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Sayonara America, Sayonara Nippon.
March 31, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

A series of articles about developments in Japanese popular music spanning from the mid-1960s to the late-1970s. Part 1: 1966-1969. 'Although much has been written on Japanese experimental and avant-garde music from this period, the 60s and 70s were also times of massive change and development for mainstream Japanese music, and the origin of the split between “underground” and “overground” in Japan’s pop music discourse.' posted by VikingSword (6 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great stuff. Thanks, VikingSword.

There are some good "listen to" links at the bottom of the lead article. Here are a few more that I dug up:

The Jacks, "Love Generation (?)"
The Jacks, "Karappo no Sekai"
The Jacks, "Stop The Clock"

Apryl Fool, "The Lost Motherland, Parts 1 & 2"
Apryl Fool, "Another Time"
Apryl Fool, "Tomorrow's Child"
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 AM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Overground: it's clear to me.
posted by adipocere at 1:40 PM on March 31, 2011


I just started listening to "The Lost Motherland, Part 1". Good stuff!
posted by Ardiril at 2:28 PM on March 31, 2011


Interesting. I already know a lot of the music, but this really helps put it into proper context.

Music from that era sometimes sounds too much like American copycat music (Okabayashi Nobuyasu can do a pretty good Bob Dylan), but at the same time many were experimenting and combining other foreign styles (jazz, samba, prog, etc) and by the mid 70's a handful of them had taken the basic American folk-rock formula into totally new directions.

I wish new Japanese pop was as adventurous as the stuff from the 70's and early 80's. It seems like now the artists are too aware of various global/western genres and stick to the rules and conventions of those genres, whereas before there were no rules for what J-pop/rock should be yet, so they tried all different global pop combinations and jumbled them together but with a uniquely Japanese sensibility.
posted by p3t3 at 2:48 AM on April 1, 2011


I wish new Japanese pop was as adventurous as the stuff from the 70's and early 80's. It seems like now the artists are too aware of various global/western genres and stick to the rules and conventions of those genres, whereas before there were no rules for what J-pop/rock should be yet, so they tried all different global pop combinations and jumbled them together but with a uniquely Japanese sensibility.

I recall that the Shibuya-kei scene of the 1990s was pretty adventurous, combining everything from hip-hop to yé-yé to bossa nova.
posted by acb at 4:16 AM on April 1, 2011


Yes, good point, acb. Shibuya-kei is probably the biggest exception, and there was also a bit of avant-garde psych-rock resurgence around the same time. But I think relative to the overall size of the Japanese music industry now and seeing how nothing else too original or experimental has come up in the past 10 years since Shibuya-kei (at least to the same level of recognition), the overall musical landscape seems much less exciting nowadays.

It might also be an issue of looking back only at 70's cutting edge stuff and ignoring the garbage, whereas it's harder to ignore all the current garbage. But again, when you consider the overall size of the industry then and now, there was so little western style pop and rock back then that people were getting a good dose of the experimental edge mixed in with everything else. Maybe like when MTV started and for lack of content, they aired everything from techno to heavy metal.
posted by p3t3 at 5:27 AM on April 1, 2011


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