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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tora Tora Tora
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...
Published on 11 Nov 2011 by Patrick Neylan

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars or "some records I quite like"
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...
Published on 13 Feb 2008 by disturbedchinchilla


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tora Tora Tora, 11 Nov 2011
By 
Patrick Neylan "Patrick Neylan" (Orpington, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japrocksampler (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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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars or "some records I quite like", 13 Feb 2008
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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5.0 out of 5 stars boosted my music collection, 22 May 2014
By 
M. T. Inch "moondog188" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japrocksampler (Paperback)
Cope does enthusiasm with style. I would be surprised if you don't get hold of some of the music after reading this.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You really should read this book !!!, 5 Nov 2010
Julian Cope did an amazing job of shaking off the 'acid-fried' loon image that dogged his early solo years (often over-shadowing the beautiful music he was making) and in the early 1990's wrote a variety of books from autobiography to learned archeological tomes to the definitive book about Krautrock. Missing out on Krautrocksampler, I pre-ordered this baby and was amazed when I read it and I continue to be amazed even now. Being a total music junkie, what I liked most about the book was that it was ALL entirely new ground for me. The only Japanese person featured in the book, that I had previously heard of was Yoko Ono. I had never heard of Les Rallizes Denudes, The Jacks, Blues Creation, The Mops or Flower Travellin Band. What is interesting about the scene that Cope covers is the Japanese have a habit of hearing something from the West, trying to imitate it, but in doing so, actually come out with their own unique twist until it is entirely they're own music ! Brilliant. This book is an excellent starting point if you are slightly eclectic in your music tastes or just a little jaded by what you hear these days. Just read about Takashi Mizutani of Les Rallizes Denudes and then ponder how utterly cool the guy is. I mean the guy is not part of the 'underground', he is BELOW the underground. He doesn't even make records ! He has never been at the beck and call of a record company. Total...artistic...freedom. Makes Keef Richards and Iggy Pop and the like look utterly square and corporate by comparison !! My only criticism is that Cope sometimes writes almost too convincingly and seductively and praises records that are sometimes, frankly, unlistenable (ie. some of the music on his Black to Communist 2 compilation) However, I have got into much of the music featured in this book (Les Rallizes Denudes especially) and have turned a few people (or tried to) onto its merits. I know it enriches my life and for that, I thank him many, many times over. Many of the albums featured in his Top 50 are very difficult to get hold of (not actually Cope's fault), but you can get alot of them, if you're willing to put in the effort. In fact, that sums up both this book and genre - if you're willing to put in the effort, you will be amazed by what you read and by what you hear. You owe it to yourself. Quit reading this review and just buy the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull as those bands are not really very exciting but ..., 6 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Japrocksampler (Paperback)
A bit dull as those bands are not really very exciting but a good piece of writing from mr Cope
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Japrocksampler
Japrocksampler by Julian Cope (Paperback - 6 Oct 2008)
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