Fireworks

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Steve Hackett - 'The Tokyo Tapes' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/22/6d/c4/steve-hackett-the-tokyo-tapes-48-1393877377.jpg Hot

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Those who enjoy consummate musicians playing some great tunes will get plenty from it.

With Hackett's star (of Sirius) in the ascendancy thanks to his 'Genesis Revisited II' album and hugely successful tour, there's no surprise that this collection sees the light of day in repackaged and remastered form particularly as the Rights to the long deleted DVD have been obtained and included. For those already owning the constituent parts of this release, aside from the remastering the only new element is a studio version of 'All Along The Watchtower'.

Originally released in 1998 as a live companion to Hackett's first excursion into 'Genesis Revisited' territory, it features an All-Star cast, namely Asia's John Wetton (vocals & bass), former Genesis cohort Chester Thompson (drums), Ian McDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner on keyboards, sax, flute) and Julian Colbeck providing primary keyboards. Whilst predominantly showcasing Hackett's material, both solo and with Genesis, there are also tracks from both Wetton's and McDonald's respective back catalogues; consequently there's a rendition of Wetton's 'Battlelines' and an acoustic version of 'Heat of the Moment' from Asia along with the obligatory 'The Court of the Crimson King' and 'I Talk to the Wind' from King Crimson.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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First number, 'Watcher of the Skies' has to be one of the best concert openers, ever, and the power that comes through on this version is immense. To me, Wetton has made this track his own and when I bought this album first time round I felt this rendition worth the purchase price alone. 'Riding The Colossus' is one of those superb Hackett instrumentals where his guitar sings a memorable melody line. 'Firth Of Fifth' is a personal favourite but is spoiled here by the inclusion of an odd and frankly unwanted jazzy middle section. I could certainly do without these jazz interludes that crop up across the show.

Tracks on which Hackett provides vocals (such as 'Camino Royale') expose his weakness in this area; particularly compared to Wetton's. However, it's the instrumentals that stand out, including '...In That Quiet Earth', 'Los Endos' and 'The Steppes'.

The Hackett diehards amongst you will find this essential and those who enjoy consummate musicians playing some great tunes will get plenty from it, but if money's tight I'd wait for the imminent 'Live from Hammersmith' set.

Gary Marshall

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