Around 1983 it looked as if Tokyo Blade were destined to become the next Iron Maiden. But somehow it wasn’t to be – history was not kind to them! In the end Tokyo Blade never became the next superstars of the glorious New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement.
“Night Of The Blade” was the follow-up to Tokyo Blade's extremely successful self-titled debut album. The band's second record was originally released in 1984 on the English Powerstation label and contained classic Tokyo Blade songs such as “Lightning Strikes”, “Unleash The Beast” and the title track. On the other hand, Tokyo Blade presented some more melodic numbers such as “Someone To Love” and “Rock Me To The Limit”. This slight alteration of the band's musical direction was partly due to the change of the vocalist (Alan Marsh was substituted by Vicki Wright).
Guitarist Andy Boulton comments on the differences between Marsh and Wright: “Vic was a different person to Alan, but Alan had been a friend I had known for quite a long time and was a key figure in the band's early success, it was a sad day when we parted ways. Alan was just different from Vic and he had his own distinct sound. I don't want to talk about who was better or whatever, it's for the fans to decide. The material on 'Night Of The Blade' was all brand new, no leftovers from from Killer or Genghis Khan.”
1983 had been a very successful year for Tokyo Blade. The first album got great reviews in the press and sold quite well. “We were very optimistic”, comments Andy Boulton on the mood in the Tokyo Blade camp at the time. “Although we were not really happy with the production (or lack of it) on the first album.”
At the live front Tokyo Blade were still very active, playing the “Breaking Sound” festival in France for example. Andy Boulton: “That was awesome! To play alongside our heroes like Ozzy and Dio and the fan reception was so stunning … 10,000 fans singing along to our songs? Wow, what a buzz!” Tokyo Blade also played the famous Dynamo club in Eindhoven, back then the Heavy Metal capital of the world. “Yes, it just about was, the Dutch fans were great and true Metalheads”, confirms Andy. The tour in France with Mama's Boys was also well received: “Amazing! We were really shocked at the band's popularity and although we had no hotels or food, Mamas Boys really looked after us and when they realized we had no food, bed and money, they fed us and let some of us travel on their tour bus.”
After the release of “Night Of The Blade” Tokyo Blade left Powerstation Records. “We never got a cent from them, that's why we left them”, says Andy Boulton. And it all went downhill from there. The next album “Blackhearts And Jaded Spades” was not really loved by all of the band's supporters. “Depends who you talk to”, contradicts Andy Boulton. “I don't think 'Blackhearts And Jaded Spades' was the disaster that the critics said, I still get a lot of fans writing to me that they loved the album. No doubt it was different from the first two albums. As musicians we like to push the boundaries a little. It gets boring dishing out the same old songs but from a fan's point of view many would like every record to sound the same. It's very difficult if not impossible to please everyone. Every band has its ups and downs, in that respect Tokyo Blade were no exception. We lacked a decent record company and we were broke and I do mean broke!”
Tokyo Blade's debut (1983) and “Night Of The Blade” (1984) are two of the best albums of the entire New Wave Of British Heavy Metal period.
“Night Of The Blade” was recorded by Vicki James Wright (vocals), Andy Boulton (guitar), John Wiggins (guitar), Andy Wrighton (bass) and Steve Pierce (drums).
High Roller Records is proud to re-issue this long-deleted classic once again on glorious vinyl.