I have never heard this intriguing 2-LP set, but Unsung editor The Seth Man had a copy as a teenager and was not enamoured, describing it as 'more L.A. than Tokyo'. The album was produced in the USA by Mothers of Invention and Velvets producer Tom Wilson. According to Seth, the first LP side was 'kinda sub-par pop with the most interesting thing [being] the first track, which was a near-"Sgt. Peppper" type homage, highly phased drums and all the rest of it ... The second record had one track apiece ... which was the reason I bought it, figgering it would yield a maximum freak out. I only remember a lot of inept koto plucking, some Western gent prattling on 'meaningfully' in a proto-"Kung Fu" David Carradine manner about a pregnant dog and a little token freaking-out in a "Mondo Hollywood" style. I was left with the impression it was about as Japanese as the Chinese takeout-styled type design on the cover...which was to say: not all that much, unfortunately.'
Don't mess with Harumi
In my humble opinion the Sethman's dim remembrances of this very unique album are way off. I suppose if you feel that Sgt.Peppers was the pinnacle of western music you might be a bit put off by this one but personally I'd take the glorious imperfections of this album over the Beatles any day. From the awesome one-note bass line and King of Cartoons horns on the first track to the final two side long freakouts (the at times very VU sounding guitars make one wonder who may have been sitting in on these sessions) this one deserves some recognition.
Eerie, beautiful and weirdly uplifting songs, gorgeous psychedelic gatefold.
I Took A Ride (In Your Caravan) was later covered by the Rotary Connection.
Posted by mysterian00, Jul 20, 2008