Monday, September 3, 2012

The Tempters - First Album (1968) Japan

The band formed in ’65 in Omiya, Saitama. (north west suburb of Tokyo) Tanaka (guitar) and Takaku (bass) started the band with his friend at Omiya Nishi High School. Then Matuzaki (lead guitar) joined the band. He was Tanaka’s old friend who went to another high school. At first they were an instrumental band covering Ventures stuff. In March ’66 they appeared at local club named the Okura. 
One day a boy joined them to sing Little Richard ‘s “Money”, and soon after he became singer of the band. It was Keizo Hakiwara (changed name to Kennichi Hagiwara later). He was only 15 years old. 
They began to appear at Jazz Kissa (Japanese teenage club) or discotheques in Tokyo. At the time they played lots of Stones cover along with few original songs. 
In ’67 they were contracted by Spiduction (management office run by The Spiders). 
The lineup at the time was Tanaka (rhythm guitar, organ), Takaku (bass), Matuzaki (lead vocal, lead guitar), Hagiwara (lead vocal), and Hiroshi Oguchi (drums). Oguchi was a replacement when they became a professional band. He was 16 years old. In October they released their first 45, double winner, “Wasure enu kimi /Let’s Live For Today”. “Wasureenu Kimi” was their original penned by Matuzaki . It was inspired by “Paint It Black”. “Let’s Live For today” was Japanese cover version of Grass Roots’s hit.(originally by Rokes). They were influenced by Living Daylights version. 
In March ’68 they released a 2nd 45. “Kamisama Onegai/Namida wo Egaoni”. Both songs were written by Matuzaki, who was genius songwriter. On the A-side Hagiwara’s frantic singing and his good looks attracted teen girls. Matuzaki sung the flip side, it was a Rolling Stonesish number. Making it a #2 hit, they became a top Idol Group Sound band, along with The Tigers.
For their 3rd single the record company prepared a song, so that they would more popular. It was written by professional songwriter, the band didn’t like such a orchestrated dramatic ballad. But Hagiwara’s frantic voice and Matuzaki’s brilliant Spanish guitar was exciting. It got to #1! 
But the adults were afraid their music, and kids dancing to rock’n’roll. Teenagers changed their brief life style….. And because of this, in some regions teenagers (or preteen) were forbidden to go GS gigs and concerts. 
In June ’68 they released their 1st album. Most of the songs are covers, along with a cool original,“Tell Me More” (appeared on Planet X).
Their next 45 was “Okaasann (My Mother)”, the lyrics are dedicated to mothers, to show that the Tempters were not dangerous for their daughters. But the flip side was “Himitu no Aikotoba (Secret Pass Word)”. The lyrics in some songs like "Secret password", "Jyunai(true love)" spoke of a secret love affair for which adults would not forgive their daughters. The Tempters promised their love for the girls.
In Feb ’69 they released their 2nd album “5-1=0”, the 5 are the band members, the title means if all members are not together then the band means nothing. Most of the GS groups could not write original songs by themselves except for a few bands like the Spiders, Wild Ones and the Blue Comets …But in the Tempters, Matuzaki wrote many original songs. On “5-1=0”, he wrote most of the songs except some single stuff which was written by professional song writers. He was genius and played exotic, brilliant guitar . 
(“Tell Me More” appeared on Sixties Garage Sampler and “Kono Mune Ni Dakishimete” on Hot Nips .) 
The album is one of most important GS albums. 
Singer Hagiwara was popular for young girls. His frantic exciting singing charmed young boys too. The next album was recorded live. It includes cover songs except a their own hit 45. Lots of Stones numbers, and a cool cover of “Keep On Searchin’” 
They played all styles, from John Lee Hooker’s blues to Monkees hits. 
In ’69 the GS boom became fell from popularity. The Tempters fourth album was recorded in Memphis using studio musicians (known as famous Dixie Flyers!) Actually it was not a real Tempters’ album, but a solo album by singer Hagiwara. It was released in Dec. ’69. 
This record was not a big success. In ’70 many GS bands disbanded or changed the music to a new style called New Rock, that was more serious and which was influenced from S.F. rock, The Cream, and Jimi Hendrix. 
In December ’70 Tempters disbanded too. Singer Hagiwara and drummer Oguchi joined new super band PYG. After PYG disbanded Oguchi formed Vodka Collins with Alan Merrill (who fromed The Arrows in UK in '73,and wrote “I Love Rock’n’Roll”). Hagiwara became actor and solo singer . 

01 - Kamisama Onegai (02:10)
02 - Summertime (02:30)
 03 - Stop The Music (03:00)
 04 - Birdy Told Me (02:05)
05 - Namida O Egaoni (02:16)
06 - Let's Live For Today (02:49)
 07 - Valelli (02:21)
 08 - Holiday (03:03)
 09 - Always Call Your Name (02:54)
10 - Boom Boom (02:52)
 11 - Lady Jane (03:49)
12 - Wasure Enu Kimi (02:52)

  Группа была образована школьниками в 1965 году в предместье Токио. Изначально группа исполняла каверы на песни "The Ventures" и "The Rolling Stones", выступая при этом на дискотеках и в клубах. В 1967 году группа заключает контакт с менеджментом "Spiduction" (у них на контракте уже были "The Spiders"). К июню 1968-го года группа выпустила 3 сингла. И в тот месяц на прилавки магазинов поступил их дебютный альбом, который состоял из многих каверов. Но второй и последующие альбомы писались исключительно своими силами, то есть без каверов. 
    - "The First Album" (1968)
    - "5-1=0" (1969)
    - "The Tempters On Stage" (1969)
    - "Encore" (1969)

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