8 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since it would seem nearly impossible to follow Flower Travellin' Band's psychedelic powerhouse album Satori with anything comparable, Made in Japan went in the opposite direction. (And actually, it was made in Canada.) Lighthouse’s Paul Hoffert produced the album, and where its predecessor had mirrored (and expanded on) the heavy acid-doom pioneered by Black Sabbath, here the mellow opener “Unaware” plays more like a folky rendition of “Planet Caravan”, except for the trippy vocal effects. But the following song, “Aw Give Me Air”, loosened up some slack on the production leash, letting the band play some of its blisteringly loud blues-rock, replete with Joe Yamanaka’s snarling vocals and plenty of scaled leads dipping in and out of restrained freakouts. His vocals ramped up into crazed falsettos on the outstanding “Kamikaze”, a more muscled take on Japanese biker rock blossoming from the same proto-metal family tree planted by contemporaries like Gedo and the more rootsy Blues Creation. "Hiroshima" nearly invented a doom-folk genre, with Yamanaka wailing dirges over hushed instrumentation. The riff-heavy “That’s All” drones like a Japanese version of The Doors.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since it would seem nearly impossible to follow Flower Travellin' Band's psychedelic powerhouse album Satori with anything comparable, Made in Japan went in the opposite direction. (And actually, it was made in Canada.) Lighthouse’s Paul Hoffert produced the album, and where its predecessor had mirrored (and expanded on) the heavy acid-doom pioneered by Black Sabbath, here the mellow opener “Unaware” plays more like a folky rendition of “Planet Caravan”, except for the trippy vocal effects. But the following song, “Aw Give Me Air”, loosened up some slack on the production leash, letting the band play some of its blisteringly loud blues-rock, replete with Joe Yamanaka’s snarling vocals and plenty of scaled leads dipping in and out of restrained freakouts. His vocals ramped up into crazed falsettos on the outstanding “Kamikaze”, a more muscled take on Japanese biker rock blossoming from the same proto-metal family tree planted by contemporaries like Gedo and the more rootsy Blues Creation. "Hiroshima" nearly invented a doom-folk genre, with Yamanaka wailing dirges over hushed instrumentation. The riff-heavy “That’s All” drones like a Japanese version of The Doors.

TITLE TIME PRICE
0:27 299 Ft
5:52 299 Ft
3:21 299 Ft
4:19 299 Ft
5:12 299 Ft
5:23 299 Ft
3:50 299 Ft
6:40 299 Ft

About Flower Travellin' Band

Originally envisioned as a female-fronted Japanese heavy rock cover act called the Flowers by entertainer and "entrepreneur" Yuya Uchida, the Flower Travellin' Band would eventually chart their own course, becoming an underground influence on later metal acts, and counting one Julian Cope as a disciple. As the Flowers, (original) vocalist Remi Aso, guitarist Hideki Ishima, bassist Jun Kowzuki, and drummer Joji Wada released their debut, Challenge, in 1969. Consisting entirely of cover versions of Western pop/rock songs, the album got attention not necessarily from the music, but from the fact that the entire band was photographed in the nude on the cover.

Uchida and Aso left after the first album, leaving the band to reorganize with new vocalist Joe Yamanaka, and allowing it to explore more original and experimental avenues. Their first album as the Flower Travellin' Band, Anywhere, was released in 1970. The album featured five covers, including Muddy Waters' "Louisiana Blues" and Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath." Again, the bandmembers appeared nude on the cover; the difference this time was that they were on motorcycles.

Their first wholly "original"-based full-length, Satori, was released in 1971. Made in Japan was released in 1972, and a double live and studio set, Make Up, came out in 1973, before the band would go on a hiatus lasting over three decades. By the end of this phase of their career, the Flower Travellin' Band were opening for prominent acts such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Recordings made before the band issued Anywhere would be released in the mid-'70s under the title Kirikyogen, and 1995 would see a bootleg release of early material under the title From Pussies to Death in 10,000 Years of Freakout.

In 2007 the Flower Travellin' Band reunited -- without the involvement of Yuya Uchida and with the addition of keyboardist Nobuhiko Shinohara -- and released the album We Are Here the following year. However, in March 2010 the group ceased its activities upon the announcement that vocalist Joe Yamanaka had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Yamanaka died from the disease on August 7, 2011; he was 64 years old. ~ Christopher True

  • ORIGIN
    Tokyo, Japan
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1969

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