Tokyo Blade originally formed in 1982, releasing their self-titled debut in 1983 (CD 1 of this release). 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, making a significant impact on the burgeoning NWOBHM scene that had been popularized by Iron Maiden, Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Def Leppard, as well as finding support in the pages of Kerrang! magazine. By 1984, they’d developed enough of a reputation to appear alongside Metallica and Venom at Holland’s Aardschock festival.
By 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, this time for their own (slightly consumptive sounding) 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 shows such important 80s rock and metal names as Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Mama’s Boys, Dio and Slayer.
This part of the story is rounded off by a fourth disc collecting 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. Also features lengthy and detailed liner notes from note NWOBHM and Tokyo Blade expert John Tucker.