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THE SHADOWS: THE JAPANESE CONNECTION

SHADOW MUSIC FOR JAPAN 1967



These are the 1967 tracks with Japanese associations, whether the work of Japanese or (asterisked titles) western composers.

RECORDED 26 FEBRUARY
BOMBAY DUCK
This fine composition by Japanese jazz bassist Toshio Honda, which elicited a bravura performance from The Shadows, was released prior to their tour of Japan in June 1967, and was to prove a great favourite in that country.

Japanís MAROC 7 / BOMBAY DUCK

RECORDED 17 JULY
*+LONDONDERRY AIR
This and the three other compositions marked with a + sign were the numbers that failed to appear on the UK Album From Hank, Bruce, Brian And John in December 1967, being issued on The Shadows In Japan released in Japan (and only in Japan) the preceding month; it was the only western item of the four, and a quintessentially western one at that. [The bypassed UK numbers duly appeared in on the 1968 LP The Shadows Sing.]

+GIN-IRO NO MICHI
'Silver-Colour Road'. The "road" which is the subject of this piece by noted composer Hiroshi Miyagawa (originally a vocal by Japanese male quartet The Dark Ducks) is this strikingly beautiful avenue lined with the snows of winter in the resort of Isawa, the founding of which is commemorated in the song.

EVENING GLOW
There is a local allusion in this richly textured and brightly-lit Japanese-sourced composition: as a meteorological phenomenon, 'evening glow' ('yuuyake koyake') can be particularly striking, indeed breathtaking.

*THE TOKAIDO LINE
A Japanese railway line inaugurated in 1964, The Tokaido Shinkansen connects Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka (working title of this group-penned piece: 'Osaka Express'), by means of the so-called "bullet-trains": it is a heavily used commuter line.

Detail from Recording Sheet 17 July 1967

RECORDED 19 JULY
THE WILD ROSES
Wild roses could be said to be one of the country's national treasures. This tuneful, elegant composition was penned by the famous Japanese actor Somegoro Ichikawa, a member of the prestigious Matsumoto family; Japanese title: 'Nobara saku michi'.

Roas rugosa: some 15 species roses grow in the natural environment of Japan

RECORDED 26 JULY
+OMOIDE NO NAGISA
'Beach Of Memories'. A vocal version of this number was released by Japanese group The Wild Ones in November 1966 (Capitol CR-1616). Here are the colourful front and back covers:

+KIMI TO ITSUMADEMO
'Till Eternity With You'. By Kosaku Dan, a pen name of musician and actor Yuzo Kayama, who did much to promote the cause of The Ventures in Japan in the 1960s (he recorded this number as a vocal in 1965, Toshiba TP-1190, and The Ventures recorded it as an instrumental the next year). Here is the front cover, followed by the front cover of his 1966 EP named after this track; then the front cover of The Ventures' 1966 single.

RECORDED 23 AUGUST
*NAUGHTY NIPPON NIGHTS
From the pen of Graham Gouldman, submitted to The Shadows as a demo by its youthful composer; the suggestive Japanese-styled title was almost certainly not the one given to the tune by Gouldman itself.



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