I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ryudogumi -- Yagi Bushi Introduce (八木節イントロデュース)

I pulled out that old compilation LP that I bought from Wah Yueh back in the 80s which had a whole assortment of Japanese pop songs including this one. At the time, I had no idea who Ryudo Uzaki(宇崎竜童)was, so his rock group Ryudogumi(竜童組)was also a total unknown to me as well. It had a 5-year life between 1985 and 1990 and "Yagi Bushi Introduce" is the only song that I have heard by them.

The first time I listened to "Yagi Bushi Introduce" on the record player, I just thought that these guys were the result if Dexy's Midnight Runners had turned Japanese and hit the summer festival circuit. And according to Wikipedia, that's what the yagi bushi (Song of the Goat) is all about. It's a song-and-dance that is performed at festivals in the Kanto region, notably Gunma and Tochigi Prefectures with all of the energy and excitement that can be expected at a usual summer matsuri.

But with this particular arrangement, Uzaki and his group brought in a little more pizzazz with a violin and a horn section. I'm not sure whether Ryudogumi continued with this fusion of traditional Japanese and rock but with "Yagi Bushi Introduce", they certainly made quite the entrance. The song wasn't one of their official singles, but it was the first track on their debut album, "Ryudogumi" which came out in December 1985. The composer of the song is unknown but Uzaki's wife Yoko Aki(阿木燿子)provided the lyrics.

By the way, I have already referred to this LP in the past when I spoke about Yoko Minamino's(南野陽子)"Kamisama ga Inai Getsu"(神様がいない月).

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