"Listening to The Tokyo Tapes" - Steve Hackett's live album and video reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
When I first heard about the "Genesis Revisited" project, over three years ago now, I was intrigued and more than a little surprised. After all, there were more than enough "tribute" bands around to satisfy the demands of even the most ardent Genesis fan.
However, the subsequent album blew away any remaining doubts and Steve's exorcism of his past opened up new vistas on the Genesis landscape. "What would it sound like if occasional members of Genesis, King Crimson, Asia, Yes, Zappa and Weather Report all got together to form a unique team just for one night?" is the question asked on "The Tokyo Tapes" sleeve. The answer is quite simple: it would be amazing. The combination of talents assembled for these live shows in Japan is plain for all to see on the new video and double love cd which has just been released by Steve's record company, Camino Records.
From the opening chords of "Watcher Of The Skies" this is a trip back in time through one of the most awesome assemblages of rock in the world. Highlights are difficult to pick out because every track is a highlight in its own right, but personal high points include John Wetton's solo effort, "Battle Lines"; Steve's new renditions of "Firth of Fifth" and "Los Endos" as well as the truly glorious versions of the King Crimson classics "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "I Talk to The Wind", both of which are imbued with a freshness and vitality here which reminds you just how potent these progressive classics have remained. This package is no insipid romp through nostalgia for its own sake, but instead a long overdue reiteration of what "Progressive" music was, and could be again, if today's music makers followed the courage of their own convictions as these guys did so many years ago! If you have to buy one live album/video this year; "The Tokyo Tapes" is the one I would recommend!