Reviewed: December 2002
Released: 2002, MTM
This has come way too early. It seems I got the full length HTP just this year and already a new live album is upon us. I should not let that diminish my enjoyment of the disc, but I have often some bands put out unnecessary live albums too early in their career.
With two veterans like Joe Lynn Turner and Glen Hughes the validity of this disc is slightly redeemed by the depth of the catalogue and history that these two men possess.
Recorded in mid May, 2002 in a club in Tokyo the two rock gods have hired three talented Japanese young guns to back them up. They are billed as the “Live In Tokyo” band and feature Akira Jajiyama on guitar, Toshio Egawa on Keys and Yoshihiro Kudo on drums. I have no doubt these guys are having the time of their lives playing with Hughes and Turner and the relative simplicity of these rock tunes I’m sure are no challenge for these proficient session dudes. As for H&T …well there is a reason why Hughes is referred to the Voice of rock! Both gentlemen still have “it”! “It” being miles of natural talent and charisma!
Like most live in Japan offerings the sound is flawless and will inevitably lead to comments about being over-produced. I personally don’t mind flawless live sound! Along with the production and performances being near picture perfect the packaging is decent as well. Some good live shots and liner notes but no lyrics, which is disappointing.
The songs are a nice mix of classic Rainbow and Deep Purple hits and several tracks off the self-titled debut. I was pleased to see my favorite track from the debut “Ride The Storm” was done live. The CD is a good value clocking in at 13 tracks, and 68 minutes. There is a studio bonus track called “Against The Wall” which is a mid-tempo groove rocker with some nice piano/keyboard work.
My middle of the road review reflects my general detachment to the whole Rainbow/Deep Purple era. I was never a huge Purple fan and accordingly, revved-up flawless live renditions of tracks I wasn’t thrilled with initially, don’t excite me now. Having said that, this is a really cool disc. Good songs, especially the newer original material, a strong nostalgia factor and great sound, balance out the fact that this is a slightly premature and perhaps even unnecessary live disc. Fans should certainly seek out the debut!
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