Friday, March 12, 2010

Three From Japan. One From Japan.

Since I haven't run across anything I wanted to write about the last few days, here's some stuff from YouTube for you to watch.

First up we have the Plastics on Japanese TV in 1979, being interviewed and performing "Top Secret Man."  For many North Americans their first exposure to Japanese rock music was seeing the promo video for this song played on a 1982 episode of SCTV.  Unfortunately the segment also had Dave Thomas in yellowface.  Naughty!  The actual music starts at 1:44, and is in stereo to boot!

Next is Hikashu, performing what is probably  their best known tune, "Pike."  Supposedly this song was orignally written for American guitar band the Ventures, who have always been enormously popular in Japan.  Hikashu frontman Koichi Makigami decided that Hikashu might as well do a vocal version, and it appeared on their 1980 album Natsu, which I actually own a copy of.  The Ventures version appeared on their 1980 album Chameleon.

Behind door number 3 we have two songs from P Model, led by guitarist/vocalist Susumu Hirasawa.  Hirasawa formed P Model in 1979 out of the members of his previous progressive rock band Mandrake.  One of the things I find amusing about the late '80s and early '90s P Model footage found on YouTube is the antics of keyboardist Hikaru Kotobuki.  He's always making faces, rolling his eyes, and in general acting like he'd rather be someplace else.  Yet he would spend a half decade as P Model keyboardist, which would seem to indicate he wasn't too unhappy.

Finally, I'll be a smartypants and finish with one from Japan.  The British group Japan, that is.  This is from the classic British pop TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test.  Guesting along with Japan is Masami Tsuchiya of the Japanese group Ippu Do, who played guitar with them on what would prove to be their farewell tour backing the album Tin Drum, which "The Art of Parties" was the opening track for. 

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