Julian Cope's Japrocksampler blog

COOP says:
Packshot I've been enjoying Julian Cope's highly-recommended new book on Japanese 60's/70's freak/psych/noise rock very much, and I'm just beginning the process of tracking down some of the music therein (and so far, it is just as crazy and interesting as described!) For someone with a 20-year+ music addiction, it is a great thrill to be turned on to a whole chunk of great stuff that you previously knew nothing about.

Anyway, I just noticed that Mr. Cope has a companion website, with a full A-Z encyclopedia of artists and albums. If the sight of all those crazy LPs doesn't whet your appetite, you deserve to listen to the new Britney Spears CD instead!
Link to Japrocksampler blog, Link to buy Japrocksampler book


  1. I had that motorcycle. Honda CL/SL/CB350 twin. SOHC, 325cc, rugged but slow. Never rode it in the nude, though.
    This era of rock deserves better documentation, and it looks like Cope did an excellent job.

  2. Yellow Magic Orchestra!

    That book looks great. I sure hope he goes on to make an 80’s – 90’s version. It’s all about Ruins and Cornelius. Akaten. Melt Banana and OOIOO…

  3. Oh mercy! The blog was interesting, the pictures delightful, but you try to google JapRock and it makes your ears bleed. Before I write a hasty blog about how awful my jorney into JapRock was can anyone direct me to some good sites? (MP3 links-even better)

  4. I lived in Japan (Okinawa) from 1955 to 1973 and this stuff really brings back memories! Most of my friends in the US base schools listened to western rock bands exclusively but I listened to the Japanese bands also. I’m truly bummed that I missed a lot after leaving in ’73 to attend college in Oregon but later after I moved to Seattle, I was able to find some good Japanese music at the small used record shops. I love YMO but I think Haruomi Hosono is the real treasure. I hope Julian covers later Japanese music, too. All the other great artists/bands deserve coverage. I’ve seen the Boredoms, Pizzicato 5, Cornelius and Buffalo Daughter among others here in Seattle.

  5. That Flower Travellin Band photo he used for the cover is probably my favorite Japanese LP cover art– freaky hippies riding down the highway naked on motorcycles, yow!

  6. I’ve been intensely involved in the book over the last couple of weeks. I knew the broad outline of Japanese rock during the early 70s, but Cope really fills in the details. The chapter about J.A. Caesar (Seazer) is my favorite (just about anything by Caesar and the Tokyo Kid Brothers is worth tracking down). There is a real theatrical aspect to the era (Cope argues that 1970s rock in Japan was profoundly shaped by the Japanese production of Hair). Potential readers should be warned though–Cope’s biases (against blues rock and the stunningly great Murahachibu, e.g.) are very apparent and Cope’s lack of Japanese leads to many elementary romanization/spelling errors. Luckily Cope has opened his website to the wisdom of the crowd.

  7. #3, Alfie- that mirrors my experience with most of Julian Cope’s output– his writing’s astounding, and really inspires me to listen to the music he writes about- and then I’m usually massively disappointed when I get round to hearing it. Just not my taste, I guess.

  8. What’s even better than reading him, is to go to listen to the guy talk. He’s got one of the most listenable voices around (..and I’m not talking about music). I went along when he did the release tour for his Modern Antiquarian book. He’s just so full of enthusiasm and delight, that he could almost convince me that there is a god (hint of irony here).

  9. Not to be PC, but why JapRock and not JRock? Four out of five Japanese agree, referring to something Japanese as Jap— is a lot like referring to something African-American as Nig—. Not cool.

    Especially when JRock is widely used to describe Japanese rock:


    1. The book is named this because he previously released a book on underground German music called Krautrocksampler (“Krautrock” taken from a song title by the German band Faust), and this was just keeping it consistent. If you read JRS, that sort of thing doesn’t show up in the text itself.

  10. @ Dghilton

    because only a small amount of foreign anime nerds say that rubbish. Cope being somewhat a musicologist (although quite a subjective one) obviously didn’t want it connected to a bunch of anime nerds, and instead aimed at introducing Japanese music to those who would be interested, and an interesting read for those who are Japanese music fans of international artists such as Sadao Watanabe or Kitaro.

    As for the book, it is shame it is laden with subjectiveness.

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