Japanese rock for the English speaking masses.

The Time Was Then Is Now
Eric B. of Tokyo No Records: I am awfully proud of this release. Seven contemporary bands each contribute one original song and one cover of a classic Japanese rock song. Plus two bonus tracks (50 Kaitenz!!!). Mastered by the legendary Souichiro Nakamura (Guitar Wolf, Boris, Keiji Haino...) at Peace Music in Tokyo. Digipak release with an eight page booklet and faux vinyl CD face.

1. The Captains "Jenny" (Carnabeats, 1967)
2. The Captains "Cassiopeia" (original)
3. Kinoko Hotel "Koi no Touch and Go" (Hatsumi Shibata)
4. Kinoko Hotel "Kinoco Hotel Shouka" (original)
5. The Syrup "Ban Ban Ban" (The Spiders)
6. The Syrup "Love's Solitary Island" (original)
7. The Psycrons "Psychedelic Man" (J.Y. & Blue Comets, 1968)
8. The Psycrons "My Amy" (original)
9. Thee 50's High Teens "Renown Wansaka Musume"
10. Thee 50's High Teens "Love Me Tonight" (original)
11. Salome No Kutibiru "Kokiriko Bushi" (Sergio Mendes)
12. Salome No Kutibiru "Yoake ni kieru" (original)
13. Jun Tabuchi "Empty World" (Jacks, 1968)
14. Jun Tabuchi "Rewind the Night" (original)
Bonus tracks:
15. 50 Kaitenz "Night Sky After the Rain" (RC Succession, 1980)
16. Mayuko Sakai "Catch the Wind" (Happy End)

International orders must contact me for additional shipping fees.


"This is one very impressive collection of greats both new and old from a young label. Well worth keeping your eyes on."
Otaku USA (12/08)

"For anyone looking to expand outside of the typical modern rock scene, this is a must-have album."
JaME World (10/08)

The Captains meet The Carnabeats

1. "Jenny" (Carnabeats, 1967)
2. "Cassiopeia" (original)

Modern GS champions The Captains consider themselves the "Last Group Sounds", proudly carrying on the late 60s Japanese R&R tradition. The Captains' first two records were released in 2002 on the independent Autobahn Records label. These were followed by their 2004 release The New World in which the band solidified their sound and style. The "Last Group Sounds U.S. Tour 2007" marked the band's first stateside appearance. Their popularity continues to grow both in Japan and abroad.

The 1967 hit "Koi wo Shiyo yo Jenny", known outside of Japan as "Jenny", is a famous song by The Carnabeats who are one of the most fondly remembered bands of the GS era. This version originally appeared on The Captains' 2006 EP entitled GS Covers, released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the birth of Group Sounds.

"Cassiopeia" is a track from The Captains' 2007 album A Cage of Roses.


Kinoco Hotel meets Hatsumi Shibata

3. " Koi no Touch & Go" (Hatsumi Shibata)
4. "Shizuka na Mori de ~ Kinoco Hotel Shouka" (original)

Kinoco Hotel formed in Tokyo in the summer of 2007. They are four good looking girls whose sound is heavily influenced by the culture of 1965-1974. Marianne Shinonome is the leader and vocalist who also plays the organ and composes the band's songs. Even though they just started playing musical instruments they have already become quite popular in Japan. Their first single, Makka na Jelly [Red Jelly] was released in January 2008 and it soon reached number one on the indie chart at the Tokyo record store chain Disc Union.

"Koi no Touch & Go" is a song by AOR singer Hatsumi Shibata who was formerly known as Hatsumi Kanna in the 1970s. The song was not a hit at the time of its release, but has become a cult favorite since making it a hip song to cover.

"Shizuka na mori de ~ Kinoco Hotel Shouka" ( At quiet forest ~ Kinoco Hotel School song) is the B-side of their single Makka na Jelly. It is arranged like potpourri.


The Syrup meets The Spiders

5. " Ban Ban Ban" (The Spiders)
6. "Ai no Kotou" (Love's solitary island) (original)
The Syrup are led by Gel Matsuishi, a gifted musician and producer from Nagoya. Their sound is a mix of Japanese Showa era TV and film soundtracks, Kayoukyoku [pop music], psychedelia and R&B. They have gained enormous popularity in the Japanese underground scene because of their maniacally high quality songs.

"Ban Ban Ban" was originally performed by The Spiders, the most famous of all of the late 1960s Group Sounds bands. The Syrup combine this well-known song with the sound of famous French yé-yé singer France Gal and have created an astounding recording in the process.

"Ai no Kotou" is a song from their 2000 debut album The Syrup's World. It has been remixed for this compilation.


The Psycrons meet Jackie Yoshikawa & Blue Comets

7. "Psychedelic Man" (J.Y. & Blue Comets, 1968)
8. "My Amy" (original)

The Psycrons are a well-known psychedelic R&R trio from Kyoto. They've been touring relentlessly since their first album, Let's Go Psycrons! was released in 2004. After the release of their second album, Miracle! The Psycrons in 2006 they released a live record entitled TAKUTAKU LIVE. Even though they had to replace the guitarist in 2007, their activities never stopped as they visited the U.S. for a West Coast tour.

"Psychedelic Man" was originally performed by the legendary GS band Jackie Yoshikawa and Blue Comets and appeared on their 1968 album Blue Comets in Europe.

"My Amy" is an original song from Miracle! The Psycrons.


Thee 50's High Teens meet Renown Clothing

9. "Renown Wansaka Musume"
10. "Love Me Tonight" (original)

Thee 50's High Teens are a four piece female garage band from Fukuoka. Leader, vocalist, and bassist Tomo was 16 when she formed the band and 2008 marks their 10th year anniversary. Their music is a mix of garage rock, punk, GS, and Kayoukyo [pop music] and they have become very popular thanks to their destructive sound and good looks. In 2004 they had a successful tour in Germany and Belgium and they made their debut in the United States in 2008.

"Renown Wansaka Musume" is a fondly remembered commercial jingle for Renown, a Japanese clothing brand, that originated in the 1960s and remained in broadcast for many years thereafter.
"Love Me Tonight" is an original song from their second album Punch De Beat which was released in December 2005.


Salome no Kutibiru meet Sergio Mendes (kinda)

11. “Kokiriko Bushi” (Sergio Mendes)
12. “Yoake ni kieru” (Disappear at dawn) (original)

The retro ballads of Salome no Kutibiru [Salome's Lips] are unique to modern Japanese music. The souls of the group are composer and bassist Satoshi Mizuno and the elegant looking vocalist Kyoko Tachibana. Their musical activities center mainly in Shinjuku and Koenji in Tokyo. They released their first album In the Beautiful World in 2007. The flute player, Kazumi Suzuki, withdrew from the group at the end of that year and is now active in many fields.

"Kokiriko Bushi" refers to a song by Sergio Mendes. Its arrangement is based upon Japan's oldest traditional folk song, which originated in Toyama where Satoshi Mizuno was born.
“Yoake ni kieru” is an original song from their first album In the Beautiful World.


Jun Tabuchi meets Jacks

13. “Karappo no Sekai” (Empty world) (Jacks)
14. “Yoru o Makimodose” (Rewind the night) (original)

"Mood Kayou" is a Japanese musical genre created in the 1950s by Hiroshi Wada and Mahina Stars. It is a mix of Hawaiian and Japanese melodies. Hiroshi Wada and Mahina Stars performed for 50 years until the leader and steel guitarist, Hiroshi Wada, passed away in 2004. Twentysomething Jun Tabuchi soon replaced him on vocals and thus became the youngest member of the group. Jun has collected "Mood Kayou" and GS records since he was a child, a big fan of Mahina Stars who never dreamed that he would get to sing with them!

"Karappo no Sekai" was originally released in 1968 by the famous acid rock group Jacks. The cover's instrumentals are performed by Salome no Kutibiru.

"Yoru o Makimodose" is an original song from Jun Tabuchi's 2007 debut single.


The 50 Kaitenz meet RC Succession

15. “Ameagari no Yozora ni” (Night sky after the rain)
The 50 Kaitenz [50 rpms] are a young, Ramones-influenced garage rock trio from Osaka. They debuted on Warner Music in 2006 and have since toured Japan, Australia, and the United States. “Ameagari no Yozora ni” was a popular 1980 single by RC Succession, this cover was recorded in 2005.


Mayuko Sakai meets Happy End

16. “Kaze Wo Atsumete” (Catch the wind) (Happy End)
Mayuko was a female rock singer who used to work with The Fools, a popular underground Tokyo group from the 1990s. “Kaze o Atsumete” is a very famous song by Happy End (ex-Apryl Fool, pre-YMO), it originally appeared on their second album Kazemachi Roman. It later appeared on the soundtrack to the film Lost In Translation. Mayuko's version was recorded in 2004, she passed away in September of that year.

The following people made this release possible, many thanks to all of them: Hironori Kanda (Last GS/K&A) coordinated the negotiations on the Japan end of things, Sammy Maeda (VOLT-AGE Records) co-produced it with myself, Sawako Kanda translated all of the liner notes, Mio Hayafuji did additional translations, Hayden Brereton (KarateRice) produced the NYC photo shoot, Daisuke Yoshida served as photographer, the beautiful Tomoko Maeda as model, Kumiko Hirose and Tsuyoshi Watanabe made Tomoko look picture-perfect, and Trevor Lafferty (The Doodle Lab) did the packaging/design.


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