Recorded 13 January 2010 at Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo. Production co-ordinator: Tom Tao. Producer/director: Kiyoshi Iwasawa. Producer: Kota Akutsu. Director: Shin Yamamoto.
Released on Inakustik, 2010.
When I started listening to metal in the mid-80s it was from having listened to Queen almost 24/7. I made the jump straight to Celtic Frost, Slayer and Metallica. From rock to thrash and black metal. I completely circumvented most of NWOBHM (except Iron Maiden), early 70s prog (Uriah Heep, Rush); hard rock bands like Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult; shock rock acts like Alice Cooper, Kiss, WASP. It was only later that I filled in the gaps and retrospectively traced back up the metal family tree and discovered the likes of Judas Priest, Rainbow, Dio, Deep Purple, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Accept, and, of course, the Scorpions.
I still have never listened to complete Scorpions album, or a full Michael Schenker Group (MSG) album… until now.
Being an avid Planet Rock listener, I wasn’t entirely surprised with how many songs on this album I recognised (“Cry for the nations”, “Night to remember”, “Doctor, Doctor”). Or indeed how much I enjoyed this album. This is a solid, well-played, well-recorded live album.
Because it’s human nature to try to understand something new in relation to your existing frames of reference, this album reminds me most (bearing in mind that I’ve not listened to much Scorpions or MSG) of Bruce Dickinson’s first solo album Tattooed Millionaire (1990) both in terms of sound and even a few riffs. For example the riff from “Let sleeping dogs lie” (MSG, 1981) reminds me very much of “Lickin’ the Gun” (Dickinson, 1990). It seems pretty clear from the dates in which direction the inspiration came.
While the album didn’t really blow me away, I really enjoyed listening to it on repeat this past week. Each time the album finished I’d roll it back to track one again, which has to be a good sign. It’s good, solid hard rock, from a band who seem to be at the top of their game.
Review score: 90%