June 26, 2021

Darlings of the NWOBHM movement, Tokyo Blade remain just as vital and relevant today as they did all those years ago when they set out on the long road to rock nirvana. Whilst never managing to make the stellar leaps that Def Leppard and Iron Maiden did they still managed to create a very solid reputation due to some fabulous albums and equally exhilarating live performances.

Tokyo Blade’s start was slow and steady as they were initially known as Killer and then Genghis Khan before settling on Tokyo Blade and releasing their wonderful eponymous debut which sounds as fresh today as it did in 1983. It was very well received too but there were dark clouds ahead when it came to the second album when the record company decided that they didn’t like the singer and wanted him out and such was the power that ultimately they got their wish. The album was virtually complete when all these shenanigans began and when vocalist Alan Marsh heard that the label wanted him out he walked away from the band with his head held high. Vic Wright re-recorded all of Marsh’s vocals with the exception of some of his backing vocals and all of the instruments remained the same. The album was then released as Night Of The Blade and the rock world carried on as normal with bands trying their hardest to please the fans and record labels trying their hardest to screw everyone, thanks goodness times, for the most part, have changed. The original album with Marsh’s vocals intact was actually released in 1997 as Night Of The Blade…The Night Before with bonus tracks and that then resolved the issue of which vocalist you preferred as both versions were finally available.

So, now we have a vinyl re-issue of the Marsh version which, rather strangely, does not include the entire original but has the addition of several tracks from the Madame Guillotine Ep. Not sure why the vinyl album has this new running order but we can just sit back and enjoy another version of what was already a great album. It is not possible to comment on how the vinyl sounds as the digital download has only been made available; it’s a mad old world. For those who are interested in line-ups then the amended team for this ‘new’ version is Alan Marsh on vocals, John Wiggins on guitar, Andy Boulton on guitars, Andy Wrighton on bass and Steve Pierce on drums. The vinyl has been mastered by Patrick W. Engel with the release being limited to 500 copies in several colours.

I love the original album and the ’97 re-issue too so will be sticking with my CD versions. I suggest you move rather quickly if you want the vinyl as they should sell out quickly if they haven’t already.

Night Of The Blade….The Night Before

  1. Night of the Blade (4:02)
  2. Warrior Of The Rising Sun (5:17)
  3. Unleash The Beast (4:32)
  4. Love Struck (3:14)
  5. Attack Attack (3:34)
  6. Fever (3:31)
  7. Dead of the Night (3:57)
  8. Breakout (3:46)
  9. Madame Guillotine (4:43)
  10. Someone to Love (3:37)