Talisman – ‘Five Out Of Five (Live in Japan)’ (1994) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

As we already know, 1993 was a very busy year for Jeff Scott Soto. He jumped from the Talisman ‘Genesis’ recordings straight in to the Axel Rudi Pell’s ‘The Ballads’ recordings and then had to fly to Japan to do a set of shows for Talisman. Not to mention the Takara album and even the Biker Mice from Mars soundtrack. It was a whirlwind. And then around February of 1994, an album of the Japanese gigs was released called ‘Five Out of Five (Live in Japan)’.

The original release of this album was called ‘Five out of Five’. The reissue I have from 2004 is a double CD that includes their album ‘Life’ (which we will review soon) and this one now titled ‘5 Out of 5’. It is strange the album is called ‘5 out of 5’ because there are only 4 members in the band at this time. So, what is with the ‘5’? Easy, Marcel Jacobs thought it would be funny. At first you think, how is that funny, but if you read Kerrang magazine, that is how they do their ratings ‘5 out of 5’ or ‘4 out of 5’, you get the idea. Marcel thought if it ended up being mentioned or reviewed in Kerrang, it would already read Talisman ‘5 out of 5’. Pretty clever!! Thanks to Frnak Tunny and Ronny Hahn’s Jeff Scott Soto Biography for that little nugget.

Now who are the four members of this band? Of course you have Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Marcel Jacob on bass, Fredrik Akesson on guitar and Jamie Borger on drums. This a tight unit and highly capable musicians and you can imagine live they must be incredible and you wouldn’t be wrong. ‘Five out of Five’ is chock full of the best songs off the first two albums and it feels like it is one hit song after another.

The show kicks off with a whole Jaws theme music by Marcel and bass and then goes straight in to “Mysterious (This Time It’s Serious)” off ‘Genesis’. The production is great as each instrument sounds crisp and clear and you can hear everything including every trip up and down the neck of Marcel’s bass, every snare and bass drum hit from Jamie and every shredding second of Fredrik’s guitar as his fingers fly through each note. And well Jeff, sounds as good as the album. It is a stellar opening track for the show as you are now pumped and ready to rock.

They go straight in to “Standin’ on the Fire” off the debut and it is more rip roaring goodness. The backing vocals show it is live as it is a little rough at times, but still great. You get a mini bass solo and Fredrik rips you a new one on the guitar solo and his playing at the end adds new dimensions to the song. Not to slow things down, hell I thing even speed things up as it is a seamless transition in to “Comin’ Home” which is a personal favorite for me and they don’t disappoint. It is hard, heavy and so in your face.

After “Comin’ Home”, Jeff finally addresses the Japanese crowd and we find out they are in Kawasaki, Japan (and actually it was recorded on September 27, 1993). Jeff tells them he will always love returning to the country if they will always be his friend and then the band went in to “If U Would Only Be My Friend” from ‘Genesis’. Fredrik’s little guitar shuffle sounds great and Marcel is slamming the notes and it is all perfection. There is a hellacious solo and then Jeff gets the crowd involved in a whole Freddie Mercury kind of way and it is what live shows are all about. The whole crowd participation lead straight in to “I’ll Be Waiting” and it is sublime. Hell, you can’t help but sing along with the crowd. It is short and sweet and so infectious and catchy it is easy to feel comfortable with this one.

“Time After Time” still has that wicked riff and that bass line is fantastic. Are they playing the studio track…no…that is how good they sound live (except the backing vocals again…but Jeff…Damn!!). Fredrik just brings it with every song and when you have Jamie pounding away driving the songs forward, you can’t do no wrong. Then Jeff softens it up with an a cappella opening of “All I Want” and the band then comes in for the first ballad of the night and a good time for it as you need to catch your breath. Then back to the rock with “Dangerous” to get you moving again. And how many times can I keep saying how great Akesson is on guitar? Well, it is never enough.

Then we get the final two songs before the encores. First up is “U Done Me Wrong” with a solid Jacob bass solo opening with Borger pounding on the bass drum and the rest join in and the heavy just keeps on coming. This one funks it up as Marcel shines here. The song transitions beautifully in to “Break Your Chains” and the band is on fire. A classic song (now classic – back then maybe not) to close out the main show. It is hard and heavy and a great hook with that chorus. A solid ending and Good Night!…well…until the encore!

The encore starts off with “Just Between Us” which slows things back down with another ballad. It is nice to hear this one without any keyboards. It is soft and tender and a solo to match the tone. Great job by all. Then the final song of the night was “All Or Nothing” and as I said in the review of the album…”It is 100 mph rock frenzy.” Jeff attacks the vocals and the band is giving their all for this polite Japanese crowd. Then Jeff says get ready for some guitar masturbation with the solo is a back and forth with the Bass and the Guitar before the Guitar solo knocks it out of the park.

And just like that it is over and it feels like time just flew by. They ripped through 12 Talisman classics effortlessly and so brilliantly. They proved that they were just as good live as they are in the studio. This one time project for Jeff Scott Soto appears to have legs and they might just be around for a little while (and we know they are). Maybe I’m swayed by the title, but this is really a 5 out of 5 Stars as far as live albums go. It is one stellar track after another and they band is tight and on fire. There is a great energy and you can’t help but hit repeat when it is over.



  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  33. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  34. Talisman – ‘Live as Sweden Rock Festival’ (2001)
  35. ‘Rock Star (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  36. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002) – Bonus Edition
  38. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  39. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  40. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  41. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  43. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  44. Soul Sirkus – ‘World Play’ (2005)
  45. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2006) – Bonus Edition
  46. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  47. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  48. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  49. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  50. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  51. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  53. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  54. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  55. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  57. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  58. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  59. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  60. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  61. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  62. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  63. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  64. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  65. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  66. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  67. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Away (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  68. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  69. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  70. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  71. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  72. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)

63 thoughts on “Talisman – ‘Five Out Of Five (Live in Japan)’ (1994) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

  1. Jeff Scott Soto is a live war machine, “I’ll Be Waiting” sounds always better in live. Did you already listened to Automaton by Crashdïet ? It’s a good album, I wasn’t expecting that much from their fourth singer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, but it was his band! LOL! When I saw Jeff last month, it was a more laid back show so he wasn’t up doing all his frontman stuff, but dang that voice was solid and why I like his music so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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