The Tokyo Tapes

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All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
This 1996 concert recording is as good a record as the Brothers Four -- yes, the same group that started out in 1958, with two original members still on board -- have ever done. It intersects surprisingly little with the repertory of either of the group's early-'60s live LPs, but plays to some unexpected and extraordinary strengths. "The Green Leaves of Summer" and "Greenfields" are present, but most of the rest ranges far from the group's classic repertory, to numbers like "500 Miles," "Scarlet Ribbons," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," and other songs associated with rival folk acts of the same period. The quartet harmonizes beautifully on "City of New Orleans," "Wabash ...
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03/11/1997 CD New

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
This 1996 concert recording is as good a record as the Brothers Four -- yes, the same group that started out in 1958, with two original members still on board -- have ever done. It intersects surprisingly little with the repertory of either of the group's early-'60s live LPs, but plays to some unexpected and extraordinary strengths. "The Green Leaves of Summer" and "Greenfields" are present, but most of the rest ranges far from the group's classic repertory, to numbers like "500 Miles," "Scarlet Ribbons," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," and other songs associated with rival folk acts of the same period. The quartet harmonizes beautifully on "City of New Orleans," "Wabash Cannonball," and "This Train," all part of the "Railroad Medley" that ends with a spirited "Rock Island Line." The real surprise, however, is their "Bluegrass Medley" -- no one expects the Brothers Four to be virtuosi on the level of Flatt & Scruggs, and they're not, but they give such loving renditions of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "Mountain Dew" coming out of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "Darlin' Corey" that it's a very moving experience. Just as compelling is their bold rendition of "Whiskey in the Jar" a song that may be more familiar to Peter, Paul & Mary fans as "Gilgarra Mountain", which is also a brilliant showcase for Mark Pearson's cascading banjo playing. Disc two focuses somewhat more on their love of gospel and calypso music, and even the opening "American Medley" is so sweetly played and sung that it's hard not to love it, even if there are more inventive ways of singing "Saints Go Marching In." "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" is performed with the kind of fervor that makes one feel it's almost a new song, and "Greenfields" isn't far behind. The Tokyo Tapes is an astonishing album overall and, amazingly, could be exactly the place for interested listeners to start enjoying the group.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/11/1997
  • Label: Folk Era Records
  • UPC: 045507143522
  • Catalog Number: 1435

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Brothers Four Primary Artist
Bob Flick Bass, Vocals
Terry Lauber Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
John Paine Guitar, Vocals
Mark Pearson Guitar, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Banshee
Technical Credits
Dan Dean Mastering
Bob Flick Executive Producer, Mastering
Mark Pearson Arranger
DJ Schwend Art Direction
Tom Jones Composer
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    Posted May 15, 2010

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