Tokyo Tapes [Hip-O)
Engineer: Tamotsu Yoshida...
Producer: Dieter Dierks...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Scorpions: Klaus Meine (vocals); Ulrich Roth, Rudolf Schenker (guitar); Francis Buchholz (bass); Herman Rarebell (drums). Recorded live at Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo, Japan on April 24 & 27, 1978. All tracks have been digitally remastered. Personnel: Klaus Meine (vocals); Rudolf Schenker, Ulrich Roth (guitar); Herman Rarebell (drums). Recording information: Sun-Plaza Hall, Tokyo, Japan (04/24/1978/04/27/1979); Sun-Plaza-Hall, Tokyo, Japan (04/24/1978/04/27/1979). Arranger: Scorpions. If you played in a hard rock band during the '70s, what were you likely to be doing circa 1978? Why, recording a live album, of course. Preferably a double vinyl set, and in Japan to boot. The Scorpions were no exception, and in fact, their Tokyo Tapes were captured only days after Cheap Trick's At Budokan in April 1978. Though hardly as inspired or successful, the Tokyo Tapes set still serves as an ideal greatest-hits collection of the Scorpions' first decade. This recording also showcases the spectacular playing (and occasionally, the dreadful singing) of guitarist Uli Jon Roth, who would soon leave the band for a misguided solo career, but displays some jaw-dropping technique here, most notably on the epic "We'll Burn the Sky." The rest of the band also puts in competent performances on such early standards as "In Trance," "Fly to the Rainbow," and "Speedy's Coming." The material on disc one is consistently strong, and though a number of pointless covers ("Houng Dog," "Long Tall Sally") and that most dreaded concert spectacle -- the drum solo -- break the flow on disc two, the band still closes strong with the crowd-pleasing Japanese folk song "Kojo No Tsuki" and frenetic versions of "Dark Lady" and "Robot Man." Ultimately, if you have any curiosity about the Scorpions' early material, Tokyo Tapes provides the perfect introduction. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
Q (12/01, p.163) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Barracking pop-metal...the bonus of an arena full of Oriental teens, gawping guitarist Rudolph Schenker brutalizing his Flying V and singer Klaus Meine doing the 'beautiful folk song' 'Kojo No Tsuki' in Teutonically-cawed Japanese..."
Scorpions are one of Germany's most popular rock exports. As part of the first wave of 1970s heavy metal, the band played a tight melodic version of the increasingly harder and heavier rock that was becoming popular at the time. Scorpions would go on to influence hair-metal acts like Motley Crue, as well as more aggressive bands like Megadeth and Metallica. The band's 1989 Cold War power-ballad "Winds of Change" was an international smash and sold several million copies worldwide.
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