Scorpions was formed in 1965 by Rudolf Schenker and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band, they are now releasing deluxe editions of their albums between 1977-1988 including the fantastic live album Tokyo Tapes from 1978.
I consider Tokyo Tapes as one of the 10 greatest live albums ever released, this album presents the Ulrich Roth incarnation of The Scorpions at it´s peak. The band flew over to Japan to play four sold out concerts in the cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in April 1978. But it was close that Ulrich Roth didn´t want to go to Japan because he was more interested in his own solo project, it took some persuasion to get him on board. For the first time they were treated like rock stars when they arrived at the Tokyo airport with hundreds of fans waiting, it was like Beatlemania says Rudolf Schenker.
The two shows at Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo were recorded live where they performed songs from all their releases except two songs never recorded and played before, the perfect high-speed opener All night long. One of the few pieces Klaus Meine and Ulrich Roth had written together. The other song was a beautiful Japanese folk song, Koio No Tsuki, which had been rearranged by the band. But Meine was still unsure whether he could actually sing it, he thought it was too difficult and got cold feet but his wife Gabi encouraged him to do it anyway. In fact, the song remained in their setlist on the tour in France and America and everywhere people sang along to it.
The bonus disc features the songs Hell cat, Catch your train and the Japanese national anthem. All performed at the same concerts but are previously unreleased until now.
There isn´t much to say about Tokyo Tapes rather than it´s a piece of rocknroll history where we get to hear this band captured in their right element, pulling off stunning live versions of Fly to the rainbow and Speedy´s coming from the 1974 album Fly to the rainbow. Not to mention the epic In search of the peace of mind from the first album Lonesome crow (1972).
They performed 4 songs from the 1975 album In trance, they are Dark lady, In trance, Robot man and Top of the bill. The official disc also features 3 songs from Virgin killer (1976), Backstage queen, Pictured life and Ulrich Roth´s Polar nights. But the highlights are without doubt the songs from Taken by force (1977), they deliver timeless versions of We´ll burn the sky, Steamrock fever and He´s a woman, she´s a man. Without Tokyo Tapes, your hard rock collection ain´t complete.