Album review: ALCATRAZZ – Live In Japan

ALCATRAZZ – Live In Japan

Frontiers Records [Release date 28.09.18]

This live album captures Alcatrazz on their 1984 Japanese tour at the Nankano Sun Plaza in Tokyo. This is the recently discovered full version of the show which has been remastered and features a set comprised of tracks from the first Alcatrazz album along with songs from Graham Bonnet’s back catalogue. In fact the set list is not too far from the set he performed on his recent UK tour proving that the material has stood the test of time.

This is a double CD pack and features 18 tracks in total. The band at that point had a young 20 year old guitarist in its ranks by the name of Yngwie J Malmsteen who went on to do rather well for himself I believe!

The set opens with ‘Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live’ and it soon became apparent that although the album had been remastered the mix is still a bit muddy with Yngwie’s blistering fretwork lost a bit in the background. Set highlights include ‘Night Games’, ‘Island In The Sun’ and a smattering of MSG and Rainbow tracks.

‘Desert Song’ and ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ were obvious crowd pleasers as was ‘All Night Long’ which features a singalong section with the enthusiastic Tokyo crowd. Bonnet’s vocals sound a bit strained at times but on the whole he puts in a good performance.

This is an interesting album which documents a band who released some excellent music and contained a wealth of musical talent. I do have reservations over the final mix but the album does capture the raw performance and atmosphere of a rocking night 34 years ago in Tokyo.  ***1/2

Review by Dave Wilson


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