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Steve Hackett - The Tokyo Tapes CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 160 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This live album is some sort of the best prog rock you can imagine in these late nineties.

A great line-up and some of the most beautiful numbers that the genre has ever produced. Not only is the line-up great, but it is also one of the most credible you could get.

From top to bottom in the track list : two of my fave Crimson ones. Superbly rendered here. I am found of "Talk To The Wind", and the wonderful fluting from Ian McDonald is just gorgeous. Is it also necessary to mention that John Wetton's vocals fit this song perfectly? He is as close to Greg Lake as possible. This is one out my fave here (but there are plenty of those).

The second Crimson one is THE highlight of this live set IMHHO. I guess that there is nothing to say about "In The Court". And this version is just sumptuous. Extraordinary mellotron, great vocals and such a wonderful feeling throughout this fantastic song. I am just speechless when I hear this song. It is one of the greatest prog song ever recorded, that's for sure.

These two songs are IMHHO the two best ones of this double set. Fantastic, really.

One step below are two of my fave "Genesis" ones. The great opener "Watcher" of course. As during the studio work ('"Watcher Of The Skies Revisited" ), once you have made abstraction of John's vocals, the instrumental part are absolutely on par with the genuine one. And I have listened to this fabulous song an incredible amount of times.

"Firth" is somewhat different. The middle and noisy part here is fully.Crimsonesque and not very much welcome. But, again, if some abstraction is made one has to admire this absolute masterpiece of music (all genres confounded).

I have seen the band ("Genesis" I mean) performed "Los Endos" live in Brussels in 1977 (Forest National).. Having both Chester and Phil on stage was quite an experience. You'll get a better idea of what it could have been when listening to the great "Seconds Out" version. This one is truly NOT on par. I was lucky to SEE the 1976 tour as well with Bill (Brufford) and Phil in the same exercise. A great moment in my musical life. For sure.

Some of the best (but not all of them) Steve's solo songs are featured as well. "Walking Away From Rainbows" is just as sublime as during the studio version. So poignant, a bit sad but just beautiful. This will definitely be one song that will be played during my burial party. A highlight, fully emotional. The scary "Vampyre With A Healthy Appetite" has its own right to be here as well.

"Camino Royale" and "The Steppes" are perfectly in line with the best tracks one can expect of such kind of a live album. Very good renditions of good tracks. What else do we need?

The minus parts now.

The version of "Shadow" is just cut down to its very end and features an average drum solo (we could have expected something of another tenure IMO). The worst track here is "I Know What I Like"". Difficult to bear in this version. But the studio one from Steve was also a poor experience. At least, he is consistent.

Don't be fooled by the two unreleased studio tracks. "Firewall" as well as "The Dealer" aren't adding anything important to this work. Just nine minutes of average music.

This is my preferred live album from Steve. Probably because of the mix of great songs (but not only from his repertoire), a solid line up and a very good selection of some of his best solo songs as well.

Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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