar solo reiterates the main theme well.

The other covers of the night include In the Court of the Crimson King, which is cut short, but McDonald's flute work is poetic and very well played. Heat of the Moment gets an acoustic treatment for this set, and Wetton's passionate vocal is complimented nicely by the three guitar approach and some nice harmony vocals from Hackett and McDonald. I Talk to The Wind has some great harmony vocals from Wetton and Hackett on top of McDonald's great flute performance. Some real highlights to the show are Shadow of Hierophant/Los Endos (bridged together by a Chester Thompson drum solo. Hierophant is played wonderfully from the great 6/4 buildup section at the end, and Los Endos is played perfectly, even with the Moonlit Knight quote in the middle.

The only real problems I have with this dvd is the keyboard sound from Colbeck, which sounds awfully dated (case in point during his solo on In That Quiet Earth, which is otherwise a great number). And I Know What I Like, even though it has a great groove to it thanks to Wetton's walking bass line, is marred by some over the top Hackett vocals, it can even get a bit cringeworthy in moments (especially the, "But I remembered a voice from the past" line). Other than that, though, there aren't any true faults with this live collection.

In the end, I stated above what I find to be wrong with this dvd. The sound is great and well mixed, the video gives lots of camera time to every performer, and the overall set list is a nice blend of everyone's past and present. If you're a fan of Hackett/Genesis/King Crimson/John Wetton/Asia then you should probably find something to enjoy about this disc, and since I like essentially all those groups, this live album is right up my alley. 4.5/5.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
5 stars 'What would it sound like if occasional members of Genesis, King Crimson, Asia, Yes, Zappa & Weather Report, all got together to form a unique team just for one night?'

As is stated at the back of the box: 'What would it sound like if occasional members of Genesis, King Crimson, Asia, Yes, Zappa & Weather Report, all got together to form a unique team just for one night?'

The Genesis reference is, of course, obvious: Steve Hackett himself on guitars, vocals and harmonica. Also six classic Genesis songs are played here: Watcher Of The Skies, Firth Or Fifth, Horizons, In That Quiet Earth, Los Endos and I Know What I like. (Some of these songs are given the treatment they got on Steve's Genesis Revisted album.) Really excellent stuff! Steve's solo albums are also well represented with The Steppes, Camino Royale and others.

The King Crimson reference is also fairly obvious; Ian MacDonald (one of the original members of that band) on flutes, sax, guitar, keyboards and vocals. To honor his presence two classic King Crimson songs are played, both from the debut album from 1969 (an album that was a massive influence on Steve and early Genesis); The Court Of The Crimson King and I Talk To The Wind. Both performed perfectly! (I don't think these songs, or any songs from that album for that matter, are available on any other professionally recorded live DVD!)

The Asia reference is John Wetton; bass, guitar and vocals. An acoustic version of the classic Asia song Heat Of The Moment is performed. This is easily the best version of that song that I have ever heard. I must admit that I am not a big fan of the original version of that song, but this one is great! Also one of Wetton's solo songs are performed here; called Battle Lines. This was the only song on this DVD that I had not heard before, and I must say that it is surprisingly good.

The Yes reference is very confusing! None of these people have ever been in Yes. However, keyboadist Julian Colbeck has played with Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. And Steve was once in another band (GTR) with Steve Howe. But, of course, that also was not Yes.

The Zappa & Weather Report reference is the drummer Chester Thompson. He has also toured with Genesis for many years.

To sum up, this DVD is amazing! Highly recommended to all fans of early Genesis, early King Crimson as well as fans of John Wetton and, of course, of Steve's solo work. This DVD is especially great keeping in mind that both Genesis and King Crimson almost completely have given up playing their older material live. There are simply no DVD's by these bands that live up to the standard of this one.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars With a such dream team of musicians like this, how could this DVD go wrong? Itīs simply wonderful! (albeit not without its faults). Tokyo Tapes got Steve Hackett backed up by John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson, among others), Ian McDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner), Chester Thompson (Genesis, Weather Report) and Julian Colbeck (Steve hackett). As one was to expect, there are interpretations of songs from Genesis, King Crimson and Asia, besides Hackettīs solo highlights.

Pros: great musicanship of all involved, good sound, good production, excellent song selection, good cameras settings.

Cons: some arrangements are not that similar to originals (they should have dropped I Know What I LIke), some annoying keyboards sounds (too 80īs for my taste). And most of all, why they never played the beautiful piano introduction to Firth Of Fifth? I also wished they played more songs, but then it would have to be a 3 hour show at least. Highlights: too many to mention, but it is enough to know they play a wonderful rendition of In the Court Of The Crimson King.

As anyone can see, there are few cons, really. Itīs a must have for any prog lover (specially if you love 70īs classic prog). Oh, how I wanted to be there to watch them live! Fortunatly the DVD is available and it did capture most of the showīs magic. Highly recommended. 4,5 stars.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Well, this was the very first DVD I ever owned, well before I owned some device able to read or view it, but I brought it to friend's houses to view it with them a few times. Then I sort of forgot about it in the bottom of a box and it slowly exited from my memory until I found it in that very same box two months ago. Actually after viewing it a few times, I like it better than back when it first came out, fresh on the heels of that Genesis Revisited release, which I had not really appreciated. So obviously my opinion of Tokyo Tapes was a bit "cheapened by its proximity of the afore-mentioned album.

But this start-studded cast has much more to offer than some Genesis revival, even if that group's repertoire still holds an important place in this project's repertoire. Indeed, bassist Wetton and flutist Ian McDonald give a Crimson legitimacy (and unfortunately an Asia edge) while drummer Thompson reinforce the Genesis camp. The usual Hackett sideman Colbeck rounds out the line-up on keyboards. Don't get me wrong: the vast majority of that night concert was Genesis and Hackett's material and it's a pure joy to hear the classics as the band strays a bit from the note for note perfect rendition. Indeed, the orgasmic organized improve in otherwise over-reprised Firth Of Fifth synth solo is absolutely worth the detour, and the abridged Los Endos (still featuring a Thompson solo) and Quiet Earth have since become fixed concert faves of Steve's sets.

Obviously that night's low points are the two Wetton-penned Asia tracks, but the absolutely fantastic renditions of the two Crimson tracks (Court & Wind) are more than making up for those weaknesses. As for the Hackett solo stuff, obviously the more successful tracks are from his earlier efforts like Hierophant and Steppes, but Colossus, Camino and Black Light (the latter showing Steve playing a decent harmonica). Well I wouldn't call this concert footage anything close to essential in regards to prog's overall heritage, but it's certainly pleasant enough to own and still get that fourth star, just because of the emotional impact of that evening.

Review by VianaProghead
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*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars BORING. I don't think I've ever seen a concert whose musicians are so lifeless before this one. I expected this from Hackett, who would just sit during Genesis performances, but Wetton is apparently no Gabriel. Often just standing in front of the microphone, Wetton's vocals sound uninspired an ... (read more)

Report this review (#226938) | Posted by Kestrel | Thursday, July 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent team work , wonderful choice of tracks . In fact i had no idea that someone living on the other edge of this planet can use my tongue in describing the Tokyo tapes gift from giants talented musicians such as Hackett , Wetton , Mc Don ... (read more)

Report this review (#165644) | Posted by trackstoni | Friday, April 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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