Archive for April, 2012

Zunō Keisatsu - Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro

April 28th, 2012

Zuno Keisatsu - Kamen Geki No Hiro O Kokuso ShiroZUNŌ KEISATSU

  • Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro
  • Victor
  • 1973
  • Japan

Last one on my “Japan week” is an album by Zunō Keisatsu (頭脳警察, in English Brain Police), a quite well known Japanese psychedelic rock band whose radical, politically provocative lyrics caused their music being banned from the radio and caused troubles on their gigs too. Zunō Keisatsu was formed in 1970 by the Japanese psych rockers Panta (Haruo Nakamura) and Toshiaki Ishizuka. The idea for their name came from (Frank Zappa’s) Mothers of Invention song “Who are the brain police” (from Freak Out! album released in 1966). Despite their relatively short career, they released six albums and several singles before being disbanded in 1975. Their fifth album was this one, 仮面劇のヒーローを告訴しろ (Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro), released in 1973.

Mostly the album is pretty strict midtempo psych rock like “ウイスキー・ハイウエイ (Uisukī haiuei)” (meaning whiskey highway), “恋のいらだち (Koi no idarachi)”, very heavy title track “仮面劇のヒーローを告訴しろ (Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro)”, “奴は帰らない (Yatsu wa kaeranai)” and “麗しのジェット・ダンサー (Uruwashi no jetto dansā )”. There’s also uptempo tracks like “イエス・マン (Iesu man), “プリマドンナ (Purimadonna)”, “間違いだらけの歌 (Machigaidarakeno uta)” and “まるでランボー (Marude ranbō)”. It’s hard to say what they’re singing about in the latter one, but at least I recognize they mention Voltaire, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Sebastian Bach, Marie Curie and Jeanne D’arc. Nice and catchy track I have to say. The standout track however - and propably the reason why non psych rock loving people want this album - is a midtempo funky rock song called “ハイエナ (Haiena)”. It starts with a nice break and has some rough but catchy lyrics. There also appears to be two acoustic guitar driven tracks included, “ホ短調の間奏曲 (Ho tanchō no kansō kyoku)” and “愛なき日々 (Ai naki hibi)”. I’m actually not a very big fan of psych rock, or rock in general, so basically this album was bought for the break only. It just appeared to be a pretty good album after several spins.

Uisukī haiuei

Marude ranbō


Koi no iradachi

Ho tanchō no kansō kyoku

Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro

Iesu man

Yatsu wa kaeranai

Uruwashi no jetto dansā

Ai naki hibi


Machigaidarake no uta

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, rock | No Comments »

Creation - Super Rock in the Highest Voltage

April 26th, 2012

Creation - Super Rock in the Highest VoltageCREATION

  • Super Rock in the Highest Voltage
  • Express
  • 1978
  • Japan

Japanese psychedelic rock band Creation was formed in late 1960s by guitarist-singer Kazuo Takeda. Back then they called themselves Blues Creation and played more blues oriented heavy psych rock. After four albums and constant changes in line-up they dropped blues off from their name in 1972. The first album, the self titled Creation, was released in 1975. Weirdly, it has a bunch of naked little boys on the cover, which is very disturbing. The same theme continued on their third album, Pure Electric Soul, but this time the naked boys were packed on front window of the bus. Between these two was released Felix Pappalardi and Creation, an album made with the former Mountain bassist and vocalist Felix Pappalardi. Creation was finally disbanded in the early 1980s.

This fourth studio album of Creation, called Super Rock in the Highest Voltage was released in 1978 and it’s sounds were somewhat softer than on the first ones. While the first three albums were more or less psychedelic rock, this album is pretty strict jazz-rock fusion. The album starts with a song called “Wild cat”, an uptempo fusion jam with a really hectic break in the beginning and some nice percussion work in the middle. Next one is called “Swamp boy”. It’s a downtempo, funky blues jam again with percussion and wailing guitars. After that is another uptempo track called “Fou-fou, gun-gun”. It’s much lighter than the first one, but still quite ok. First one on the flipside is “No problem”, a percussive midtempo latin flavored jazz jam. Next one, “Spinning toe hold part 2″ is yet another uptempo bboy friendly breakbeat track. And a quite strong one. It was originally released on the b-side of “Spinning toe hold” single (taken from Pure Electric Soul), and it was the theme song for the American wrestling superstar duo The Funks (consisting of brothers Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr.). I can only imagine the atmosphere when The Funks entered the ring and this was playing aloud. The last one on the album is a slow blues track called “Blues from Tokyo”. I must admit that Super Rock in the Highest Voltage is actually a pretty good one for a late 1970s album.

Wild cat

Swamp boy

Fou-fou, gun-gun

No problem

Spinning toe hold part 2

Blues from Tokyo

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, fusion | No Comments »

Godiego - House

April 24th, 2012

Godiego - HouseGODIEGO

  • House
  • Nippon Columbia
  • 1977
  • Japan

A well known Japanese pop rock group Godiego was formed in 1976. The original line up consisted of the band leader and keyboardist Mickey Yoshino, second keyboardist Yukihide Takekawa, guitarist Takashi Asano, bassist Steve Fox and drummer Tommy Snyder (who replaced the original drummers Hiroomi Harada and Ryoji Asano pretty early). They all handled the vocals too. Godiego did several soundtracks for example to the Galaxy Express 999 and Journey to the West II series. Their key to success was however the theme song for Monkey Magic in 1978, that also gained them name in abroad too. In 1977 they released a soundtrack for the pretty unknown movie called House.

Despite the weird “funny-tracks” and some mellow cheesy numbers, this one is still worth to get. There’s is actually quite a miscellaneous mixture of songs in this soundtrack. There’s one very deep blues track called “Hungry house blues”, an instrumental r’n'b/boogie track with some motorcycle effects called “Buggy boogie”, an uptempo jazz-rock fusion track called “Eat”, a haunting uptempo funky fusion track “Oriental melon man” and then there’s the best track of the album called “Eat eat”. It’s a midtempo funk jam. That’s about all I can say about it, listening tells you more than my hundred words. In my opinion House is worth to get if seen cheap enough.

Hungry house blues

Buggy boogie

Oriental melon man


Eat eat

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, funk, jazz, soundtrack | No Comments »

You & The Explosion Band - Lupin III

April 22nd, 2012

You & The Explosion Band - Lupin IIIYOU & THE EXPLOSION BAND

  • Lupin III
  • Nippon Columbia
  • 1978
  • Japan

Yuji Ohno (大野 雄二) was born 1941 in Atami, Shizuoka. Soon after his first public appearances he became very well known in his homeland Japan as a great jazz pianist and composer. In the mid 1970s he formed his own jazz band, called You & The Explosion Band (ユ-&エクスプロ-ジョン・バンド) - where You Refers to Ohno himself. Even though he has released a lot of records during his career, he is primarly known for his scores for the anime series Lupin III. Before Ohno started scoring the Shin Rupan Sansei (New Lupin III) series in 1977, there was only some occasional 45s released of the series within its original run in the late 1960s early 1970s. But with Ohno handling things, there suddenly started to appear a relatively great number of soundtrack albums during the years. Of course these were not all for the tv anime series that run from 1977 to 1980 and from 1984 to 1985, but there was a great number of other stuff aswell. Including direct-to-video releases, yearly television specials and full length anime films. And they were really popular. Even the legendary Studio Ghibli did their share with the feature film called Castle of Cagliostro (Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro no Shiro) in 1979 (as directed by Hayao Miyazaki). Hayao Miazaki and Isao Takahata also directed a great deal of the original 1971-1972 series by the way, but that was a time before Studio Ghibli was even established. But anyways, when the second Lupin III series began running on NTV in 1977, the boom of soundtracks also begun. Totally 48 soundtrack albums were released and most of them were composed by by Yuji Ohno. Takeo Yamashita made his little share on those too, but it was really minimal compared to Ohno. Later on Ohno have even released 15 collections of jazz arrangements of the Lupin III series with his Yuji Ohno Trio, The Lupintic Five and The Lupintic Sixteen.

This soundtrack here, simply named Lupin III, is supposingly the first one of the new series. It was released in 1978. The album starts with “Theme from Lupin III”, the original take of the new series theme. It’s an uptempo disco’ish soundtrack with some jazzy feel and there’s some dialogue in the middle as well. Next two, “Silhouette” and “I miss you babe (yes I do)”, are a little cheesy ballads. The latter one has vocals sung by Sandra Hohn. Next one is “Red roses for the killer”, a midtempo jazzy track. Then there’s “Dangerous zone”, which is an uptempo chase theme with nice breakbeats, some percussion and strong horns but on the other hand, there’s some occasional cheesy synth strings too. Next one, “Sunset flight” is a mellow groover with a hint of latin in it. It’s followed by the well known downtempo groover “Magnum dance” and a little similar “Lonely for the Road”. Last two tracks are the love songs of the album, “Lovin’ you (Lucky)” and “Love theme”. First one sung by Tommy Snyder (of the Godiego fame). Overall this is a pretty decent album and a good start for the great series.

Theme from Lupin III

Red roses for the killer

Dangerous zone

Sunset flight

Magnum dance

Lonely for the Road

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, disco, jazzfunk, soundtrack | No Comments »

Takayuki Inoue Band - Sunrise: “Suite” Taiyō Ni Hoero! ‘76

April 20th, 2012

Takayuki Inoue Band - SunriseTAKAYUKI INOUE BAND

  • Sunrise: “Suite” Taiyō Ni Hoero! ‘76
  • Polydor K.K.
  • 1976
  • Japan

Another well known detective drama soundtrack composer is 1941 born Takayuki Inoue (井上堯之). He started his career in rock bands The Spiders and PYG before forming his own combo, the Takayuki Inoue Band (井上 堯之バンド), a band that would propably follow him for the rest of his life. Among some various soundtracks and regular albums, Takayuki Inoue Band got a job in 1972 of the theme song for the new Toho produced detective drama series called Taiyō ni Hoero! (literally Bark at the Sun). The series immediately become really popular. It ran 15 years from 1972 to 1986 and it’s one of the longest running detective series in Japan within its 718 episodes. It even spawned a sequel simply called Taiyō ni Hoero! Part 2 that ran from 1986 to 1987. But that’s enough for the series, let’s get back to the music. As said Takayuki Inoue got the job for the title theme and that along the series became extremely popular. As was the case with most of the other detective series, there was quite a big amount of different soundtrack albums released. And almost all of them were by Takayuki Inoue Band. Some of those were specially themed releases from different years and some were so called BGM Best -albums, that contained tracks from several episodes. One of these themed albums was called Sunrise. It was released in 1977 and it’s one of the best of the series.

There’s a lot of funky tracks on this album. Of course they are funky in a Japanese detective series way, so they do have that certain feel, but that’s only a positive thing. The a-side of the album is basically one suite, but still separated to different tracks. It’s better this way, since it’s always a pain in the ass trying to find the start of that one good song in the middle of a 24 minute track. And here the fourth part of “組曲 「太陽にほえろ!」” (Suite ‘Taiyō ni hoero!’ ) called “逃走と追跡” (Tōsō to tsuiseki) is the killer. It’s a three and half minute drum break with some horn stabs time to time. And it’s the getaway track of the album. There’s of course some other goodies her too among the basic dramatic mellow stuff. “スコッチ刑事のテーマ” (Sukotchi keiji no tēma) is a distant variation of the Taiyō ni hoero! main theme with all the basic elements. The third good one is “華麗なる情熱” (Kareinaru jōnetsu). Both are midtempo detective theme type of tracks and the latter being the better one. As a whole this is indeed one of the best albums of the series, but of course some of the other ones have good moments too. We’ll have to get back to them on some point later…

Tōsō to tsuiseki

Sukotchi keiji no tēma

Kareinaru jōnetsu

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, cinematic funk, soundtrack | No Comments »

Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union - Daitokai Part III

April 18th, 2012

Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union - Daitokai Part IIITATSUYA TAKAHASHI & TOKYO UNION

  • Daitokai Part III
  • Polydor K.K.
  • 1978
  • Japan

The other detective series Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union made music for, was Daitokai (literally Big City), that run three seasons from 1976 to 1979. Although TT&TU were’nt the only ones who did soundtracks for the series, they were responsible for Part III (season III) music. The first and the second season were mainly handled by the bands called Game and Microcosmos II, but that’s another story and we’ll come to them later.

Let’s talk about this one first. The opening track “大都会 Part III テーマ” (Daitokai part III tēma) starts the album quite frantically with it’s uptempo jazzy disco beats and hectic feeling. Maybe not the best theme around but acceptable. Second track “Dream of dream” is also an uptempo groover with also quite jazzy but discoish beats and some percussion works overdubbed with a slightly cheesy saxophones and occasional guitarwork. Next up is the very mellow but still groovy “And so in love” that would easily fit into the Love Boat soundtrack. After that comes another uptempo track “One floor house”. The first track on side b is “The Indian medicinman & g’uru”, despite the slow mellow start, it’s turns into a nice midtempo jazz track. Next one is “Midnight Tokyo special”, again very nice uptempo jazzy groover with its occasional disco moments. The last one on the album is a mellow love song called “Moon flower”. All the tracks are instrumentals. Although it’s nothing like the blaxploitation ones from the US, it’s still a pretty good one. It’s more like a typical Japanese detective soundtrack from that late 1970s - early 1980s era.

Daitokai part III tēma

Dream of dream

And so in love

One floor house

The Indian medicinman & g’uru

Midnight Tokyo special

Moon flower

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, disco, easy listening, jazz, soundtrack | No Comments »

Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union - Seibu Keisatsu Part II

April 16th, 2012

Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union - Seibu KeisatsuTATSUYA TAKAHASHI & TOKYO UNION

  • Seibu Keisatsu Part II
  • Teichiku
  • 1982
  • Japan

1931 born Tatsuya Takahashi (real name Tatsuro Takahashi) is one of the most well known band leaders in Japan, and a very talented tenor saxophonist as well. Takahashi started his career in 1961 and after years of hard work, he moved to Tokyo and became the fourth bandleader of the Tokyo based big band called Tokyo Union in 1966. That was the point when the band was really starting to gain reputation and become a big name in the scene. In that point their name was also settled as Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union. Basically they were a strict jazz band, but they did some pretty good soundtrack scores too. Seems that along anime, the Japanese people had also a very strong thing to detective series throughout the 1970s and 1980s. (kinda same way as the Germans in the 1980s). So it was kind of natural, that Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union did their share of the soundtrack albums to several different detective series. Among these was a soundtrack to the series called Seibu Keisatsu Part II (literally Western Police). Actually they did more than one of these albums, but we’ll talk about this one particular now. Seibu Keisatsu was a detective drama series that was running from 1979 until 1984, with total of three seasons. Part II and Part III (seasons two and three) soundtracks were mainly played by Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union, while the Part I (season one) was by The Hornets. As expected, the soundtrack music varies from dramatic themes and mellow moods to some funky jazz and hectic chase funk.

The opening track “ワンダフル・ガイズ ~ TVサイズ” (Wandafuru gaizu ~ TV saizu) starts the album with the known quality of the Tokyo Union, it’s a typical uptempo detective theme with some disco feel in it. “ワンダフル・ガイズ ~ フルサイズ” (Wandafuru gaizu ~ furusaizu) is a full version of the same track, while the first was a shortened one fitted for television. Next one, “気分は最高” (Kibun wa saikō), instead is a very mellow and kinda sad track. Then comes “デンジャラス・チェイス” (Denjarasu cheisu). The name means dangerous chase, but it’s still a very nice midtempo jazz track in a Tokyo Union way, not a hectic chase theme. “ハッピー・ボーイ” (Happī bōi) is just what the name happy boy stands for. An happy but short track with a certain circus feel. Then comes two sad mellow tracks, “トワイライト・ストーリー” (Towairaito sutōrī) and “ロンリー・ポリスマン” (Ronrī porisuman). Well with the names like twilight story and lonely policeman, what else they can be. The last track on side a called “ジャングル・ヒーロー” (Janguru hīrō) is a killer uptempo chase theme with some percussion works, nice melodies and occasional guitarwork. The first track on side b is “パトカー・コンボイ” (Patokā konboi), again a quite nice uptempo detective theme but the cheesy disco feel gives it a little minus. After a mellow “ダーティー・ヒーロー” (Dātī hīrō) comes “スーパー・チェイサー” (Sūpā cheisā), the best track on the album. It’s a very blaxploitation-like uptempo chase funk track but with again some cheesyness. With a name like super chaser, what else you actually expect but a chase track. Too bad it’s a quite short one. Again there’s a one mellow drama song “哀愁のエアポート” (Aishū no eapōto) before we get to another uptempo track. “サラブレッド” (Sarabureddo) has some slightly annoying guitarwork, but despite that it’s a very nice one. And the same order continues to the end. First mellow and dramatic “友情” (Yūjō), then uptempo discoish “軍団マーチ” (Gundan māchi) and last one “サンセット・ハーバー” (Sansetto hābā) is again a downtempo drama track. Overall Tatsuaya Takahashi & Tokyo Union did their job quite well as this is a very decent soundtrack among the countless others that came from Japan during the 1970s and 1980s.

Wandafuru Gaizu ~ Furusaizu

Denjarasu cheisu

Janguru hīrō

Patokā konboi

Sūpā cheisā


Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under disco, funk, jazz, soundtrack | No Comments »
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