TOKYO – San [Yesterrock remaster +5]
As part of the YesterRock Records remastered reissue batch of TOKYO ’80s albums, “San” is the band’s third effort originally appeared in 1983. This is the first time the record is released on CD, including 5 bonus tracks.
Featuring the great AOR-styled vocals of talented Klaus Luley and with mastermind Robby Musenbichler conducting the music (also handling some lead vocals alongside bass player Ken Taylor), Tokyo cemented a strong fan base all over Europe with their first two albums.
After the self-titled debut, the beginning of the effervescent German ‘Neue Deutsche Welle’ era took away some time from the band as all members continued to work as successful studio musicians for various different projects.
This success and the connections to an international management brought them together with the greats of the rock genre such as Toto, Deep Purple or Meat Loaf.
In 1982 Tokyo’s second effort ‘Fasten Seat Belts’ was released, straightly followed by this “San” in 1983.
By the time “San” hit the market the group was almost disbanded (several members went on to form Jojo and Klaus Luley, Craaft) and later Tokyo released a final album with a different line-up and more New Wave / Pop oriented.
However, “San” isn’t a re-harsh of throwaway songs, but musically the more varied album in Tokyo’s discography because most the songs were composed separately by the band members.
One of my favorites is opener ‘Don’t Want Your Money’, a punchy melodic rocker mixing Toto’s dynamics with a typical European radio-friendly AOR.
Next ‘Need Another Love’ provides a different approach with its catchy hi-tech surroundings and a contagious chorus, while ‘Don’t Run Away’ is classic Tokyo in a ballad-esque form.
Three first distinctive tracks showcasing the band’s versatility.
There’s great Luley lead vocals on ‘Too High’, while ‘Emiko’ borders the West Coast / L.A. sound with elegant arrangements.
‘Jealousy’ is a really fine AOR tune in the vein of the ‘Americanized’ Charlie, then ‘Invisible’ adds a lite-prog touch with a poppy background.
‘Caroline’ is another good ballad, whilst ‘Summerday’ make justice to its title with a feel-good melody.
The original “San” LP release ends with a highlight: the keyboard driven AOR of ‘One Step Away’ with ‘that classic’ 1983 sound. Lovely.
The bonus tracks on this Yersterrock remastered reissue are juicy as well; ‘Diana’ has a Toto feel from the ‘Toto IV’ era, and ‘You’re A Liar’ blends melodic rock riffs with an American radio-ready chorus.
As said, this is the more varied Tokyo record, and ‘See You Again’ is a very different composition with a relaxed arrangement.
There’s a different version of ‘Too High’ with a more modern sound, and the last of the bonuses is the interesting instrumental ‘Ocean Of Love’, again, with a Toto feel.
Tokyo’s “San” is another worthwhile addition to your early ’80s AOR collection, plenty of interesting and varied compositions.
This is not the best Yesterrock remaster I’ve ever heard (there’s some background noises at places), but probably the master tape wasn’t in the best shape.
Anyway, what matters is the music, and the fact the album was rescued from oblivion and released on CD for the first time, plus previously unheard material.
01 – Don’t Want Your Money
02 – Need Another Love
03 – Don’t Run Away
04 – Too High
05 – Emiko
06 – Jealousy
07 – Invisible
08 – Caroline
09 – Golden Time
10 – Summerday
11 – One Step Away
PREV. UNRELEASED BONUS TRACKS:
12 – Diana
13 – You’re a Liar
14 – See You Again
15 – Too High (different version)
16 – Ocean of Love
Robby Musenbichler (guitars, vocals)
Ken Taylor (bass, vocals)
Klaus Luley (guitar, vocals)
Lothar Krell (keyboards)
Fritz Matzka (drums)
BUY IT !