Sleeve for the Beavers second 45, Kiminaki Sekai / Why Baby Why
|What a riff! With a great moody vocal to boot. Released in November, 1967 on the Seven Seas label, “Kiminaki Sekai (The World Without You)” is one of my favorite Group Sounds tunes. Check out the gloomy lyrics in the comment by Navura below!The flip, “Why Baby Why”, is more pop, I’m surprised it wasn’t chosen as the A-side at the time. The Spiders’ guitarist Hiroshi Kamayatsu wrote the lyrics to “Kiminaki Sekai” and the music for “Why Baby Why” under the name “Gen Goki”. This was the second of five singles by the Beavers. Jean-Pierre sent in the excellent “Kimi Suki Da Yo”, their third 45 from April, 1968, which was backed by slightly psychedelic pop of “Koishite Aishite”.I haven’t heard their other 45s, including their first “Hatsukoi No Oka (The Hill Of The First Love)” b/w “Hello, Coffee Girl” which Julian Cope praises in the quote below.|
Their only LP consists of both sides of their first three singles (minus “Hello, Coffee Girl”), plus lots of covers – including a crazed version of “I’m a Man”. Their “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” is good too, supposedly they were considered the Yardbirds of Japan. I haven’t heard their version of “She’s a Rainbow” yet.
Akira ‘Ken’ Narita – vocals, harp
The following info is from japrocksampler.com:
However, the Golden Best Japan site has a different story (based on info from Ken Narita’s blog and an issue of DIG JAPAN): that Ken Narita had been in the Jarows with Ishima in Hokkaido, and that they traveled together to Tokyo. Masao Hayase and Yukio Awamura had already formed the Outlaws and specifically asked Narita to join. Narita insisted Ishima join as well.
Here too Golden Best Japan has a different take, saying the Spiders had signed the band to their production company “Spiderduction” as the Outlaws and that “Right before their debut album [I think this should read debut single] was released in June 1967, they were told by King executives to change their name to something cuter and chose The Beavers.”
Band members’ names and release dates from Kurosawa Susumu’s (黒沢 進) Nihon Rock ki GS-hen (Japan Rock Chronicles: Group Sounds Compendium).
Their third single, Kimi Suki Da Yo / Koishite Aishite
Not garage music today, but some rare tracks from my favorite soundtrack composer, Akira Ifukube (or to give the name in the proper order, Ifukube Akira).
He wrote the music for the original Godzilla film, and also for dozens of other films: horror, monster, sci-fi, samurai epics and serious dramas. I wish I had bought every one of these CD compilations when I was in Japan, but I was lucky enough to come away with a couple of them as they’re not available here in the U.S.
Great band from Brisbane who relocated to New Zealand.
They had many fine releases, including some that are more soul and pop than these I’m featuring here. I recommend seeking out the rest of their recordings. Their full story is at the New Zealand Music of the 60’s site.
In honor of the Chocolate Watchband playing the Underground Garage festival in NY this weekend, I’m featuring the original version of their most famous tune, “Let’s Talk about Girls”.
The Grodes and Tongues of Truth were two names for the same band – originally from Tucson, Arizona, but often recording in L.A. They were renamed Tongues of Truth without their knowledge by their manager and promoter, Dan Gates, dj at local KTKT in Tucson. Gates didn’t bother to tell the band about the rechristening until he announced the new single, “Let’s Talk About Girls”, over the airwaves. They stuck with it while the 45 had it’s time on the charts (#37 locally), then returned to being the Grodes. “Cry a Little Longer” is an earlier 45 on the Tri-M label, and one of their best.
His 45’s “You Stole My Love” and “That’s When Happiness Began” are famous, but some of his lesser know tracks are good too.
“Where Are You”, originally released on Kommotion KL 32030 in 1966. Available on the Festival CD “Mike Furber: Diddy Wah Diddy: A Tribute Anthology”, if you can find it.