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Steve Hackett - The Tokyo Tapes CD (album) cover

THE TOKYO TAPES

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 160 ratings

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ProgressiveAttic
5 stars

This is one of my all time favorite live albums, It has everything :

*Different but magnificent versions of some of my favorite songs from some of my favorite bands (which is quite an achievement since all of them are prog rock classics).

*Amazing jams.

*Some of the best musicians in prog, rock and music in general.

*Great songs (in composition and performance)

*Great sound.

+ John Wetton vindicated Asia with a great acoustic rendition of Heat of the Moment (which is a good pop song).

5 for overall sound

Said that, a review of each individual track:

1) Watcher of the Skies: a genesis classic and one of my top 5 genesis songs, I can say that this version is as good as the original. Wetton's voice gives a different perspective from what Gabriel did on the song, Hackett's guitar couldn't be better and the overall performanc of the rest of the band is breathtaking. 5

2) Riding The Colossus: a decent Hackett song (with Hackett "decent" means great but not a masterpiece) I am not a big fan of the keyboards (too 80s) but Hackett shines as allways. 4

3)Firth of Fifth: another reformed Genesis classic (and member of my top 5 Genesis songs list) still interesting to listen to Wetton sing Gabriel's lyrics and the jam in the middle shows the potential of each musician, an improvement over the original is the flute work (by McDonald)..... a very crimsonian sound, so another 5 star remake.5

4) Battlelines: a Wetton song which features some Asia style pop (a bit proggier)...nice vocals and piano with some good drums provided by Thompson but nothing more...3

5)Camino Royale: always a pleasure to listen to Hacket's compositions... very experimental, sometimes jazzy, a great piece...Highlights: Hackett's guitars (obviously), McDonald's sax, Thompson's drums (this is his territory: experimentation and jazz....), Colbeck's keyboards and Wetton's bass aren't bad at all....in other words the ENTIRE band is a highlight (not a big fan of the vocals here though)....5!!!

6)In The Court Of The Crimson King: a masterpiece in its original version....Wetton's voice is again a highlight.... although the song wasn't originally written for him it is allways great to listen to him sing Greg Lake's lyrics, since the style of both singers is really similar.... Hackett is more than qualified to fill Fripp's shoes (another interesting point of view), McDonald's performance is as great (not only great...MAGNIFICENT, SPECTACULAR) as in the original record (it is like no time has passed).... the drums couldn't be better Thompson is really great choice for this kind of crimsonian/obscure/experimental style....another 5 amazing remake.....5!!!!

7)Horizons: the acoustic/classical interlude from the Foxtrot album is as great as allways.... Hackett shows his classical style...just a great piece to rest from the previous madness and intellectual exercise....5

8)Walking Away From Rainbows: a continuation of the classical Hackett....with no doubt a gifted classical guitar player..... great atmospheric keys to set the mood.... a great demostration of classical guitar....5

9)Heat of the Moment: the Vindication!!! I never disliked Asia but it was a great disappointment...its nice to hear a proggier version of this chart hit... its proggy in the same way Greg Lake's ballads are....4

10)In That Quiet Earth: more Genesis! this time from the post-Gabriel era...great display of the band , it shows every musician at his best....I can't ask for more....5

11)Vampire With a Healthy Appetite: I always liked this song....Hackett's guitar is as good and impressive as always(+ a nice harmonica solo)...the spooky lyrics are a good touch....Colbeck and Thompson do a nice job in their respective instruments...5

12)I Talk to the Wind: more In the Court of the Crimson King King Crimson! just as good as In the Court.... well played (although I prefer Lake singing this one)...once again the flute work is just remarkable....and Hackett's touch in Fripp's parts is always refreshing.... + we have a really strong rhythm section here...5

13)Shadow of the Hierophant: great track from Voyage of the Acolyte featuring the great talent of Steve Hackett....great keyboard layers and rhythm section (+ an impressive drum solo....thanks Thompson!!!)...4.5

14)Los Endos: starts as a continuation to the previous track's drum solo.....this may sound repetitive but this version could compete with the original....Ian McDonald gives one of the best sax solos in the history of prog joined by the mighty Chester Thompson... The flute work is really good.... this is almost an Ian McDonald song (except for the fact that it is a Genesis song....)...5

15)Black Light: more acoustic Hackett... I can not get tired of this.... and with the inclusion of excerpts of Cuckoo Coccoon and Blood on Rooftops is just breathtaking...5

16)The Steppes: with its hunting Arabic guitar melody is hypnotizing....is just too beautiful....this is a song to lay back and enjoy the talents of Hackett backed by an amazing group of musicians....5

17)I Know What I Like: this is the last Genesis version and song of the concert...no comments just the same than with the other Genesis songs MIND BLOWING!!!!! and Wetton's voice is perfectly adapted to the song....5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now the bonus/studio tracks with a new lineup: Hackett on guitar and percussions and Iron Friedman on keyboards and programming....

18)Firewall: nice display of emotive music.....4

19)The Dealer: kinds of reminds me of Allan Holdsworth's fusion style, very well performed.4.5

TOTAL: 4.7

I am jealous of the people that attended to this concert.... this is an essential for every prog fan, but if you are starting with the genre it is better to first listen to the original Genesis, King Crimson, Zappa and Hackett records.... anyways 100% recommended!!!!

ProgressiveAttic | 5/5 |

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