Saturday, November 10, 2012


YEAR:  1966
LABEL:  King
TRACK LISTING:  涙のギタ Sentimental Guitar,  雨の想い出 I'll Remember In The Rain,  ダイヤモンド・ヘッド Diamond Head,  黒田節 Kuroda-Bushi,  夜路 Night Road,  夜霧の渚 Yogiri-No Nagisa,  津軽じょんがら節 Tugaru Jyongara-Bushi,  越後獅子 Echigo Jishi,  ユア・ベイビー Your Baby,  ブルー・ジーンNo1 Blue Jean,  ハートで歌おう Touch Your Heart,  涙の十字路 Namida-No Jyugiro,  草津節 Kusatu-Bushi,  急がば廻れ Walk - Don't Run,  グラナダ Guranda,  黒い瞳 Dark Eyes,  禁じられた遊び Jeux Interdits 1st Part,  第三の男 The Harry Lime Theme,  ジャニー・ギター Johnny Guitar,  駅馬車 Stagecoach,  マラゲーニャ Malaguena,  魅惑のギタ Haunted Guitar,  キャラバン Caravan,  テネシー・ワルツ Tennessee Waltz,  ウスクダラ Usukudara (Turkish Tale)
IMPRESSIONS:  In that indispensible tome RE/SEARCH: INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC (Vol. 2), Jello Biafra states that "BLUE JEANS GOLDEN ALBUM" is the best instrumental album he's ever heard.  And it's hard to argue that point - except to say that it isn't entirely an instrumental album.  There are a couple vocals here.  But we know what he means.  In the realm of "surf guitar" albums (for want of a better term), Takeshi Terauchi & Blue Jeans' "GOLDEN ALBUM" is certainly in the top 5 handful.  Certainly Terry (as he is known) is the greatest electric surf guitar player in Japan and can stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, Link Wray or the Ventures (whose 1962 tour of Japan was the "big bang" that created an entire Japanese musical genre:  the "Eleki Scene" or "Electric Boom" which is still going to this day).  As a rule, I cannot sit and listen to an entire "surf guitar" album without the "sameyness" wearing me down; however "GOLDEN ALBUM" is an exception.  There variety in Terry's playing as well as the song choices and many musical genres (still inside the surf guitar style) never tire the ear.  Besides the expected surf guitar fast rockers and slow ballads, Terry offers us cowboy western (the "Oh Bury Me Not"-sounding "Stagecoach" and the Joan Crawford operatic western theme "Johnny Guitar") and Spanish guitar ("Guranada", "Malaguena"), the whimsical big band arrangement of "The Harry Lime Theme" (better known as "The Third Man Theme"), the Russian folk dance "Dark Eyes" (better known as "Hotchacornya" or some such spelling) and even "Arabian Nights" lounge cliche "Caravan" (done in a style very reminiscent of the computerized Perry & Kingsley oeuvre) and the Turkish "Usukudara".  Then, as mentioned, there are a couple vocal tracks which give Japanese versions of mid-60's pop songs ("Your Baby" and "Touch Your Heart") which manage to duplicate and parody them at the same time.  That's quite a varied menu.  And Terry puts them all over with incredible energy, dexterity, virtuosity and whimsical humour.  
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Sentimental Guitar,  I'll Remember the Rain,  Kuroda-Bushi,  Night Road,  Tugaru Jyongara-Bushi,  Echigo Jishi,  Your Baby,  Touch Your Heart,  Namida-No Jyugiro,  Kusatu-Bushi,  Guranada,  Dark Eyes,  Jeux Interdits 1st Part,  The Harry Lime Theme,  Johnny Guitar,  Stagecoach,  Caravan,  Tennessee Waltz
FACT SHEET:  Takeshi Terauchi was born in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan on January 17, 1939.  He began his career playing rhythm guitar for the country-western band "Jimmy Tokita & the Mountain Playboys" before forming his own band "The Blue Jeans" in 1962 in response to surf guitar band the Ventures' immensely influential tour of Japan in tha year which created the Japanese surf guitar genre "Eleki Scene".  Terry's guitar of choice is a White Mosrite on which he demonstrates his virtuosity with the tremolo arm or "whammy bar" as well as his heavy use of vibrato and frenetic picking style.  In 1966, Terry left the Blue Jeans to form a new band called "The Bunnys"; this lasted only until 1968 when he left and re-formed the Blue Jeans in 1969 with whom he's recorded and performed ever since.      

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