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Live In Japan - May, 2000

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Album Review

Nine years on from its original, blink-and-you'll-miss-it release in Japan, Voiceprint unearthed one of the key elements in the Slapp Happy discography, and it truly is as wonderful as rumor always insisted. Recorded at one of several reunions this once-and-always legendary band has convened in the decades since its 1974 split, Live in Japan is as beautiful, infuriating, and electrifying as the "original" group always was, but its early eccentricity is justified now by the knowledge that the group's influence has never gone away. It may have crept into earshot without anybody noticing, and theirs might not be a name that the rich and powerful drop too often, but if you can listen to Slapp Happy without picturing what Radiohead (for one) might have sounded like without them, then clearly you're living on another planet. A gorgeous "King of Straw" opens the show, and the mood lingers on through "Slow Moon's Rose." Slowly, however, the band's more eclectic side begins to show, together with the almost maddeningly evasive melodic shimmer that characterized the best of Slapp Happy's early output. "Casablanca Moon" is a special treasure, retaining every ounce of its original delicacy, while dancing flirtatiously around your ears. Of course, fans can always find something to complain about, and the absence of "Johnny's Dead" from the proceedings is as good a moan as any. But still, Live in Japan is essential listening, not only for original fans, but for everyone who's grown up on the band without even being aware of the fact.

Biography

Formed: 1972

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '90s

Avant-pop cult favorites Slapp Happy formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1972; there vocalist Dagmar Krause, a veteran of the folk group the City Preachers, first met British experimental composer Anthony Moore, who had previously issued a pair of solo LPs, Pieces from the Cloudland Ballroom and Secrets of the Blue Bag, on Polydor. When the label rejected a third Moore record, he instead proposed a pop project, recruiting Krause and New York-born guitarist Peter Blegvad to form Slapp Happy; recorded with...
Full Bio
Live In Japan - May, 2000, Slapp Happy
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  • $16.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 04 July 2001

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