Shin Joong Hyun and The Yup Juns (신중현과 엽전들) – Vol. 1 (1974)

capa cópia

Shin Joong Hyun’s music on the last couple of years, began to be very widespread across the western world, thanks (once again) to Light In The Attic who even brought him to play its first show on American soil! Re-discovered and re-launched by Lion Productions, this is their last effort on the 70’s Korean musical scene.

With only two albums recorded, and its dissolution in 1975, the Yup Juns didn’t succeed at the time, much caused by military repression and boycott, that would last until the turn of the decade. With the coming 80’s Shin returned with other projects and began its upswing again. Its versatility and influence throughout decades assure him as a Korean answer to Hendrix or Brian Wilson’s work, as the godfather of Korean rock (K-Rock), we will return its biography along with other posts and records!

A Film's Excerpt
A Film’s Excerpt

Let’s go to our artist:

Korea. Born in Seoul in 1938, Shin spent several years living with his father and stepmother in both Japan and Manchuria. After becoming orphaned at age 15, he returned to its birth city and slowly began plotting a career in rock and roll.

It was in 1957, at the spring variety show at the 8th US Army base in Seoul, that Shin Joong Hyun gave his first public performance. The 19-year-old had lived through Japanese rule, the subsequent division of Korea into two warring states, and the US police action that followed. The Harmony guitar he strummed had been paid for by many hours toil at a relative’s pharmaceutical factory! At the variety show, as girl dancers gyrated for the entertainment of American GLS, Shin played standards and showed tunes, a tame material for a boy who worshiped Elvis and Charlie Parker.

Shortly after, he became the first rock star South Korea had ever seen, and its first prominent band, Add 4, was the first native rock band. The following year, Shin cast his first records, covers of Korean pop, beat, and garage. His own tastes remained attuned to the west, however. He pioneered style after style for Korean-speaking audiences, embodying the rebellious rock and roll attitude, too. The year, 1964.

A Young Shin
A Young Shin

Shin: ‘I remember the first time I heard the Beatles. I was mesmerized by their sound: it was blissful. I tried to mimic them with my four-piece, Add 4

AFKN (American Forces Korea Network) had also guided him into psychedelic sounds, then emanating live from the US, such as Jefferson Airplane:

Shin: ‘I mimicked their music, visuals, and sounds without fully understanding what it was. Later, I was playing a psychedelic song and some American hippies – antiwar protesters – came to listen. I became friends with them, and they taught me what psychedelic music really was. They also gave me LSD.’

In 1972, at the height of his career, the South Korean government requested him to pen an ode to (infamous) President Park Chung-Hee and his ruling Republican Party (sic). Shin refused the dictatorship’s request; soon, he was blacklisted within South Korea’s music industry and his songs banned. The final descent happened some years later, arrested for possession of marijuana in 1975, he then was tortured in prison and incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital (check Kim Choo Ja post). (!)

Shin Joong Hyun & The Yup Juns
Shin Joong Hyun & The Yup Juns

Shin: ‘It was all, ‘Let’s work hard’ and ‘Let’s be happy’ kind of stuff. It was completely physical, with no spirit, no mentality, no humanity. That trend has carried over all the way to today. When I was arrested, I was so miserable, had any motivation to continue, that time I really reached rock bottom.’

Let’s go to our record:

Originally recorded in 1974 as a very limited-edition, intended only for radio stations, the record failed to catch fire at its release, Shin’s Korean record label (Jigu Records) dropped it, and the band had to re-cut the whole material. The original version was, until now, almost impossible to find in both the East and the West.

Shin earned renown for his guitar playing, he is only the sixth guitarist in history to earn recognition from the Fender guitar company’s Custom Shop Tribute Series. His performance pushes ahead of the beat and then lags behind it, creating suspense, urgency, and at times, reggae-style upbeat emphasis, in such unique flow!

Yup Juns Promo
Yup Juns Promo

Shin: ‘In the spring of 1974, I named my 3-piece group Shin Joong Hyun & Yupjuns. We got a room at the Tower Hotel and started writing songs. We wanted to write and create a Korean style rock album. It took us six months to write 10 songs and Beautiful Woman was one of them, this song became extremely popular.

In Korean, yupjun literally means a brass coin, however, during that time it was used as slang to describe a sense of unpleasantness and dislike. Since I was so unpleasant and dissatisfied (in my career), I told myself, Ok, fine, I am just a yupjun!’

This is without the slightest doubt its best work, my favorite too, a truly Korean rock masterpiece, with psychedelic, hard, soul and groove influences that permeate the album. Kim Jung Mi’s 1975 Lp has a similar mood, probably Shin’s collaboration too.

Nowadays
Nowadays

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Think, a fuzzy bullet with a swinging pace and short time length, but do not underestimate it, Shin’s voice catches and invites you to sing all along! And The Rising Sun, the only instrumental one, with a very laid back feeling, this improvisation got brilliant guitar solos, sound effects, and an eerie atmosphere.

여행을 떠나요!

Tracks Include:

A1 Beautiful Woman

A2 Think

A3 I Think There Was Someone Else

A4 Long, Long Night

A5 I Love You

B1 Lady

B2 Anticipation

B3 I’ve Got Nothing To Say

B4 I Do Not Know

B5 The Rising Sun (Instrumental)

Release: 1974-08-25

Credits

Vocals, Guitar, Composer, and Arrangements: Shin Joong Hyun

Bass: Lee Nam-Yi

Drums: Kim Ho-Sik

Produced: King Park

Jigu – JLS-120891

Gwangju Uprising
Gwangju Uprising

Indonesian Mixtape ~ 2013

Benny Soebardja & Lizard
Benny Soebardja & Lizard

Indonesia. Fossilized remains of Homo Erectus and his tools, popularly known as the Java Man, suggest the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by at least 1.5 million years ago. Austronesian People who form the majority of the modern population, are thought to have originally been from Taiwan and arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE. The earliest evidence of Islamised populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra; for the most part, Islam is overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and (curious tolerant) multiple religious influences.

Europeans arrived in Indonesia from the 16th century seeking to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in Maluku. In 1602 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was established and became the dominant European power. Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800, and the Netherlands government created the Dutch East Indies under government control. (sic)

By the early 20th century, Dutch dominance extended to the current boundaries. The Japanese invasion and subsequent occupations in 1942-45 during WWII ended Dutch rule and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement. Two days after the surrender of Japan on August 1945, nationalist leader (future leader), Sukarno, declared independence and became president.

Tielman Brothers
Tielman Brothers

While the West and many other western-styled democratic countries reveled in rock music, the left-leaning government of Sukarno took a dim view of western influence in the early days of the Indonesian Republic, restricting the purchase and sale of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, as well as those of homegrown artists performing western-style rock music. This could be accredited to a rejection of Western culture after three centuries under Dutch colonial rule and was argued to help Indonesian artists create their own form of Indonesian pop music. (!)

Sukarno’s government insisted on Indonesia producing its own brand of pop music, yet many of these groups still showed western musical influences in their arrangements shown either by the crooner styled vocals or R&B flavored guitars for rhythm. Indonesia’s more popular groups, most notably Koes Bersaudara, later renamed Koes Plus found life increasingly difficult under Sukarno frequent queries from the authorities for performing western rock, while other Indonesian rock n’ roll pioneers like the Tielman Brothers had to make their name in Europe.

These were the early beat, garage and pop scene.

Dara Puspita 60's
Dara Puspita 60’s

Let’s go to our history:

Sukarno’s anti-imperial ideology saw Indonesia increasingly dependent on Soviet and then communist China. By 1965, the PKI was the largest communist party, outside the Soviet Union or China. Penetrating all levels of government, the party increasingly gained influence at the large expense of the army.

On September 30, 1965, six of the most senior generals within the military and other officers were executed in an attempted coup. This fact prompted a violent army-led communist purge, aided by CIA and British Foreign Office, over a million people were killed in a year, a year and a half, throughout the country. (!!)

1965-66 Prisions
1965-66 Prisons

General Suharto politically outmaneuvered President Sukarno, and became president in March 1968. When he finally opened the floodgates for western culture, Suharto’s new order regime’s friendly stance towards western powers allowed the emerging rock music scene to flourish. With the country entering open relations with the western, many Anglo-American artists like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Genesis, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, King Crimson, Janis Joplin and Black Sabbath flooded Indonesia’s radio waves while its fresh new sound helped create many of Indonesia’s best-known artists of the ’70s, be it directly or indirectly. The decade also provided numerous bands and household rock stars still active on today’s musical charts.

Thanks to Now Again’s fantastic compilation (2011) of Indonesian rock, Those Shocking Shaking Days, people worldwide were able to taste the greatest bands from the Indorock scene. With a tumultuous historical background, led by a 33-year dictatorship, Rock music was a real exhaust valve in a land of fear, death, and corruption. We’re talking about a place where a right-wing paramilitary organization Pemuda Pancasila grew out of the death squads to reach maximum popularity as national heroes! They got strictly bonds with the government and more than 3 million members throughout Indonesia! With no trials or official recognition, this frightening aspect it’s shown on Joshua Oppenheimer documentary, The Act of Killing.

Commie Purge
Commie Purge

Let’s go to our mixtape:

A Mixtape it’s a personal choice that usually ranges a certain time or era, serving as a gateway for new listeners. Today we’ll focus on 70’s scene, therefore, some brilliant Indonesian bands will be out of our first selection, such as Koes Plus, AKA, Shark Move, Super Kid, Panbers, Duo Kribo, etc. Their complete biography and developments will be left for an exclusively dedicated post, there will be many, don’t worry! This is just warming for Indonesian rock, phew, let’s to them!?

Dara Puspita ~ Tabah & Cobalah (1971)

dara puspita 71 cópia

Harapan Kosong /// Did You Know That?

Dara Puspita (Flower Girls) was Indonesia’s most successful girl band of the 1960s. The girls were one of the few groups who actually played their own music. Hailed from the city of Surabaya in East Java and first formed in 1964, on 1965 the band relocated to Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and soon gained a reputation as a sensational live act, bashing away their instruments, jumping and screaming out their songs.

Riding on the beat garage, in 1968 they took the almost unprecedented move for an Indonesian band of trying their luck in Europe and spent the next few years touring in England, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, and Hungary. They even played in Turkey and Iran! In late 1971 the girls returned to Indonesia and played a number of concerts, and on April 1972 they played their last show.

The selected songs are from their last era, a real psychedelic issue with less girlie posture, serious fuzz, and organ. Words in English and Indonesian, some soul swing and no political themes on lyrics. By the way, the band was much used in Suharto’s years as a nationalist flag of Indonesia’s greatness (sic). Their 71′ released are also on Hans Pokora’s book, that’s why is so difficult to find any good transfer.

Harry Roesli Gang ~ Philosophy Gang (1973)

harry roesli cópia

Peacock Dog //// Roda Angin

Harry Roesli has been a well-known artist in Indonesia, who pioneered contemporary music with consistent delivery of social and humanity critics in a straight forward and transparent way. He was born in Bandung and passed away on December 11, 2004.

During early ’70s, Harry formed a band called Gang of Harry Roesli with his friends: Albert Warnerin, Indra Rivai, and Iwan A Rachman. Five years later the group was disbanded. Harry was then granted a scholarship by Cultuur, Recreatie en Maatschapelijk Werk (CRM), to study in Rotterdam Conservatorium, Netherlands. To support his life while studying and expressing his musical talent, he played piano at Indonesian restaurants, achieving Ph.D. in Music (1981) and then lecturing at the department of music at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI).

This is his first release, words in English and Indonesian, fabulous keys timbres, small Latin accent with a pop-psych overall. Harry lyrics suffered constant boycotts and a blacklist agenda by the military government. He’s certainly the most restless author from all, with dozens of records and few acknowledgments worldwide.

Benny Soebardja & Lizard ~ Benny Soebardja & Lizard (1975)

Benny Soebardja cópia

Crime /// Loosing Time

The Indonesian Hendrix, the self-proclaimed founder of the private press scene, Benny Soebardja is one of the most important figures from the Indonesian music industry. Having been a member of three of the biggest bands in Indonesia: The Peels, Shark Move and Giant Step. Backed by the almost unknown Lizard band.

He got some problems due to its first solo release, with a banned cover and government intimidation who saw too much freedom of speech on its lyrics. The words in English were made with the help of British poet Bob Dook. With psychedelic nature, organ, reeds, light/heavy guitar work, and harmonic soulful chorus, some social criticism themes are included. He’s still on the run!

God Bless ~ God Bless (1976)

godbless cópia

Sesat /// Eleanor Rigby

God Bless pioneered the birth of rock music in Indonesia dated back in early ’70s. The band’s central figure vocalist Ahmad Albar, previously formed Take Five (1966-1967), and later Clover Leaf (1967-1972). When he returned to Indonesia, Fuad Hassan (drums), Donny Fatah (bass) and Deddy Dores (keyboard) were invited to form with him, God Bless. They dominated rock music performance during the decade, even though they did cover versions of Deep Purple, Genesis, Kin Ping Meh, Queen.

God Bless also performed as the opening act for a spectacular show (with 120,000 crowds!) featuring Deep Purple live in Stadion Utama, Jakarta, 1975. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1976, by Indonesian label Pramaqua. With a major hit: Huma di Atas Bukit the album remarked the birth of Indo rock scene.

Classic Rock at it’s the best definition, words in Indonesian with a tuned rock band. They’re the best selling rock band from Indonesia history and are still on the run!

Giant Step ~ Kukuh Nan Teguh (1977)

giant step cópia

Mekar //// Alam Bebas

One of the legendary Indonesian progressive rock acts of the ’70s, with influences from the American/British prog legends, they established their own sound with great originality. They went through a series of line-up changes with the omnipresent figure of Benny Soebardja, plus the best musicians from Bandung: Deddy Stanzah (Rollies), Deddy Dores (Freedom of Rhapsodia), Albert Warnerin (Philosophy Gang).

They managed to release several albums with great commercial success before finally breaking up in 1986. Sung in Indonesian, strong moogs and synths, nice guitars, flutes, broken signature, and beautiful rock ballads. Altogether, you can call them true prog heroes, with no influences from traditional music or social criticism themes.

Guruh Gipsy ~ Guruh Gipsy (1977)

guruh gipsy cópia

Janger 1897 Saka /// Geger Gelgel

The only album released by the band (with Chrisye), it’s the second greatest from all time according to Rolling Stone Indonesia (!). We’ll make a complete post with biography and info members in the near future, this is no ordinary record! After sixteen months of production, as the two musical elements have different spectrum in terms of notes and chords progression, Guruh spent a lot of time outside the studio to learn the subtleties of western music as well as Bali traditional music. They strived to find the harmony that blended prog rock with Bali traditional gamelan music.

With a rock combo (guitar, bass, drums, organ), orchestra, female backing vocals, heavy moogs, and traditional instruments, this is probably the greatest mix between traditional and modern anglo music I’ve ever seen, at least in Indonesia!

A symphonic prog with outstanding arrangements, full-length songs, heavenly chorus and many different climates throughout the record, a must-see.

Trip Becik!

Indonesian Orangutan
Indonesian Orangutan

JAGATARA (暗黒大陸じゃがたら) – Nanban Torai (南蛮渡来) [1982]

Nanban Torai
Nanban Torai

JAGATARA (Jacatra, romanized), is an exclusive 80’s band from Japan, so they didn’t participate the 60/70’s Avant rock scene as their eldest predecessors, like Happy End, Sadistic Mika Band, Speed, Glue & Shinki, Haruomi Hosono, Jacks, Maki Asakawa, and Yoshiko Sai. Thus, our usual background for Japanese rock, early context, and its characters’ stories will appear throughout our galaxy, not today! Further that, this is an odd kind of rock, especially for an oriental one.

Japanese rock is primarily founded on folk and blues, later, southern rock and psychedelia, all these wisdom, are set aside to give chance for a new wave aesthetics! Like all great band, they deserved a continuous rewriting and rediscovering of its sound, live performances, and biography, all CD re-releases made by BMG Japan are quite new, ergo, all digital archives found on the net today. This fact, made them formerly unknown worldwide, also, the original Lp’s (released on an independent label) are rather expensive treasures in today’s heated market of vinyl. Hereupon, welcome to the outstanding world of JAGATARA!

Let’s go to their story:

Having on its key figure, your deceased singer, writer, and composer, Edo Akemi (July 1, 1952 – January 27, 1990)JAGATARA, are an incredible mix of genres, backed on a punk rock basis (drums, bass, guitar). They moved away from the usual rock that was being made back then, to debut as one of the greatest bands from Japan, audience and commercially speaking. Edo’s performances are a separate chapter in their history, his visceral punk anima, shocked the public due to extreme actions, such as constant injuries, bleed out, golden showers and live defecations! (!!)

But it’s the music power combo and its lyrics, their greatest development. Coming from a restless hyperactive frontman, themes like loneliness, madness, life in the big city, drug abuse and satirical social issues were present throughout his short career.

Early Formation
Early Formation

Born in Nakamura, a Kochi prefecture, near Tokyo, Edo Masataka (birth name) was the fourth from a five sisters family. Since childhood, an intelligent, fastidious and sore loser used to play tricks with its friends and learned early to question authority. A famous episode was a discussion with the priest from his Junior High School, he doubted and alleged some ‘big mistakes on the bible’, horrified the cleric expelled him from the church. That event was his Christian withdraw!

During the period of 1971 until 1979, he entered at Meiji University, on Tokyo, to attend on Letters and History course, the fact that it took twice as long until his graduation, shows us a loosely mind not so fitted with the common and boring status quo. But it was there, that the embryo from JAGATARA would be formed, more precisely in his eight and last admission, on august 79, together with Ebby (guitar) and Pan (bass) they debuted on live stages.

Thenceforth, the band began his ascent to the mainstream, their anarchist live performances on April 1980 at Shinkuku Theater called the national media attention: Akemi’s tearing up and eating in the raw a live chicken and a Shimahebi (sort of snake) (!!). The season concerts extend sold out throughout the year with dozens of publications from specialized magazines and even a Playboy famous interview.

Punk Samurai
Punk Samurai

An Ep (Last Tango in Joku) is released in April 1981, the live exposures continue. Due to mass media coverage plus high expectations from the audience (only) for Edo’s freak shows, with months, they realize the monster that they birth: a ZERO interest in their music! The band had become a fancy bourgeois product. Aware of it all, later that year comes the shift that would transform the band’s whole proposal. Alongside with OTO‘s (guitar) entry, the pure punk sound is left a bit aside, gaining new colors with the funk and afrobeat. During September/October they began the production of their first full-length album, that would take until April 1982.

With Nanban Torai release, they consolidate their status as real musicians and composers, from that on, the band entered in another suicidal domestic tour, by the end of 1983, Edo was diagnosed with a harsh mental disorder. Hospitalized and later discharged with his parents in Shikoku, simultaneously on Tokyo, the Dark Continent Jacatra band would see a two-year hiatus (1983-85) caused too, by many quarrels among its members and multiple charges for drug possession.

A live release occurs in the interval and in 1986 the band returns with a new formation, on the same basis, but more close to the big band formula: horn sections, keyboards, percussion and female choir dancers!

Final Formation
Final Formation

Until 1990, more than 6 albums hits nihonjin music charts, unfortunately, in early January 90, Edo is found dead at his home, the Mortis causa: accidental drowning while bathing. The astonishing news suddenly hits all band members, though he had offered to leave the band just before death, JAGATARA broke up instantly due to lack of its central figure. As if not enough on April 8, 1992, Pan dies of acute pneumonia, eight months later Shinoda (sax) passes by myocardial infarction (!).

Let’s go to our record:

Considered the 22nd greatest album by Rolling Stone 100 JapanNanban Torai (Barbarian Introduction) is a contagious mix. Ranging from diverse personal genres, such as Frank Zappa, southern rock, funk, afrobeat, reggae, punk rock and post-punk. The album, released on May 1982 for Dr. Records, an independent label, got a strange live feeling and it was an instant success on Japan, being aired on Tokyo Channel 12 and transmitted by NHK-FM.

For instance, during a live TV performance the vocalist from a punk band called Gism, entered underhand and had an aggressive struggle with Edo. That would cause one of the greatest disagreements, the band didn’t even try to mend the fight, on the contrary, the song was played until the end, with both on the floor!

The ‘IM’ highlights for today will be straight: End of Season, an urban post-punk, with lots of fuzz, dancing uptempo, singing way manifesto and dissonant ending. A direct shot! And Baby, simply the greatest groove so far, an homage to everything that jumps: soul, funk, disco, boogie. Nile Rodgers swing guitar feels, heavy solos and the greatest mantra chorus for your party time, please enjoy.

God Tur!

Track include:

A1 でも・デモ・Demo

A2 季節のおわり(End of Season)

A3 Baby

A4 タンゴ (Tango)

B1 アジテーション (Agitation Vagina)

B2 ヴァギナ・Fuck

B3 FADE OUT

B4 クニナマシェ (Kuninamashe)

Music, Songwriting: Edo Akemi /////// Arrangement: Dark Continent Jacatra

Members:

Akemi Edo ~ vocals /// SAMMY ~ drums /// Pan ~ (bass)

Ebby ~ guitar /// OTO ~ guitar

Guest musicians:

  • Yoshida (Yoshida Tetsuji) (trumpet) 1, 3
  • Smiley (baritone sax) 1
  • Shinnosuke (alto sax) 1
  • Beginning Band (Chorus) 1
  • P · C · E & C (Aso Rabbit) (chorus) 1
  • Jacatra Girls (Chorus) 1, 3, 7, 8
  • Yutaka Fukuoka (Chikada Haruo & Biburatonzu) (percussion) 1, 5
  • Benkei (Tokyo Grand Guignol) (alto sax) 3, 7
  • Masashi Yamamoto and Oblique Eye Patch (chorus) 3
  • Kenji Ono (trumpet) 7
  • Sadagawa Aya (voice) 7
  • George Kawabe (Kawabe Noriyuki)
  • Kai (drums) 8
  • Kid in The Neighborhood (chorus) 8
Edo Akemi
Edo Akemi

Kim Choo Ja (김추자) Mixtape ~ 2013

kim choo ja cópia

Born January 2, 1951, in the city of Chuncheon, the youngest in a family of 5 sisters, Kim Choo-Ja (김추자) is considered the first sex symbol of Korean pop music. Despite being an unknown worldwide, she’s one of the most influential artist’s from the Republic of Korea. Born with a lascivious curvy body, something unusual for an Asian, she was not afraid to show off in her dances, performances, clothes and record covers, wearing tight jeans or mini skirts, tops with cleavage-boosting and tall boots, a real foxy! During her career, Choo-Ja passed through a lot of personas and attitudes, that not only reflected on her appearance but also on her sound and sexuality, like the early beat-girlie, the stoned-rock-hippy, and ultimate ferocious diva!

Even didn’t write her songs, as an interpreter, she was much helped by Shin Joong Hyun, the godfather of K-Rock, through her career, especially in her first steps. They met each other in 1969 after she had won the first prize in a festival of Arts at the University of Dongguk, where she graduated in Theatre and Cinema.

1971
1971

In October’s same year, debuts her first album: Before Its Late (늦기 전에), produced by Shin and accompanied by the band The Donkeys, the record reached great commercial success, introducing a new face in Korean pop music. Based on the psychedelic combo bass-drums-guitars-keyboards they Americanize traditional folk/trot music, until then, sung only in a high pitch by singers that looked like plasticized mannequins with their stern-tacky Hanboks.

With more than 30 (!) albums released between 1969 to 1975, Kim Choo-Ja completely dominated the 70’s and has established herself as one of the greatest singers of an era. She had problems with the censors for her hit ‘It’s a Lie’, which was banned by the military dictatorship, on the allegation that it instigates distrust. The military government, ruled by the infamous Park Chung-heealso suspected her dance moves to be a hand signal for North Korean spies. (?!)

1973
1973

There was a period of blacklists and stronger repression, motivated by Shin’s charge and arrest for marijuana possession, in December 75. During those years she was out of the charts, but it won’t last much, her big comeback took place in the series of shows Recital 78, released on 1980, the album brings her greatest hits on some different live arrangements, but it’s probably the cover, its most iconic and extravagant leap, an incredible Korean Power Booty!!

For a society that has lived under a dictatorship for decades, Choo-Ja suffered constant boycotts from the government until its fall in 1988.

With the ’80s, she launches more than 15 (!) discs from live shows (mostly) and romantic collections; due to their children, a remarriage and family reasons, she retires from the market in 1988. But the legacy of Choo-Ja can be seen, in parts, with all those never-ending pretty dolls who littered the Korean pop music scene today.

Hippy 70
Hippy 70

Let’s go to our record:

Today’s album is actually a Mixtape, organized by myself, traversing many records, trying to go through all periods from our Korean Bombshell!

It’s a pop-psychedelic beginning, the encounter with the Soul and its variations, the Latin accent, their romantic-modern versions of Trots and even a medley from the aforementioned ‘Recital 78’, with several successes, such as ‘Sgt. Kim’, ‘Regret’, ‘Rumour’, and even a version from ‘Ani Holem al Naomi’, single that sold more than 1 million copies in 70s Japan, from the Israeli duo Hedva and David!

We would be unfair to Choo-Ja if we just label her as an exclusively psych-folk singer, such as Kim Jung Mi (김정미) was. What we see here are Big Bands and their orchestrations, Brass Funk-Soul, Psych, Rock, Trots, Ballads and a familiar Korean tendency to put a few spoons of sugar into the romanticism‘Nangman’ (낭만)!

Portrait
Portrait

Unfortunately, the translation and reading in Hangul are extremely difficult, the content of the lyrics is still an incognita, as well some of the albums where the songs came out. A large number of compilations, pirate and collaboration albums, contribute to make this a HARD work, but in almost all themes the year is indicated on the mp3 file.

The ‘IM’ highlights today are for: ‘No’ (아니) a megaton groove, with breakbeats, brass, and an outstanding guitar swing! This is a really infectious soul that could be covered by any funk masters, such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power or even the pope James Brown! The other one is ‘Rain’ (비), one of the few that I couldn’t retrieve any info, what a pity! I’ve got a sentimental keen on that, a standard ballad, with Big Band accompaniment and a blue finale, an instant CLASSIC!

Lastly, don’t forget to check our special gallery selection, with some personal and rare photos. Phew! Perjalanan Yang Baik!