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Steve Hackett - The Tokyo Tapes CD (album) cover

THE TOKYO TAPES

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 132 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Selling Genesis (and King Crimson) by the pound

At a time when Genesis (the Collins-Banks-Rutherford line-up) had radically de-emphasised the band's 70's material in their live sets in favour of more commercially viable songs from their 80's and 90's albums (and Peter Gabriel never performed any Genesis songs live), and the Robert Fripp-led King Crimson also had totally abandoned their early material, Steve Hackett, John Wetton, and Ian McDonald did exactly the right thing when they banded together in the mid 90's to perform classic tracks by these major Progressive Rocks bands in which they had been part in the past (McDonald and Wetton in King Crimson 1968-69 and 1972-74 respectively, and Hackett in Genesis 1970-1977; the golden eras of both bands). These three men here kept the legacy of these classic Prog bands alive much better than the bands who owned the rights to the names 'Genesis' and 'King Crimson'. The rest of the line-up here consists of Chester Thompson (who toured with Genesis for many years) on drums and Julian Colbeck (who toured with Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe) on keyboards. A very powerful line-up indeed!

The set list included such Genesis classics as Watcher Of The Skies and Horizons from Foxtrot, Firth Or Fifth and I Know What I Like from Selling England By The Pound, Los Endos from A Trick Of The Tail, and In That Quiet Earth from Wind And Wuthering. From King Crimson's classic debut album comes The Court Of The Crimson King and I Talk To The Wind, both wonderfully performed. In addition to all this we get songs from Hackett's solo career including Shadow Of The Hierophant, The Steppes, Camino Royale, and the new Riding The Colossus. And, to represent Wetton's presence, they also play the title track from his solo album Battlelines plus an acoustic version of Asia's Heat Of The Moment (which sounds much better than the original version). It is truly an excellent set and many of the songs are here in new arrangements while keeping just the right amount of the old.

The Tokyo Tapes was first released on double CD in 1997 (with the two studio bonus tracks Firewall and The Dealer) and then on DVD in 2001 (with some bonus rehearsal footage) and now in 2014 as a three disc set featuring the DVD as well as the two CDs with one further bonus track added: a cover version of All Along The Watchtower featuring John Wetton. This song was originally written by Bob Dylan and made popular by Jimmi Hendrix. This studio recording was especially recorded for the 2014 re-release of Tokyo Tapes. As a matter of principle I avoid rating the same material more than once unless the different releases offer something the others don't. While the DVD version is a long standing favourite of mine, it is only now that I hear the bonus tracks for the first time and I think that all three bonus tracks are very good and add value to the set. So, if you don't already have this excellent concert then the new three disc set is really a great way to get hold of this essential live document.

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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