Steve Hackett

The Tokyo Tapes

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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.

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