Japanese rock for the English speaking masses.

The Captains' frontman Kizuhiko's notes on the bands and song choices on The Captains' I Love GS CD.

1. Flower Necklace (The Tigers, 1968)
This song was released at the peak of the Group Sounds boom by The Tigers, a group of beautiful boys who looked like they were lifted straight out of a comic book for teenage girls. It topped the singles chart for seven consecutive weeks. While the original song has a mellow tempo and a classical feel, The Captains give it a surf-rock interpretation.

2. Crimson Son (Hibari Misora, 1967)
Hibari Misora, the queen of Japanese pop music, sang this song with the classic Group Sounds outfit The Blue Comets as her backing band. This could be taken as proof positive that GS was at the forefront of Japanese music at the time. This cover features a duet from The Captains lead singer Kizuhiko and Hananosuke Mito, former vocalist for Angie.

3. Emerald Legend (The Tempters, 1968)
This song topped the charts, played by The Tempters, who were called "The Rolling Stones of Japan" and known as rivals of The Tigers. The Captains faithfully reproduce the feel of the original in their cover.

4. Furi Furi (The Spiders, 1965)
Debut single of The Spiders, the kings of Group Sounds.
The guitarist, Hiroshi Mayatsu composed the song but does not appear on the jacket photo because he was late for the photoshoot. Furi-Furi is a milestone in Japanese rock history: the first song to be written, sung and performed by the band members themselves. The original song is simple three-chord rock'n'roll. The Captains' playful cover features a unique bossa-nova style.

5. Let's Live For Today (The Tempters, 1967)
Debut single of The Tempters. This song is known in Japan as a Grassroots (USA) hit, but is originally from the English band The Rokes who performed in Italy and sang this in Italian with the title "Piangi Con Me". The Captains cover it with lush funk-piano sounds.

6. Blue Chateau (Jacky Yoshikawa & Blue Comets, 1967)
Jacky Yoshikawa and his Blue Comets have had a longer career than any other Group Sounds band. This smash hit was the most popular GS song in Japan and sold 1.5 million records. Anyone who grew up in Japan in the 1960's can at least hum this tune.
Jacky Yoshikawa and His Blue Comets were the only GS band to ever perform in the annual Red & White Year-End Song Festival, the most prominent music program on Japanese television.
The Captains add a horn ensemble and cover this classic track with a light touch.

7. Crying Sunset (The Spiders, 1966)
A major hit that sold more than 1.2 million records. The Spiders were rock'n roll fans to the core and were unsatisfied with the Japanese pop-scene. This garage-rock cover version by The Captains aims to put to bed The Spiders' lingering discontent.

8. Tunnel To Heaven (The Dynamites)
The band was popular for their fuzz guitar and powerful rhythms. They were known for live covers of Them and the Rolling Stones. This cover version laces the whole song with a distortion effect for a radical finished product.

9. Memory Beach (The Wild Ones)
The wistful 12-string guitar intro is reminiscent of The Byrds. The Captains' cover mixes it up with a shuffle rhythm. The choral singing reminds you of a good-timey campfire sing-along!


The Tigers "Flower Necklace" + medley

The Blue Comets "Blue Chateau"

The Tempters "Emerald Legend"
View an incredible non-embeddable video here.


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