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16 Sep 2016

Murasaki. “Impact” 1976 Japan Heavy Prog Private














Murasaki. “Impact” 1976 Japan Heavy Prog Private
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Murasaki was originally formed by keyboardist George Murasaki in 1971 on the island of Okinawa in southwestern Japan. Okinawa became the focus of public attention in 1972, when it was returned to Japanese administration after being under the control of the US military ever since the end of World War II. Just around this time, mainland Japanese record companies started approaching Murasaki, which had become very popular among the US servicemen stationed on the island as well as among the young local Okinawan rock music fans. Murasaki landed a recording contract in 1975 with a major recording company currently known as Tokuma Japan. Murasaki released two studio albums in 1976 – the first in April and the second in December – each selling more than 40,000 copies at a time most Japanese bands struggled to sell a fraction of that. The band gained national attention and registered strongly on the mainland Japanese rock scene immediately after its debut, but broke up only two years later. Murasaki, playing on and around US military bases against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, entertained GI’s in Koza City, popularizing the hard rock and rhythm and blues styles that became known as Okinawan rock. After the initial breakup, George Murasaki went on to form a band called “George Murasaki & Mariner.” The new band recorded two studio albums in California in 1978 and 1979, but it, too, was short-lived.. 
In 1983, the original members of Murasaki came back together for a reunion that fired up the local music scene that was stagnant at the time. With the backing of loyal supporters, the band staged a reunion concert titled “Murasaki, Why Now? Peaceful Love Rock Concert.” Encouraged by the large turnout of more than 5,000 cheering fans, Murasaki and its supporters decided to turn this concert into a rock festival to be held regularly in the summer with participation by numerous bands. Since then, the festival – named “Peaceful Love Rock Festival” – has continued to grow into one of the most reputed rock festivals not only in Okinawa, but also throughout Japan. The festival’s title was named by George Murasaki and was inspired by a song from George Murasaki & Mariner’s second album titled “Peaceful,” which was written by JJ, the band’s lead vocalist. 
After going through a series of personnel changes over a couple of decades, Murasaki finally regrouped in late 2007 with the current lineup: George Murasaki (keyboards), Kiyomasa Higa (guitars), Yukio Shimoji (guitars), Eiichi Miyanaga (drums), JJ (lead vocals), and Chris Teruya (bass guitar). (The first four are original members of the band). In addition to performing at the Peaceful Love Rock Festival and numerous local venues, the new band performed in major events in mainland Japan: Tokyo in May 2008, Kobe in October 2009, and most recently in Tokyo in November 2009, after which the band signed on with a new Japanese record label (Hydrant Records). On 9 June 2010, the band released their new CD album titled “Purplessence,” which is currently available on the Japanese Amazon online store. The album and individual songs can also be purchased from the Japanese iTunes Store. 

Personnel: 
- George Murasaki - keyboards 
- Masao Shiroma - lead vocals 
- Toshio Shiroma - bass 
- Yikuo Shimoji - guitar 
- Kiyomasa Higa - guitar 
- Eiichi Miyanaga - drums, vocals

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..