Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Speaking of monkeys and rock and roll (the previous post), I remembered that great sub-genre Japanese GS (group Sounds): Japanese 60's garage and psych music. The Spiders largely spearheaded the sound of Japanese GS. Check out this opening of one of their many rock and roll movies: The Song is "Akai Dress no onna no ko wa" - The Girl in the Red Dress. A great prototype of psych/garage/powerpop with distinctly Japanese nasal vocals. The crazy thing about this clip is that the title "Road to Bali" comes up. Hey wait a minute! That was a Hope and Crosby vehicle! How uncanny that The Spiders had a single (pictured above) of a song called "Monkey Dance" b/w the dance floor mover "Furi Furi" (Shake Shake). There's actually a more frenetic version of Furi Furi than the one on the single. Notice the two lead singers on the cover aping the movements (couldn't resist) of primates to perform the monkey dance. In the 70's the more clownish of the two singers (the one slightly more upright on the record cover) Masaaki Sakai, would star in the super popular Monkey TV show, based on the Chinese classic Journey to the West about the mischievous monkey king Sun Wu Kong. Monkey was broadcast in Australia and the U.K. where it enjoyed almost as much popularity as it did in Japan. Meanwhile the states got Ultraman and Tesujim 28 (Gigantor).


細釘 (nail) said...

Have you heard about the most popular GS band The Tigers?

Sq. Dave said...

Hi Nail,

Yes of course I've heard of The Tigers. And Julie (Sawada Kenji), their singer, is still acting in movies. He was great in Takshi Miike's "Happiness of the Katakuri's." The Tigers had some rocking songs, but most of their stuff was soft and fluffy, designed to make the girls swoon. Special for you, I will post one of my favorite Tigers numbers.

細釘 (nail) said...

That's great! The Tigers covered "The Monkees Theme" in 60s, have you listened it before?

There are pictures of Julie and The Tigers on my blog, welcome to check them out!