CD/DVD REVIEW: ULI JON ROTH – Tokyo Tapes Revisited

CD/DVD REVIEW: ULI JON ROTH – Tokyo Tapes Revisited
UDR
2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9/10

1978’s Tokyo Tapes marked the end of Uli Jon Roth’s tenure with Scorpions after four ground-breaking studio albums in consecutive years, his guitar playing an enticing mixture of classical and progressive, taking the band from nobodys outside of Germany, to the verge of great international success.

The album, recorded at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza, was a game changer for Scorpions, selling nearly a million copies, even though Roth left before its release.

Almost forty years later, Roth returned to the Nakano Sun Plaza with his current band to revisit his live swansong with Scorpions, and the result is nothing short of stunning.

Presented in a double CD and DVD box format (as well as other options), Roth is in magical form as he reinterprets songs from the early Scorpions period – though not the entire original double LP’s entire track listing, it must be noted. Primarily Roth goes back to the songs he wrote or co-wrote for the band, omitting many of Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker’s contributions.

Singer Nathan James does a fine job with the material – wisely never trying to mimic Klaus Meine, just delivering the songs respectfully and in strong voice. Roth is also assisted by guitarists David Klosinski and Niklas Turmann – both of whom are as solid as a rock, allowing Roth to sprinkle magic dust left, right and centre.

The Sails Of Charon, We’ll Burn The Sky – one of the tracks Roth co-wrote with Jimi Hendrix’s ex-girlfriend Monika Danneman before her death – and In Trance are especially hypnotic, allowed to stretch out musically to over ten minutes, almost nine and almost eight respectively. Roth’s playing ensures these extended tracks never get repetitive or dull.

On the second CD (the full concert is presented in lovingly filmed clarity on the DVD) features extraordinary performances of I’ve Got To Be Free, Polar Nights and Dark Lady that all clock in over ten minutes long (fifteen for the latter!), before the band finish up two-and-a-quarter hours of music with Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower (by way of Dylan, of course) and Little Wing.

CD/DVD REVIEW: ULI JON ROTH – Tokyo Tapes Revisited

Filed Under: CD ReviewsMovie & Theatre Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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