Friday, 30 March 2018

Flower Travellin’ Band “Made In Japan” 1972 Japan Psych Rock (Top 50 Japan Rock Albums by Julian Cope)


Flower Travellin’ Band “Made In Japan” 1972 Japan Psych Rock (Top 50 Japan Rock Albums by Julian Cope) 
full vk
https://vk.com/wall-53831823_11824


As the follow-up to Flower Travellin’ Band’s unrivaled Satori album, 1972’s Made in Japan was probably doomed to fall short of expectations from the get-go, but the peculiar conditions of its creation didn’t help matters either. Having met with encouraging critical success but rather meager actual sales receipts in their native Japan, FTB was shipped off to conquer the West – or rather, Canada – because of a timely offer to open for local jazz-rock outfit Lighthouse, whose leader and keyboard player, Paul Hoffert, would wind up producing the group’s next effort, the fallaciously named Made in Japan. Problem was, Hoffert’s musical vision clashed directly against FTB’s defining heavy rock foundations, and although the band’s powerful manager, Yuya Utchida, came away happier with the finished product than the bandmembers themselves, the album’s songs still made for a less consistent, and certainly less potent collection than those of its predecessor. Which nevertheless meant that it was pretty darn good! Yes, the plodding thud of “Aw Give Me Air” barely left room for its salvaging, fluid, overlaid guitar licks, and where Satori had served as a suitably alien landscape above which singer Joe Yamanaka’s wildest shrieks could soar untethered, Made in Japan’s earthier songs, like the mostly acoustic “Unaware” and the Hendrix-inspired love-in theme, “Heaven or Hell,” sometimes left him naked and exposed to the elements, in turn. But when FTB planted their collective foot down firmly upon their lysergic heavy rock comfort zone, resulting leviathans like “Kamikaze” and “Hiroshima” (which revisited the melodic sequence introduced one year earlier by “Satori, Part III”) equaled their highest of highs (no weed-puffing pun intended), despite their cliché-worthy titles. Nearly as powerful was the aptly named “Spasms,” which shuddered and flailed with a certain Krautrock spirit, and the album-closing “That’s All,” which crawled like a funeral march blending the Doors’ “The End” with exotic shades of Indian music and faux sitar. Most fans then and now agreed that this foursome easily made up for the not-quite-stellar threesome detailed earlier, but for a group whose sales figures were already lagging behind both the critical support and their manager’s not inconsiderable gift of hype, Made in Japan wasn’t able to reverse Flower Travellin’ Band’s gradual career descent, which would accelerate towards extinction with the following year’s artistically scattered, half-live, half-studio double album, Make Up….by Eduardo Rivadavia…allmusic…~


Originally envisioned as a female-fronted Japanese heavy rock cover act called the Flowers by entertainer and “entrepreneur” Yuya Uchida, the Flower Travellin’ Band would eventually chart their own course, becoming an underground influence on later metal acts, and counting one Julian Cope as a disciple. As the Flowers, (original) vocalist Remi Aso, guitarist Hideki Ishima, bassist Jun Kowzuki, and drummer Joji Wada released their debut, Challenge, in 1969. Consisting entirely of cover versions of Western pop/rock songs, the album got attention not necessarily from the music, but from the fact that the entire band was photographed in the nude on the cover. 

Uchida and Aso left after the first album, leaving the band to reorganize with new vocalist Joe Yamanaka, and allowing it to explore more original and experimental avenues. Their first album as the Flower Travellin’ Band, Anywhere, was released in 1970. The album featured five covers, including Muddy Waters’ “Louisiana Blues” and Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath.” Again, the bandmembers appeared nude on the cover; the difference this time was that they were on motorcycles. 

Their first wholly “original”-based full-length, Satori, was released in 1971. Made in Japan was released in 1972, and a double live and studio set, Make Up, came out in 1973, before the band would go on a hiatus lasting over three decades. By the end of this phase of their career, the Flower Travellin’ Band were opening for prominent acts such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Recordings made before the band issued Anywhere would be released in the mid-‘70s under the title Kirikyogen, and 1995 would see a bootleg release of early material under the title From Pussies to Death in 10,000 Years of Freakout. 

In 2007 the Flower Travellin’ Band reunited – without the involvement of Yuya Uchida and with the addition of keyboardist Nobuhiko Shinohara – and released the album We Are Here the following year. However, in March 2010 the group ceased its activities upon the announcement that vocalist Joe Yamanaka had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Yamanaka died from the disease on August 7, 2011; he was 64 years old. ~ Christopher True…~


Made in Japan is not as famous as it’s magnificent predecessor Satori but this one includes some strong moments as well. Their style has more progressive elements than before but overall their sound is very similar to their earlier work. Guitar driven raw psychedelic hard rock with a very good songwriting. 

The album is a very balanced totality because all of these songs do their job very well. “Heaven and Hell” is probably my least favourite song here but the rest of the material is more or less impressive. If you like Satori you should give a try to their other albums as well. Made in Japan gets four stars from me. It’s a pretty great heavy psych/prog rock record….by….CooperBolan ….~


The Flower Travellin Band are pretty hard to pin down as to what genre they are. Are the Progressive Rock? Well they have Progressive Rock songs and elements, but not always. Are they Heavy Psych? Sometimes. Well are they Hard Rock? They can be. Are they Proto-Metal? Pretty close at times. I like to think of them as overall being close to Progressive Doom Metal, though of course such a thing didn’t exist in the early Seventies. I like to think of it like this. Remember the scene in The Color Of Money. The one where the guy asks Tom Cruise what’s in the case. And he looks up and with a huge grin says simply “Doom”. Well, doom is what is between the covers of this album. Pure musical Doom. Gorgeous Doom. Life changing Doom. Utter Doom. Flower Travellin Band aren’t sometimes known as the Japanese Black Sabbath for nothing. The Guitars are thick yet stinging. The Bass and Drums don’t have Sabbath’s power but that’s ok cause they swing and flow a bit more freely. And Flower Travellin Band’s Frontman/Vocalist Joe Yamanaka puts even more passion into his Vocals than Ozzy Osbourne does. Joe’s vocal wails are unearthly, if they don’t raise the hairs on your neck nothing will. What makes this album a total masterpiece, besides what I have already described are the songs. Uppermost of which is Hiroshima, a vivid description of the events of August 6, 1945 in Hiroshima when the city was destroyed by a nuclear weapon. Joe’s Vocals in this song are bone chilling in the depth of their passion. But it doesn’t stop there. Next You have the song Kamikaze which is nothing less than a Progressive Rock slash Doom Metal epic. The song is complex, multilayered, and heavy as hell. The lyrics are a trip through history, and the effect is stunning. if that double punch wasn’t enough they hit you with Spasms, another heavy as hell Doom epic sung from the viewpoint of a man dying of a high fever. Then they finally send you crashing blissfully back to earth with the gorgeous ballad Unaware. This album is the very definition of the word masterpiece. If Rock had a Louvre this album would belong in the center hall….by…DarthKarl ..~


Flower Travellin’ Band is a Japanese heavy psych outfit that was first active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band was initially started as a side-project by Yuya Uchida when he returned to Japan after visiting his friend John Lennon in England in the mid 60s, where he was introduced to various upcoming artists such as Cream, and Jimi Hendrix. Yuya wanted to introduce their work to a Japanese audience, and formed the “Flowers” as a cover band with various group sounds musicians, and two vocalists; male singer Chiba Hiroshi, and female singer Remi Aso. They released an album titled Challenge! in 1968, featuring covers of songs by Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company, in addition to an original song. They became friends with the Canadian band Lighthouse, and after meeting Paul Hoffert of Lighthouse at the Expo 70 festival in Osaka, they relocated to Canada where they performed with artists such as Dr. John, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. While in Canada they recorded their second original album Made In Japan and signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Due to Wada becoming ill, drummer Paul Devon plays on some tracks on this album. The lyrics are all written by Yoko Nomura, the wife of the band’s manager…..~


Thirty-eight years ago this month, the members of the Flower Travellin’ Band moved from Tokyo to Toronto, poised to take on the world. A little over a year later, they returned to Japan, broke and somewhat disillusioned. But from the Land of the Rising Sun to the land of the ice and snow, rock ‘n’ roll dreams die hard, and now, FTB have returned to take care of some long-unfinished business. 
With their first Toronto gig since 1972 rapidly approaching, four of the five band members sit in a hotel lobby at Pearson Airport, eagerly awaiting news of singer Joe Yamanaka, who has been temporarily stranded in Tokyo due to a passport screw-up. They could go on for hours about how visas have been the bane of their existence, but they’re just as eager to reminisce about their heyday, when they hung out in Yonge Street clubs and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Bob Seger and The Guess Who. Now in their early 60s, they all look fighting fit, and as guitarist Hideki Ishima is keen to note, they’re “still crazy.” 
Back in the day, FTB were crazy indeed: the cover of their first album, Anywhere, depicted the long-haired rockers riding motorcycles naked on a cold April morning. Their music was harder and more intense than anything Japan had ever heard, and on stage, they played with energy and abandon – one vintage video on YouTube shows the band working a deliriously enthusiastic crowd in Kyoto as a loincloth-sporting Yamanaka whips them up (and dodges items of their clothing) from astride a large fibreglass elephant. 
When FTB met the band Lighthouse at Osaka’s Expo ’70, they were captivated by the jazz-influenced Canadian rockers’ enthusiastic description of Toronto. FTB recorded their second album, the mind-warpingly bruising Satori, in two days, and hopped a plane across the Pacific to join their new friends shortly thereafter. 
The single “Satori, Part 2” charted in Toronto, where audiences proved, as bassist Jun Kobayashi notes, “more excitable” than back home. The band began to find fans in unexpected places: Ishima recalls a policeman who pulled them over and body-searched them one night for looking “suspicious,” but ended up asking, “Are you guys Flower Travellin’ Band?” Instead of being handcuffed, they got a lift back to their apartments. 
In Trudeau’s multicultural Canada, FTB’s heritage became a selling point; they even called an album they recorded in Toronto Made in Japan. They landed opening-act gigs for Lighthouse and Emerson, Lake & Palmer at Ontario Place and Stanley Park Stadium on King Street, but despite their best efforts, their career stalled because they couldn’t obtain the visas they needed to tour the U.S. 
Living in penury took its toll: drummer George Wada was hospitalized for three months with tuberculosis. He had contracted the disease in Japan, he says, but he developed its symptoms in Toronto because “all the stress and no food made me weak.” 
Bowed but unbroken, FTB returned to Japan in 1972, only to find that while they were away, as Kobayashi recalls, “the whole country went [over] to folk music.” Still, they soldiered on – literally. At one concert, they were attacked by a group of helmet-wearing, spear-carrying students protesting the admission charge. The band members (especially Yamanaka, a former boxer) fought them into submission and kept playing. 
FTB added keyboardist Nobuhiko Shinohara to “widen the sound” and were signed up to open for The Rolling Stones on a Japanese tour. Alas, Mick Jagger’s own visa issues scuppered what could have been their big break, and the band parted ways soon after. 
And yet, over the decades their profile has increased, largely due to Satori, which was hailed as an undiscovered classic of proto-heavy metal and stoner rock. In 2002, director Takashi Miike used it to soundtrack much of his ultraviolent Yakuza movie, Deadly Outlaw Rekka. Singer and music historian Julian Cope put the record at the top of his list of best 1960s and ‘70s Japanese albums in his 2007 book Japrocksampler, which featured Anywhere’s infamous naked-motorcycle photo on the cover. 
Most importantly, the cult success of Japanese progressive, psychedelic and experimental bands such as Boris, Acid Mothers Temple, and The Boredoms has prompted fans around the world to explore the work of their antecedents, and FTB have developed a following among people who never had the chance to see them play. 
The band remain unfamiliar with the work of these younger acts, and the term “stoner rock” simply makes them laugh. Nonetheless, they knew from the growing number of mentions of their name on the internet that it was a propitious time for a reunion. Only Kobayashi needed to be coaxed: he hadn’t picked up a bass in nearly 35 years and was living in Toronto, designing watches and accessories. 
Eventually, Ishima’s philosophy convinced him. “I feel like I want to keep trying, even though I may fail,” says the guitarist. And even though the band’s reunion album, We Are Here, feels somewhat tentative, it still showcases the band members’ personalities: Wada’s pummelling drums, Kobayashi’s slinky bass, Shinohara’s expansive, jazz-influenced keys, Yamanaka’s keening vocals, and Ishima’s winding licks – now delivered on a “sitarla,” a guitar-sitar hybrid which he helped to invent. 
On stage, they’ve truly come back into their own, as fiery footage from their recent Japanese reunion tour suggests. Says Kobayashi, new fans were “excited” by the sight of “old guys like us, still performing this way.” 
Alas, American fans still have to cross the border for their FTB fix: Yamanaka’s passport problem means a planned concert in New York City has been scrapped. But this Monday, at Toronto’s Revival, the dreadlocked singer will join his “crazy” bandmates on stage. 
And even though this time they’re under no illusions that they’ll conquer the world – “We’re too old!” laughs Kobayashi – their very presence is an antidote to the over-produced, Nickelback-led bilge that continues to pile up on Canadian rock radio, and to Japan’s preternaturally perfect pop. 
“We are against that,” says Kobayashi. “That’s ridiculous. We want to make more mistakes.” 
— Originally published in The National Post, Dec. 12 2008…..~



A magical psychedelic masterpiece from one of Japan’s greatest natural wonders. I hope everyone has this one already, but if you don’t, do yourself a favor and download this sucker NOW!!! This is amazing, wonderful, heavy, menacing, groovy music, the record to put on when you’re trying to convince your parents to lighten up and smoke a joint with you. If everyone would just listen to this album over and over, every day, war would stop, politicians would give us all our money back, and we would all float away into a magical land of gumdrops and unicorns, forever tuned into the peppermint rainbow vibration….~











Tracklist 
A1 Introduction 0:27 
A2 Unaware 5:51 
A3 Aw Give Me Air 3:20 
A4 Kamikaze 4:16 
A5 Hiroshima 5:13 
B1 Spasms 5:23 
B2 Heaven And Hell 3:50 
B3 That’s All 6:39


Line-up / Musicians 
- Jun Kozuki / bass guitar 
- George Wada / drums 
- Hideki Ishima /guitar, sitar 
- Joe Yamanaka / vocals 


Discography: 
ANYWHERE (Atlantic, 1970) 
Kuni Kawachi and Flower Travellin’ Band - KIRIKYOGEN (Atlantic, 1970) 
SATORI (Atlantic, 1971) 
MADE IN JAPAN (Atlantic, 1972) 
MAKE UP (Atlantic, 1973) 
FROM PUSSIES TO DEATH IN 10,000 YEARS OF FREAKOUT (recorded '69-'70) (1995) 

johnkatsmc5,the experience of music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

Dance

Dance

Crazy with music

Crazy with music

vinyl

vinyl