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Japrocksampler Paperback – 6 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st Paper Back edition (6 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747593035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747593034
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This book's astonishing blend of seriousness and hilariousness is testament to perhaps the most remarkable mind in rock today' Word 'The most obscenely enjoyable book of the year ... enlightening, thrilling and occasionally hilarious ... Cope is a supremely engaging writer whose aim is to entertain, educate and freak out, like A. J. P. Taylor being spiked by Lester Bangs' Telegraph 'Fascinating ... keeps the reader gripped ... his evocations of all this authentically inauthentic music are enticing and convincing' ***** Observer Music Monthly 'Cope's first-hand knowledge of the petty rivalries and idiocies of life in the rock 'n' roll business lends his tales the sheen of authenticity. In its own way, Japrocksampler is a brave book' The Wire

About the Author

Julian Cope was born in Deri, South Glamorgan, and grew up in Tamworth. After forming a succession of half-groups and writing songs with Ian McCulloch (later of Echo & the Bunnymen), he eventually formed Teardrop Explodes with Gary Dwyer in 1978. He is the author of Krautrocksampler, Megalithic European, The Modern Antiquarian, Head-On and Repossessed. His website, www.headheritage.co.uk, contains some of the most entertaining and insightful album reviews on the web.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Neylan VINE VOICE on 11 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Just look at the cover: five Japanese longhairs hurtling along on motorbikes, stark naked. Admit it, you want this album, and you want it to be good.

Having refused to revise or republish Krautrocksampler, Cope has turned his attention to the even more obscure Japanese music scene of the 60s and 70s. In fact, the discussion of the Japanese art scene of the early 60s is one of the more fascinating sections (I'm dying to recreate one of High Red Center's art events outside my house).

Cope writes very well, such that it's almost possible to keep a handle on the endless procession of unfamiliar Japanese musicians, none of whose names or music will be known to most readers. Describing music in prose is hard enough; I wonder how many readers will be enlightened by comparisons to "Masma, The Cosmic Jokers ... and early Amon Düül".

Cope's abstract descriptions are, strictly speaking, less informative but a lot more fun. Take Les Rallizes Dénudés, a band so underground that, 40 years into their career, they have yet to record their debut album (I'm not making this up and nor, I hope, is Cope): "This band has ... delivered umpteen classic songs to our door, songs that our children's children will still be hiccupping, yelping and crooning in fifty years ... Play albums such as F***ed Up and Naked in the darkness of your lonely room, and you will experience yourself being sucked up into the ether with ne'er a stain left of your former presence here."

Given that his readers will have so few cultural reference points, Cope has done a remarkable job creating a book that is so informative and entertaining.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A cool read that covers Japanese Rock 'n' Roll from the mid-50s to the early 90s. The book does actually begin by discussing the sounds of 'musique concrete' and many composers growing disdain for the normal and the old. The book then covers the Japanese explosion of American Rock 'n' Roll in the 50s and moves on to the formation of the original Rock 'n' Roll of Japan through the 60s and 70s.

FYI, if you're looking for a book that covers modern Japanese rock music (LOUDNESS, X Japan, Luna Sea, ACCESS, Malice Mizer, Gackt, Sid, the Gazette, Versailles, etc) you need to look way elsewhere. Loudness gets one mention.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By disturbedchinchilla on 13 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
God knows we could do with a good book on Japanese alternative music. Sadly, this isn't it. Despite a promising start in which Cope gives a concise pocket history of post-war Japanese culture, Japrocksampler swiftly decomposes into a rambling, repetitive chow-down on some of Julian's favourite groups. Unsurprisingly, this results in something of a narrow focus - Cope likes his bands droney and druggy, so the span of the book doesn't reach much further than the territory covered in the seminal Krautrocksampler. Nothing wrong there, except there's nothing quite so tedious as an old hippy banging on about acid trips - and yes, Mr Cope does like to tell you that (wow) he once did some serious head medicine.

He does pay lip service to Japan's highly idiosyncratic free jazz world with a brief reference to guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi - but why no Kaoru
Abe? Similarly, underground legend Keiji Haino appears as a footnote to the story of Les Rallizes Denudes. Admittedly, the Rallizes story is so strange and compelling you couldn't make it up, but considering that Haino's work merits a book in itself, the scant reference feels a bit shoddy. The absence of any reference to the Noise scene is another obvious gaping hole.

Cope has enthusiasm in spades and a surprisingly incisive intelligence. So yes, despite the disappointments this is still an enjoyable read. However, you can't help thinking that he could have dispensed with most of it and simply published the (highly partisan) top 50 he ends the book with alone.
This would at least be a more honest reflection of his original intent.
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