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|Discovolante's Best of 1972-1973 (Japan Edition)|
On my main "best-of" lists, I've seen countless comments asking why I don't add Japanese artists to the list, and I always said the reason was that I love Japanese music so much, it would make the "best-of" list series that much harder. So to give Japan their shine, I decided to do a Japanese version of the lists, calling out what I think to be the best albums the country had to offer for each year. This first volume is a combo of 1972 and 1973 since... well, I don't particularly like either years enough to warrant a list on their own. Actually, that's gonna be the case with all of the 1970s years, or they will be pretty short lol. Hope you fellow Japanese music enthusiasts are interested! Oh, and like the other main list series, the albums are in order of their earliest entry on the site, not by my personal favorites.
Starting off the Japanese series is in my honest opinion, the greatest folk album ever made. Yosui Inoue made his debut in 1969 at the young age of 21 as a bubblegum folk artist under the name of Andre Candre (アンドレ・カンドレ) to virtually no success at all. It wasn't until he changed his name to Yosui Inoue (井上陽水), an alternate reading of his real name, Akimi Inoue, and his entire sound in 1972 that he finally garnered strong commercial and critical success. Enter his 1972 debut and magnum opus "Danzetsu", which is a dark take on the folk genre which was wildly popular in Japan at the time, using introspective bleak lyrics and a moody atmosphere to concoct one of the most heart-pulling albums in popular Japanese music history, with it culminating in the gutpuncher track "Jinsei ga Nido Areba (人生が二度あれば)", with Inoue himself audibly breaking down at the end. An absolute masterpiece in every way, and my personal all time favorite folk album, and one of my top 5 albums of the decade hands down.
Mahou no Kiiro Ikutsu
Japanese rock legends Tulip released 22 albums in their long career, but their best, in my opinion, is their 1972 debut "Mahou no Kiiro Ikutsu". Fun and yet still musically impressive, the album was a commercial flop when it came out, but since their rise to fame a few years later, has been hailed as one of the most solid albums of 70s Japanese music.
Julie IV Ima Boku wa Shiawase Desu
Kenji Sawada is basically the Japanese David Bowie, with Bowie beginning to premiere his breakthrough androgynous image at the same time as Sawada did. With the release of "Julie IV Ima Boku wa Shiawase Desu", Sawada continued his onslaught of commercial domination with nicely done pop ditties that end up being some of the most effective in his illustrious career.
Eiichi Otaki is a music icon that is known for his work in the cult group Niagara Triangle, but before that, he had a moderately successful solo career, with it officially starting in 1972 with the release of his self-titled debut album. It's a sunny, cool Sunday morning drive of an album that glistens with dated 70s charm.
Starting out as the ultimate cult musical act in Japan, Zunou Keisatsu have overtime earned their rightful place at the top, bravely breaking down multiple barriers in conservative-day Japan, making songs that were at times painfully political, and at other times, obscene for the time (including a few tracks about masturbation, which got the duo banned during their initial run from Japanese radio and television). Their sound was as odd as it was controversial as well, with it having an unhinged psychedelic, quasi-bluesy post-punk sound with a hard rock edge. In 1972, Zunou Keisatsu released three albums that year alone, with my personal favorite being their third, effectively called "3". It is noticeably different from the other two in the sense that it is a professional-sounding album as opposed to the "live" sound of the other two, as well as it having a slightly ballsier sound as well, which I like. But really, all of Zunou Keisatsu's stuff is great.
|6||Sadistic Mika Band|
Sadistic Mika Band
Breaking out of conservative Japan in 1972, Sadistic Mika Band was the modernizing shot in the arm Japan needed musically. Their short yet extremely significant run started in 1973 with the release of their self-titled debut, which has an energy that is extremely contagious on the surface and musically remarkable as well. A band that changed the entire landscape of Japanese music first album out.
Not much needs to be said about Haruomi Hosono. One of the most significant artists in not only 70s Japanese music, but Japanese music in general, and one hell of a solo debut.
Boku no Okurimono
Off Course is a folk-pop band that, slowly-but-surely, rose to the top of the Japanese music world, eventually going on to become one of the most popular and iconic groups of the 80s. Yeah... the 80s. See, that rise took a long time, with their debut "Boku no Okurimono" not even charting upon its initial release. It's got a dreamy, lucid sound to it that serves as a perfect introduction to Off Course. A near-perfect debut from a band that truly worked their asses off to make it.
Yumi Matsutoya is one of the biggest stars Japan has ever produced, selling over 39 million records and is the second best selling solo artist in Japanese music as well. And it all began in 1973 with her first album "Hikouki Gumo", which, while it isn't her best work, managed to fantastically lay down the foundation for her to blossom on as an artist in the upcoming years.
Anata ni Muchuu ~Uchiki na Candies~
Candies were one of the first idol pop groups in Japan, and had some success during their five year run, with the trio maintaining a strong cult following today amongst classic idol pop fans. Their first album "Anata ni Muchuu ~Uchiki na Candies~" is full of sunshiny corny 70s pop that somehow manages to outrank most of the 80s idol pop groups in corniness. The one thing that Candies' debut has going for it though is its heavy use of synthesizers, which makes the album one of the first pure pop albums to utilize strong synthesizers, a trait that is basically a given in Japanese pop today, especially among idol pop.