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Monday, 17 June 2019

Joe Yamanaka & Flower Travellin Band "Times* 1975 Japan Psych Blues Rock LP Compilation ~


Joe Yamanaka & Flower Travellin Band "Times* 1975 Japan Psych Blues Rock LP Compilation

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Originally released in 1975, The Times was a best-of collection repackaging some of the most accessible moments from Japanese psychedelic rock pilgrims the Flower Travellin' Band. The album pulls tracks from their hard-edged 1971 masterpiece Satori, 1972's follow-up Made in Japan, and their half-live/half-studio 1973 double album Make Up. Joe Yamanaka's howling vocals and percussion augmentations lead the band on trips both heavy and reflective over the course of the album's eight extensive tracks. The lead guitar work throughout is a highlight, and the refined sense of controlled mayhem in both playing and adventurous guitar tones becomes a major trademark of the band. The ominous doomsday sludge of "Hiroshima" ranks with some of Black Sabbath's most demonic early riff-fests, but made more uneasy with traditional Japanese scales being mutated into droning tradeoffs between vocals and guitar. The two-part "Satori" is a perfect highlight of the band's dual guitar work, while the epic soft psych journey of "Look at My Window" borrows from the mid-'60s San Francisco acid rock scene. There's a heavy Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead influence, but over its 11-plus minutes, the song melds summery harmonies with acoustic explorations akin to Popol Vuh's mellower soundtrack work. The Times is definitely an overview, and the band's official first album Satori is a more fully realized and cohesive statement, but The Times offers a fantastic (if truncated) look at one of the better obscure groups from the heyday of experimental psychedelia...... by Fred Thomas.....~



That Joe Yamanaka must have been quite a character. Just look at him at this record cover: A bare-chested Japanese guy with a big afro with blonde streaks, wearing cowboy boots and hippy multicolored bell-bottoms and posing atop either Grand Canyon or -more probably- Mount Fuji with a samurai sword (or is it a scimitar?) in hand. I mean, is he for real or did he just disembark from a UFO? Notice how the other bandmembers are just floating heads around him: obviously they weren't crazy to get close enough to the sword-wielding singer for a group photo, so they sent their astral projections instead. "The Times" is, as the title implies, a compilation of early 70's Flower Travellin' Band material, previously released as part of their 1971 magnum opus "Satori", 1972's "Made in Japan" or the half-live/half-studio 1973 double LP "Make Up". Musically the band was really out there, comprising elements of hard rock, psychedelia and progressive/experimental rock to form a unique sound. Heavy metallic rhythms and screaming vocals dominate both cuts from "Satori", often combined with weird oriental musical scales (also notably on "Hiroshima"). "Shadows of Lost Days" is more conventional heavy blues a la Led Zeppelin while "Make Up" is closer to Deep Purple, down to the beautiful Hammond fills by Nobuhiko Shinohara. "Look at My Window" is a long trippy ballad somewhat reminiscent of West Coast 60's psych (think Jefferson Airplane/ Grateful Dead). "Spasms" is more experimental, sorta like Can jamming with Hendrix. The guitarist is a rare talent who could probably give Page or Iommi a run for their money. I first noticed him when I heard the Yuya Uchida & The Flowers (actually an early incarnation of the FTB) album, but there was no information about the players on the sleeve - OK, there was something written, albeit in Japanese which (surprise!) I can't read. So now I looked him up and learned that his name is Hideki Ishima and that he has nowadays abandoned the guitar in favor of the sitarla, an instrument of his own device. Closing track "I Wanna See You" seems to be exclusive to the compilation, and it's a soulful rocker, embellished with strings. Despite being too short for the CD era "Time" offers a welcome concise introduction to the group, cherry-picking their more accessible moments. It's amazing that the rock world is so narrowly focused to England and America and lets giants like FTB pass them by. If you do, it's entirely your loss! ....~ 


Credits 

Bass, Acoustic Guitar – Jun Kozuki 
Drums – George Wada
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Hideki Ishima 
Producer – Ikuzo Orita, Yuya Uchida 
Vocals, Percussion – Jo





Joe Yamanaka (Flower Travelin’ Band), Alan Merrill (guitar) Mamoru Manu (Golden Cups) and Take Yokouchi (Vodka Collins) on stage at the Duo Exchange in Shibuya Tokyo (Japan) Jan. 25th 2010.


Tracklist 

A1 Satori Pt. II 
Composed By – Hideki Ishima 
Lyrics By – Sutona 
5:56 
A2 Satori Pt. I 
Lyrics By, Composed By – Flower Travellin' Band 
5:22 
A3 Shadows Of Lost Days 
Composed By – George Wada* 
Keyboards – Nobuhiko Shinohara 
Lyrics By – Joe*, Patti (3) 
4:45 
A4 Hiroshima 
Composed By – Hideki Ishima 
Lyrics By – Yoko Nomura 
5:15 
B1 Make Up 
Composed By – Flower Travellin' Band 
Keyboards – Nobuhiko Shinohara 
Lyrics By – Joe*, Patti (3) 
3:02 
B2 Look At My Window 
Composed By – Flower Travellin' Band 
Keyboards – Nobuhiko Shinohara 
Lyrics By – Joe*, Patti (3) 
11:42 
B3 Spasms 
Composed By – Hideki Ishima 
Lyrics By – Yoko Nomura 
5:20 
B4 I Wanna See You 
Arranged By [Strings] – Kuni Kawachi 
Backing Vocals, Lyrics By – Alex (47) 
Drums, Composed By – George Wada* 
Electric Guitar – Fujimaru Yoshino, Hideki Ishima 
Keyboards – Nobuhiko Shinohara 
Lyrics By – Joe* 
4:55 



Joe Yamanaka, best known as the frontman for Japrock heroes Flower Travellin' Band, has passed away. The artist died on Sunday (August 7) following a long struggle with lung cancer. He was 64. 

Born Akira Yamanaka, Joe led Flower Travellin' Band through many an epic psych odyssey, including hard-riffin' albums such as 1972's Made in Japan (which was actually recored in a studio on Vancouver Island) and 1973's Make Up. However, it's 1971's mind-expanding Satori (named the No. 1 album in Julian Cope's Top 50 list in his Japrocksampler book) that Yamanaka will be most fondly remembered for. 

Along with his work in Flower Travellin' Band, he was an accomplished solo artist, releasing multiple albums between 1974 and 2009. A close friend of Bob Marley's, he also fronted the Wailers for about five years after Marley's death. 

Yamanaka was also an occasional actor, appearing in 11 projects between the years of 1977 and 2004, including the 1993 film Ulterior Motives, where he played himself. 

Yamanaka was diagnosed with lung cancer in March of 2010. 

Strangely enough, Phoenix Records will give long-overdue vinyl reissues to Flower Travellin' Band's Made in Japan and Make Up on August 16. The label will also reissue Challenge! on vinyl by the group's pre-Flower Travellin' Band incarnation, Yuya Uchida & the Flowers. .....By Josiah Hughes.....~ 





Happenings Four +1 "The Long Trip" 1971 Japan Psych Rock
Rashomon (Kuni Kawachi The Happenings Four) “Our Constitutional Rights” 1971  羅生門 ‎– 日本国憲法 平和 自由 愛 Japan Psych
The Happenings Four "Magical Happenings Tour" 1968 Japan Psych Pop Rock,Beat,Baroque Pop  second album  
The Happenings Four ‎ アウトサイダ  "の世界   "Outsider No Sekai - World Of The Outsiders"1970 Japan Psych Pop Rock third album
Kuni Kawachi and His Group “Love Suki Daikirai"1972 僕の声が聞こえるかい/クニ・河内の世界 (Happenings Four,Flower Travellin’ Band) Japan Psych Pop Rock
Kuni Kawachi & Flower Travellin’ Band “Kirikyōgen” 1970 Japan Heavy Psych

Flower Travellin’ Band ‎ “Anywhere” 1970 Japan Psych Rock debut album  (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)
Flower Travellin’ Band “We Are Here” 2008 Japan Prog Rock
Flower Travellin Band “Satori” 1971 Japan Psychedelic masterpiece  (100 greatest Japanese albums Rolling Stone) (Top 50 Japan Rock Albums by  Julian Cope)
Yuya Uchida & The Flowers (Flower Travellin’ Band,) “Challenge!” 1969 Japan Psych Rock
Flower Travellin' Band "From Pussies To Death In 10.000 Years Of Freakout 1969-1970" 1997 Japan Psych Rock (bootleg)
Flower Travellin' Band ‎"Music Composed Mainly By Humans" (Bootleg) recorded in 1970 and released in 2002 Japan Psych Rock
Hideki Ishima ‎ “One Day"1971 Japan Prog Psych (ex- Flower Travellin ‘Band) man solo album
The Beavers  ザ・ビーバーズ  "Viva! Beavers!"  1968 Japan Psych,Garage Rock (Hideki Ishima-Flower Travellin’ Band & Ken Narita)
Band Aide “Uchuu Junkan” 1978 Japan Space Prog Rock  (with Nobuhiko Shinohara  ex-Flower Travellin’ Band)
Kuni Kawachi  クニ河内   "Utae Nakunaru Maeni"  歌えなくなる前に 1972  Japan Psych Rock first solo Lp

Joe Yamanaka (Flower Travellin Band - Kuni Kawachi And His Group )"Reggae Vibration II (My Reggae Music)" 1983 Japan Reggae (feat Tsutomu Ogawa by Too Much)
Joe Yamanaka “Live at Nippon Budokan” 1978 Japan Psych Blues Rock ((Flower Travellin Band - Kuni Kawachi And His Group )
Joe Yamanaka (Flower Travellin Band) "Joe" 1974 Japan Psych,Pop Rock,Soft Rock,Soul-excellent first solo album (feat Nobuhiko Shinohara,Takeru Muraoka,Kuni Kawachi...etc...)
    Joe Yamanaka (Flower Travellin Band - Kuni Kawachi And His Group )"Reggae Vibration II (My Reggae Music)" 1983 Japan Reggae (feat Tsutomu Ogawa by Too Much)
    Joe Yamanaka (Flower Travellin Band) ジョー山中  ‎"To The New World" 1977 Japan Psych Funk Rock  second solo album

    Yuya Uchida 内田 裕也 ‎“A Dog Runs ア・ドッグ・ランズ” 1978  Japan Psych Rock,Rock n Roll  (special guest Shinki Chen)  (The Flowers,Yuya Uchida & 1815 Super Rock 'N' Roll Band, Yuya Uchida & 183 Family Band,Flower Travellin' Band,The Tigers)






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