RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Uli Jon Roth – Tokyo Tapes Revisited – Live
UDR
http://www.udr-music.com/en/artists/uli-jon-roth/releases-uli-jon-roth/763-tokyo-tapes-revisited

Rating: B+

From 1973 to 1978 the Scorpions were a unique German heavy metal band that, unfortunately, did not get any airplay in the United States at the time.  Despite having seeds of greatness in the band, not the least of which was guitar virtuoso Uli Jon Roth, the Scorpions road to fame and fortune was not to be until after Roth left the band.  For true hard rockers, however, Uli Jon Roth and his era of Scorpions were a force to be reckoned with.  This was a heavy metal band with huge chops.  With Roth they released the studio albums Fly To The Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killer (1976) and Taken By Force (1977).

Each of these albums mixes the band’s own unique sounds with Roth’s neo-classical meets Jimi Hendrix virtuosity.  The result is four of the most underrated hard rock albums in history.  The band also released a live album in 1978, just before Roth’s exit titled Tokyo Tapes.  Many hard rockers consider this to be among the best hard rock live albums ever recorded.  After this album the Scorpions would change their sound as well as their record label and release the classic album Lovedrive, which would place them on the road to American success.  Now on his own, Roth would create the band Electric Sun, and go on to have a very successful international solo career.

All of these years later, UDR Records and Roth decided to return to the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokay and record these songs with Uli and his current band. The result is another amazing live effort, titled Tokyo Tapes Revisited - Live In Japan.  Roth, a true artist, decided not to just do the songs in the same order and in the same way.  Instead, he played them true to the original, but also added his own vision of what these songs mean to him in the modern day.  Suffice it to say it is a guitar feast that has to be seen and heard to fully appreciate.

"At first I didn't realize the impact it had on the rock music scene," Roth told JamMagazine.com about the live album. "When I left the band in 1978, I disconnected myself from the past and was only interested in my new band, Electric Sun. I didn't follow the success of Tokyo Tapes. Over time, I began to realize that musicians and fans kept referring to that album like it was something extra special. Gradually I understood why. Now I actually see the recording in a different light than what I thought back then."

Joining Roth for these shows was Nathan James (vocals), Jamie Little (drums), Ule W. Ritgen (bass), Niklas Turmann (guitar, vocals), Corvin Bahn (keyboards, vocals) and David Klosinski (guitar).  The band sounds great and Roth is his usual brilliant self.  Nathan James does an admirable job on vox, yet Scorpions vocalist Klaus Meine is so unique and strong on the original tracks that no matter how good James is, he falls a bit short of the desired authenticity mark... that is only because Klaus can’t be properly imitated.  James is a strong rock voice indeed with his own unique timbre, so we will not ask him to attempt the near-impossible.  The rest of the band are spot-on with Roth being the star of the event.  This guy is simply one of the best electric guitarists alive.

UDR is celebrating this release perfectly as Tokyo Tapes Revisited - Live In Japan will be released in four different formats:

1 - Video and audio recording of Roth's Tokyo concert in a Blu-ray digipak containing one Blu-ray video disc and two audio CDs.
2 - The same as Product 1 only in a DVD digipak.
3 - A digital audio copy of the Tokyo concert.
4 - A super-deluxe box set, limited to 800 copies. It will be a proper, lid-off shell box containing four heavyweight vinyl LPs of Roth's 2015 Scorpions Revisited release which has never been released on vinyl. There will also be an 80-page, gatefold, hardcover 12-inch book which will house 8 discs — one Blu-ray concert main-feature, one bonus BluRay disc (which will contain the original footage from the first Japanese SCORPIONS tour 1978, shot personally by Roth on his Super 8 camera), two audio CDs of the main Tokyo concert and four bonus audio CDs of Roth's Osaka and Nagoya dates on the same Japanese tour. The set will also include an Uli Jon Roth replica guitar key ring, a t-shirt, and a signed certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by Roth himself.

The best of the bunch are “All Night Long,” “The Sails of Charon,” “Virgin Killer,” “We’ll Burn the Sky,” “In Trance,” “I’ve Got to Be Free,” “Polar Nights,” “Dark Lady,” “Pictured Life” and “Catch Your Train.”  Each of these tunes defines the Uli Jon Roth era of the Scorpions.

Hats off to UDR and Uli Jon Roth (leave the bandanna on) for keeping this music alive and well.  This is important stuff for anyone who enjoys hard rock of any era.  Massive amounts of respect have been earned by Roth and these tunes.  Do yourself a favor and revisit these tunes in a way you’ve never heard them before.  Rest assured, once you hear them this way, you will want to hear them many times over as Roth’s music casts a musical spell over listeners, seeing them come back to enjoy these tracks again and again.

BlueRay / DVD Tracklist
1. ALL NIGHT LONG
2. LONGING FOR FIRE
3. CRYING DAYS
4. THE SAILS OF CHARON
5. SUN IN MY HAND
6. VIRGIN KILLER
7. KOJO NO TSUKI
8. WE'LL BURN THE SKY
9. IN TRANCE
10. RAINBOW DREAM PRELUDE
11. FLY TO THE RAINBOW
12. TOP OF THE BILL
13. I'VE GOT TO BE FREE
14. POLAR NIGHTS
15. DARK LADY
16. PICTURED LIFE
17. CATCH YOUR TRAIN
18. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER
19. LITTLE WING

AudioCD 1
1. ALL NIGHT LONG
2. LONGING FOR FIRE
3. CRYING DAYS
4. THE SAILS OF CHARON
5. SUN IN MY HAND
6. VIRGIN KILLER
7. KOJO NO TSUKI
8. WE'LL BURN THE SKY
9. IN TRANCE
10. RAINBOW DREAM PRELUDE
11. FLY TO THE RAINBOW

AudioCD 2
1. TOP OF THE BILL
2. I'VE GOT TO BE FREE
3. POLAR NIGHTS
4. DARK LADY
5. PICTURED LIFE
6. CATCH YOUR TRAIN
7. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER
8. LITTLE WING

By Jeb “Speedy’s Coming” Wright

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