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|Origin||Salisbury, Wiltshire, England|
|Years active||1982–1996, 2008–present|
|Labels||Powerstation, Combat, Razar Ice Records|
|Associated acts||Johnny Crash
|Past members||Vic Wright
Frank 'Sapardi' Kruckle
Tokyo Blade is an English heavy metal band, active since 1982. Tokyo Blade is one of the many acts considered part of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) movement from the late 1970s / early 1980s. Tokyo Blade went through many changes of formation and disbanded twice, often changing their musical style during the years of activity. However, the band is still active today, with three of the original members in the line-up.
- 1 History
- 2 Members
- 3 Discography
- 4 Related releases
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The band was formed in Salisbury in the late 1970s under the moniker White Diamond later changed to Killer in 1981 and then changed again to Genghis Khan. The original line-up consisted of Alan Marsh (vocals), Andy Boulton (guitar), Ray Dismore (guitar), Andy Robbins (bass), and Steve Pierce (drums). Later in the year, the band changed their name again, signed with the British independent record label Powerstation Records and recorded their first album. This album was self-titled in all regions, except in the United States, where it came out as Midnight Rendezvous on the Combat Records label. Also in 1981, the band shared the stages of clubs and festivals with notable acts such as Metallica and Venom.
Like many other acts of the period, Tokyo Blade was plagued by frequent changes of band members. By the time the follow-up album was released, vocalist Alan Marsh was replaced with Vic Wright. The album Night of the Blade was issued in 1984 with Wright on vocals. However, in 1998, an edition of the album featuring Marsh's original vocals was eventually released as Night of the Blade... The Night Before. In that period, Tokyo Blade took part in tours and festival packages with Blue Öyster Cult and others with Dio, Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions. The band's third record Black Hearts & Jaded Spades was released in 1985 by the band's own label in Europe and available in the USA as an import only. The band filmed a concert at London's Camden Palace, which was aired on Channel 4 in 1985, and has since made its way on to multiple bootleg DVD releases. By the end of the year, Tokyo Blade disbanded, with all members dedicating their time and efforts to other projects.
Andy Boulton's Tokyo Blade (1985-1989)
Original vocalist Alan Marsh formed another Far East-influenced band called Shogun, alongside former Chinatown guitarist Danny Gwilym. They released two albums, and worked with noted producer Bob Ezrin. Shogun eventually worked with Tokyo Blade bandmates Steve Pierce, Andy Wrighton and Andy Robbins. Guitarist John Wiggins (Deep Machine, Slam) would go on to play in the first edition of Battlezone with ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno. Original bassist Andy Robbins would be a part of the bands Jagged Edge and Taste, which recorded a single with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson and later became the hard rock band Skin. Vic Wright formed the band Johnny Crash, being the first project related to Tokyo Blade to have a major label home in the USA, releasing the album Neighbourhood Threat. A new line-up of the band, including future Guns N' Roses members Dizzy Reed and Matt Sorum, recorded a second album, originally called "Damnation Alley," which saw release in 2008 on Sun City Records, re-titled Unfinished Business.
Original guitarist Andy Boulton continued recording under the name "Andy Boulton's Tokyo Blade", with an entirely new line-up. This new incarnation of Tokyo Blade released the album Ain't Misbehavin' in 1987 and toured on the festival circuit, playing also on the same stage as Black Sabbath. Vocalist Pete Zito went on to front a band called Inside Out.
In 1988, Boulton recruited members of the German band The Dead Ballerinas (featuring former Kin Ping Meh vocalist Michael Pozz) to record No Remorse, issued under the GAMA International sub-label Hot Blood Records. Like the debut, the album has since been reissued with multiple covers. Tokyo Blade again disbanded, with Boulton returning to work with Alan Marsh.
Mr. Ice and reformation (1989-1998)
As record company problems plagued Shogun, Marsh formed a group called Mr. Ice, which eventually included guitarist Andy Boulton. As the group featured two key members from Tokyo Blade, a move from the band's management to resurrect the old name for a European tour with Uriah Heep led to additional issues. Boulton exited the group and was replaced by guitarist Steve Kerr. At the conclusion of the tour, both Kerr and the management exited. Some of the tracks from Mr. Ice were released as a Tokyo Blade record in the mid-1990s.
By 1994, Marsh and Boulton were again playing together and creating new music, releasing Burning Down Paradise on SPV in 1996. Key tracks were also released as a Tokyo Blade record in the mid-to-late 1990s.
The early records by the band were reissued in 1997 by High Vaultage, and the later period recordings were gathered by Zoom Club, and a live album, "Live in Germany" was released in 2009.
Solo projects and new activities (2008-present)
Andy Boulton went on to be in the band XFX, later concentrating his efforts on a solo album and on teaching electric and bass guitar. Alan Marsh joined for a while the cast of a musical based on Jack the Ripper. Second vocalist Vic Wright has written a book, has a comedy show in production and is currently seeking a publishing deal. However, after over 12 years of inactivity, a new version of Tokyo Blade was rebuilt by guitarist Bryan Holland and included Boulton, new members, singer Chris Gillen, drummer Lorenzo Gonzalez and bassist Frank Sapardi, the band successfully toured through Europe through 2008-2009.
Andy Boulton quit the band just prior to the bands 2009 fall European tour, citing health reasons and gave Bryan Holland the nod to continue on without him, the band carried on with the remaining members to fulfill the touring contracts and commitments. Following the conclusion of the 2009 tour and release of the "Live in Germany" album, the US line-up dissolved and Andy Boulton re-enlisted four parts of the classic line up, John Wiggins, Andy Wrighton and Steve Pierce, reformed Tokyo Blade with vocalist Chris Gillen staying on board. Gillen did not perform or record with the band again and was soon replaced by Domain singer Nicolaj Ruhnow, the band recorded the new album "Thousand Men Strong" with producer Chris Tsangarides, released in March 2011. Tokyo Blade was a live attraction at metal festivals in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Nicolaj Ruhnow left the band abruptly in 2014, citing a fallout with Andy Boulton, and Chris Gillen has since returned to the band as lead vocalist.
Bassist Andy Wrighton (Deep Machine, Shogun) and guitarist John Wiggins (Deep Machine, Slam) are currently in the reformed Deep Machine with guitarist Bob Hooker, singer Lenny Baxter (Ex-Gangland) and drummer Chas Towler (Slam). Formed in East London in the 1980s, Deep Machine's roots go back to the early NWOBHM movement.
- Andy Boulton - lead guitar (1982-present)
- John Wiggins - rhythm guitar (1983-1986; 2010–present)
- Andy Wrighton - bass guitar (1984-1986; 2010–present)
- Steve Pierce - drums (1982-1986; 1987; 2010–present)
- Chris Gillen - Vocals (2008-2010, 2014-present)
- Alan Marsh - lead vocals (1982-1984; 1990-1991; 1995-1996)
- Vic Wright - lead vocals (1984-1986)
- Bryan Holland - lead guitar (2007-2010)
- Michael Pozz - lead vocals (1989)
- Pete Zito - lead vocals (1986-1988)
- Brian George - lead vocals (1987)
- Carl Sentance - lead vocals (1986)
- Danny Gwilym - rhythm guitar (1990-1991)
- Sean Cooper - rhythm guitar/keyboards (1986)
- Ray Dismore - rhythm guitar (1982-1983)
- Steve Kerr - lead guitar
- Andy Robbins - bass guitar (1982-1984)
- Dave Donaldson - bass guitar (1987)
- Dave Sale - bass guitar (1989)
- Colin Riggs - bass guitar (1990-1991;1995-1996)
- Frank 'Sapardi' Kruckle- bass guitar (2008-2010)
- Ace Finchum - drums
- Alex Lee - drums (1987)
- Marc Angel - drums (1990-1991; 1995-1996)
- Lorenzo Gonzalez - drums (2008-2010)
- Martin Machwitz - keyboards (1989)
- Nicolaj Ruhnow - lead vocals (2010–2014)
- Atilla - keyboards (1990)
- Tokyo Blade (1983)
- Midnight Rendezvous (1984, US release)
- Night of the Blade (1984)
- Black Hearts & Jaded Spades (1985)
- Ain't Misbehavin' (1987)
- No Remorse (1989)
- Burning Down Paradise (1995)
- Pumphouse (1998)
- Mr. Ice (1998)
- Eye of The Storm (2008, re-release of No Remorse)
- Thousand Men Strong (2011)
- Lightning Strikes (1984)
- Midnight Rendezvous (1984)
- Madame Guillotine (1985)
- Camp 334 (2012)
- Stick it ... (2012)
- Live in Germany (2009) CD and DVD
- Shogun - Shogun (Alan Marsh)
- Shogun - 31 Days (Alan Marsh/Andy Wrighton/Steve Pierce)
- Johnny Crash - Neighbourhood Threat (Vic Wright)
- Battlezone - Fighting Back (John Wiggins)
- Battlezone - Children of Madness (John Wiggins)
- Battlezone - Feel My Pain (John Wiggins/Colin Riggs/Marc Angel)
- 12 Apostel - 12 Apostel (Martin Machwitz)
- Dead Ballerinas - Dead Ballerinas (Michael Pozz)
- Kin Ping Meh - Kin Ping Meh (Michael Pozz)
- Skin - Multiple records/CD's (Andy Robbins)
- Reverence - When Darkness Calls (2012) (Bryan Holland)
- Reverence - Gods of War (2015) (Bryan Holland, Lorenzo Gonzalez)
- Reverence - Live (2016) (Bryan Holland, Lorenzo Gonzalez)
- Nick Hellfort - The Mask Within (2013) (Nicolaj Ruhnow)
- "Tokyo Blade - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "Killer - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Tokyo Blade Completes Recording New Album, "1000 Men Strong"