Sunday, August 9, 2015

Steve Hackett - 1999 "The Tokyo Tapes"

The Tokyo Tapes is ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett's live album featuring a progressive rock supergroup line-up of John Wetton (from King Crimson, UK, Asia), Chester Thompson (from Weather Report, Frank Zappa, Genesis live), Ian McDonald (from King Crimson, Foreigner) and rounded out by keyboardist Julian Colbeck (worked with Yes spin-off Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe). The album was compiled from two concerts at Koseinenkin Hall in Tokyo, Japan on 16 & 17 December 1996. The album also contains two Steve Hackett studio tracks.
In 2001, a live DVD also called The Tokyo Tapes and culled from the same two performances was released. It contained all 17 live tracks plus 18 minutes of bonus rehearsal footage and band biographies.
Both the CD and the DVD were promoted with the tagline: "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?"

Soon after completing work on Watcher of the Skies, Steve Hackett conceived of a series of concerts involving many of the musicians from the Genesis project, to be recorded for a special live release. This two-disc set from a December 1996 performance in Tokyo is the end result. The band personnel look like potential candidates for a Prog Rockers: Where Are They Now? TV special, with Hackett joined by John Wetton (formerly of Asia), Ian McDonald (King Crimson), and Chester Thompson and Julian Colbeck (touring alum of Genesis and Yes, respectively). The set list includes many Genesis songs, as well as several taken from Hackett's solo archive. Most of the songs differ considerably from their studio versions, either through vastly altered arrangements or extended instrumental sections. Wetton does a fine job on lead vocals, the one exception being his solo acoustic reworking of the Asia mega-hit "Heat of the Moment"; the new version with updated lyrics sounds embarrassingly frail. This is a minor misstep, however. Tokyo Tapes is easily the definitive Steve Hackett live collection available to date, and it's a welcome addition to any fan's collection. 

Track listing

Original artists for live songs are listed in brackets. Disc 1
  1. "Watcher of the Skies" (Banks, Rutherford, Hackett, Gabriel, Collins) – 8:59 [Genesis]
  2. "Riding the Colossus" (Hackett) – 3:32 [Solo Steve Hackett]
  3. "Firth of Fifth" (Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford, Gabriel) – 9:32 [Genesis]
  4. "Battlelines" (Wetton, Marlette, Mitchell) – 6:43 [Solo John Wetton]
  5. "Camino Royale" (Hackett, Magnus) – 9:06 [Solo Steve Hackett]
  6. "The Court of the Crimson King" (McDonald, Sinfield) – 7:39 [King Crimson]
  7. "Horizons" (Hackett) – 1:53 [Genesis/Solo Steve Hackett]
  8. "Walking Away from Rainbows" (Hackett) – 3:47 [Solo Steve Hackett]
  9. "Heat of the Moment" (Wetton, Downes) – 4:06 [Asia]
Disc 2
  1. "...In That Quiet Earth'" (Hackett, Rutherford, Banks, Collins) – 4:02 [Genesis]
  2. "Vampyre With a Healthy Appetite" (Hackett) – 7:23 [Solo Steve Hackett]
  3. "I Talk to the Wind" (McDonald, Sinfield) – 5:37 [King Crimson]
  4. "Shadow of the Hierophant" (Hackett, Rutherford) – 7:14 [Solo Steve Hacket]
  5. "Los Endos" (Banks, Collins, Rutherford, Hackett) – 6:54 [Genesis]
  6. "Black Light" (Hackett) – 2:30 [Solo Steve Hackett]
  7. "The Steppes" (Hackett) – 6:48 [Solo Steve Hackett]
  8. "I Know What I Like" (Hackett, Banks, Rutherford, Collins, Gabriel) – 5:51 [Genesis]
  9. "Firewall" (Hackett) [Studio Track] – 4:41
  10. "The Dealer" (Hackett) [Studio track] – 4:23
  11. "Los Endos" (Hackett) ['Revisited' Studio Version] 8:52

Credits (live tracks)

Credits (studio tracks)

  • Steve Hackett – guitar, percussion
  • Aron Friedman – keyboards, programming