What a riff! With a great moody vocal to boot. Released in November, 1967 on the Seven Seas label, “Kiminaki Sekai (The World Without You)” is one of my favorite Group Sounds tunes. Check out the gloomy lyrics in the comment by Navura below!The flip, “Why Baby Why”, is more pop, I’m surprised it wasn’t chosen as the A-side at the time. The Spiders’ guitarist Hiroshi Kamayatsu wrote the lyrics to “Kiminaki Sekai” and the music for “Why Baby Why” under the name “Gen Goki”. This was the second of five singles by the Beavers. Jean-Pierre sent in the excellent “Kimi Suki Da Yo”, their third 45 from April, 1968, which was backed by slightly psychedelic pop of “Koishite Aishite”.I haven’t heard their other 45s, including their first “Hatsukoi No Oka (The Hill Of The First Love)” b/w “Hello, Coffee Girl” which Julian Cope praises in the quote below.
Their only LP consists of both sides of their first three singles (minus “Hello, Coffee Girl”), plus lots of covers – including a crazed version of “I’m a Man”. Their “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” is good too, supposedly they were considered the Yardbirds of Japan. I haven’t heard their version of “She’s a Rainbow” yet.
In 1964, future Flower Travellin’ Band guitarist Hideki Ishima arrived in Tokyo from his hometown Sapporo. He got together with guitarist Masayuiki Hirai, bassist Hiroshi Arakawa and drummer Yukio Awamura to form an eleki band which took the name The Outlaws. However, the clubs in which The Outlaws played also demanded that they employ a singer. Inspired by The Spiders’ twin lead vocalists, The Outlaws decided to recruit Akira Narita and Masao Hayase.
However, the Golden Best Japan site has a different story (based on info from Ken Narita’s blog and an issue of DIG JAPAN): that Ken Narita had been in the Jarows with Ishima in Hokkaido, and that they traveled together to Tokyo. Masao Hayase and Yukio Awamura had already formed the Outlaws and specifically asked Narita to join. Narita insisted Ishima join as well.
Invited to support their heroes The Spiders, the band then changed their name to The Beavers just prior to making their stage debut.
Here too Golden Best Japan has a different take, saying the Spiders had signed the band to their production company “Spiderduction” as the Outlaws and that “Right before their debut album [I think this should read debut single] was released in June 1967, they were told by King executives to change their name to something cuter and chose The Beavers.”
Their first single ‘Hatsukoi No Oka (The Hill Of The First Love)’ b/w ‘Hello, Coffee Girl’ was released in July 1967 was not a big hit, but was considered something special by fans of the Group Sounds scene.
The second single ‘Kimimaki Sekai (The World Without You)’ fared better but still failed to chart, as did their [fourth] 45 ‘Itoshi No Santa Maria (Saint Maria, My Love)’.
The band’s sole LP Viva Beavers was released thereafter but, at the end of 1968, after the release of their fifth failed single ‘Nakanaide Nakamaide (Please Don’t Cry)’, Ishima recognised that the GS boom was faltering. Ishima split the band when he was invited to join The Flowers by Yuya Uchida......Japrocksampler ......~
Discography Ken Narita
Viva! Beavers (ビバ！ビーバーズ) (1968)
Nemurikara Samete (眠りからさめて) (1971)
Yogoreta Machi ni Itemo (汚れた街にいても) (1972)
Super Best Taga Tameni ~Ken Narita History (スーパーベスト 誰がために～成田賢ヒストリー) (2007).
House no Futari ~House Ai no Theme (ハウスのふたり～ハウス・愛のテーマ～) (1977, chanson image du film House. Exécuté par Godiego)
Face B : House no Theme (chanson image du film House, en instrumental. Exécuté par Godiego)
Taga Tameni (誰がために) (1979, générique début de Cyborg 009, avec Koorogi '73)
Face B : Itsu no Hika (いつの日か) (générique fin de Cyborg 009, par Koorogi '73)
Aa Denshi Sentai Denjiman (ああ電子戦隊デンジマン) (1980, générique début de Denshi Sentai Denziman)
Face B : Denjiman ni Makasero! (デンジマンにまかせろ!) (générique fin de Denjiman).