Reviews Zone

Tokyo Blade: Knights Of The Blade 4 CD Box Set (HNE Recordings) 24th February


4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


Fans of the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden will flock to this one, which offers a total of 47 cuts. Formed in 1982, Tokyo Blade dropped their self-titled debut in 1983. The band have influenced many of the thriving NWOBHM scene. They could really rock out…

This quartet of discs delivers the first three albums and collects together many rare EPs, singles and non-album cuts from the early 1980s, including tracks from “The Cave Sessions”, “Undercover Honeymoon” 12”, “Midnight Rendezvous” EP and “Madame Guillotine” EP. Featuring lengthy and detailed liner notes from NWOBHM expert John Tucker.

Formed around guitarist Andy Boulton, he was joined on their debut by Alan Marsh on lead vocals, John Wiggins on guitar, Andy Robbins on bass and Steve Pierce on drums. By 1984, they’d developed enough of a reputation to appear alongside Metallica and Venom at Holland’s Aardschock festival.

By the time of the second full-length album, 1984’s “Night Of The Blade” (CD 2 of this release), Boulton had been joined by Vicki James Wright on lead vocals, who ended up replacing Alan March’s vocals that had already been recorded for the LP, with Andy Wrighton replacing Andy Robbins on bass. This was also their first album released on Powerstation Records, the British independent HM label that also released records by Little Angels, Chrome Molly and Pauline Gillan (sister of Ian Gillan).

In 1985 they released their third full-length LP, CD 3 here; this time for their own TB Records. “Black Hearts & Jaded Spades” saw a move away from the more NWOBHM and melodic hard rock flavour of their earliest releases, towards a more glammed-up, radio friendly, keyboard augmented sound, aimed more towards the US and Japanese markets. This in turn led to shows with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Mama’s Boys, Dio and Slayer.

Tokyo Blade continue to play live and release records today, and are perhaps an under-credited band of the British rock scene from the 1980s.



By Christopher Weston




1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’




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