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Tokyo Tapes

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(29 Reviews)

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No Description AvailableNo Track Information AvailableMedia Type: CDArtist: SCORPIONSTitle: TOKYO TAPESStreet Release Date: 10/29/2002<Domestic or Import: DomesticGenre: HEAVY METAL

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  • I walked into Mother’s Records in Winnipeg in late 1978 ready to buy Kiss Alive II, but hesitated when I heard a new, different live album playing through the store speakers. This was the first time I had ever heard of Scorpions, let alone their music, and I was quickly absorbed by the album. Suffice to say I left the store with `Tokyo Tapes’ rather than the album I had come to purchase.

    Scorpions had yet to reach star status internationally, but in Japan, the second largest musical market in the world, the band were already legitimate superstars. Following the release of `Taken By Force’, it was only natural that Scorpions would tour Japan. The response of the fans, plus the sheer energy coming off the stage, prompted the group to record two sessions at Budokhan (only days after Cheap Trick’s recordings), and those recordings became `Tokyo Tapes’.

    If you don’t have any early Scorpions, this could serve as a worthy introduction. They hit all the high points of their first four albums (excluding `Lonesome Crow’), as well as throwing in a few covers (unneccesary, in my opinion), and winning the crowd even more with their rendition of the Japanese folk song, “Kojo No Tsuki”. Even though the sound quality is at times muddled, what shines through is the musicianship. Klaus Meine is on his game, the rythym section thunders, Rudolf Schenker shows adept ability, but it’s Uli Jon Roth’s virtuoso, and at times otherworldly playing that is the highlight here. His performance alone is worth the price of the album – check out the playing on “Robot Man” and “We’ll Burn The Sky” and you’ll see what I mean. This is the last Scorpions album of any sort that Roth plays on, and his departure and subsequent addition of Mattias Jabs clearly defines the transition between the “old” Scorpions sound and “new”, cleaner Scorpions sound.

    Posted on January 23, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is the last album to feature the fantastic Uli Jon Roth on lead guitar. All their classics are here except for Catch Your Train, Sails of Charon and Polar Nights which was transferred to the CD-version of In Trance.Roth, serious as always about his music and lyrics, left the band after this album because the other members intended to change directions and become a more straight-forward-no-message-included rock act. So if you’re the “Roth” kind of person when it comes down to hard rock this is probably the best Scorpions CD on the market. Good sound quality and enthusiastic playing. A pity they didn’t leave out the rock ‘n’ roll medley so Polar Nights could ‘ve been included. And for those who aren’t german out there: don’t worry about Klaus Meine’s english pronunciation on this earlier recording, it’s not worse than it is today , haha !

    Posted on January 23, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Indeed legendary, this is one of those few live albums that are really necessary for a bands fans instead of just being a stopgap release or a cash in job. Produced by Dieter Dierks – what a career he’s had – and originally released in 1978 this live disc shows the Scorpions in full flight to an adoring Japanese crowd.

    The only glaring omission here is perhaps Virgin Killer but that’s a mild quibble. With tunes from a bunch of the bands early releases and a few cover versions to add a little fun and keep things fresh this album can be played the whole way through with little use of the skip button. It should be noted that on the original vinyl release the song Polar Nights was included but was left off here due to space restrictions. Scorpions freaks/completists can find this missing track on the re-issue of the studion album Taken By Force.

    Scorpions fans probably alread own this but if you wavering, then don’t, just grab this album and enjoy a worthy summation of the highlights of early Scorpions, as after this the band changed tack somewhat to become a different animal. Recommended.

    Posted on January 23, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • …if you are more into the hard rock thing as opposed to the power ballad ’80s type thing. There ARE some great ballads, as with all Scorpions CDs, but when it comes to hard rock, this is cream of the crop (as are “Strangers In the Night” by UFO and “One For The Road” by the Kinks, both of which also include lovely ballads…).

    Indeed, if you must have “Polar Nights”, (and it IS a great Uli song), purchase “Taken By Force” (remaster) and ALSO get a good version of “Suspender Love” (studio). While “Virgin Killer” is their greatest studio CD, by far, “Taken By Force” is good, especially with “Polar Nights” to round out “Tokyo Tapes”.

    ‘Nuff said, “Tokyo Tapes” is the ultimate Scorpions CD, with great performances from every member of the band, AND ALSO one of the greatest audiences ever captured on CD. They loved the Scorpions, and so will you, once you listen to this CD a few times, and perhaps if they tour again, who knows? WAKE UP CALL: The Scorpions should tour with Rudolph, Mattias, AND Uli on guitars, and have UFO open with 2 hours of their finest, featuring, of course, Michael Schenker. THAT would be 4+ hours of the greatest hard rock ever. “Steamrock fever, in Tokyo Bay!” Dig it, it’s great!!! (Then buy “Virgin Killer” it’s a must). Please read other Scorpions reviews for the history and personnel of the band, and for song-by-song analyses. I generally either like a CD in its entirety, or I don’t. “Tokyo Tapes” and “Virgin Killer” are CDs I can always listen to beginning to end and love every song.

    Posted on January 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • For those who may believe that POLAR NIGHTS is completely absent from the Scorpions CD catalog due to these reactionary reviews, do not fret. They simply removed this track from “Tokyo Tapes” running order in an effort to make the entire release fit on a single disc. They then added “Polar Nights” as a bonus track on the “Taken By Force” remaster along with a studio version of “Suspender Love”.

    Get them both, they are must have releases for any Scorpions fan.

    Posted on January 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now