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jefflynnefan
22-01-2018 21:32
Wonderful recent interview with Gary Numan. https://youtu.be/.
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Explorer
21-01-2018 21:04
Lucky and now skint, judging by the winning bid!!

jefflynnefan
21-01-2018 20:47
Some lucky Jeff Lynne fan got a real rarity! https://www.ebay....fr
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21-01-2018 09:43
Yep in Argent, especially as Rod Argent and Jim we’re cousins.

gdazegod
21-01-2018 07:43
Didn't Rodford also play in Argent and Charlie too?

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20-01-2018 22:04
Jim Rodford, bass player, The Kinks, Phoenix (I think?), but I remember him with The Zombies, saw live a while back. RIP

englandashes
17-01-2018 21:50
In response to Cyrille Regis, BBC 2 repeat the Adrian Chiles documentary, Whites v Blacks, How Football Changed A Nation, unbelievable true story, worth watching

Explorer
17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

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17-01-2018 01:57
Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

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17-01-2018 01:56
There is a three-part article coming up for E.L.O (Eldorado, A New World Record and Out Of The Blue). Look out for it soon.

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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Moondancer - 1979 Moondancer
 
Moondancer - 1979 Moondancer



ARTIST: Moondancer
ALBUM: Moondancer
LABEL: Alfa Records (Japan)
SERIAL: ALR-6014
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1997, Alfa Records (Japan), ALCA-9178

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Atsumi Rei - hammond organ, piano, solina, moog, keyboards, vocals * Sawamura Taku - electric & acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, flute, vocals * Shimoda Nobuhisa - bass, vocals * Sato Yoshiki - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Kagami No Naka No Shojo (Skin Tight Snake Skin Girl) * 02 Daddy Michael No Hanzai (Crime Of Daddy Michael) * 03 Giniro no Nami (Silver Wave) * 04 Yumemiru Kodomotachi (Dreaming Children) * 05 Arabesque * 06 Fly Up! Ima (Fly Up! Now) * 07 Asu E No Koshin (Of The Picture Tomorrow Koshin) * 08 Bara Shinju (BA-RA-SIN-JU) * 09 Kanashimi No Candle (Candle Love) a) Tsere No Yosei (I Met Maria In Celle) b) Christmas Eve No Yoru (Night Before Christmas) c) Kanashimi No Candle (Candle Love)


Background
Just one album from this Japanese band who have had very little written about their brief lifespan other than a lengthy Prog Archives review and an old interview on a hard to decipher Japanese web site. Putting together the digital bits and pieces the band was headed by keyboard player Atsumi Rei who after Moondancer's split joined up with Glory Daze favourites Vow Wow and later the keyboard heavy Sense Of Wonder. Apparently Moondancer did tour although how extensively is a mystery and despite good reviews the self-titled debut disappeared quickly which in part might explain the band's quick exit from the scene.


The Songs
Pre-dating fellow countrymen Novela, the sound of both bands is similar, mixing hard rock with accessible and often quite tasty prog moves. Throw in a lot of Queen, especially in the guitar work of Sawamura Taku, douse it with 'Sarabande' period Jon Lord, mid 70's Uriah Heep and a dollop of Renaissance and the end result is one of the better rock albums to come out of Japan. For the most part the lyrics are in Japanese and Rei's passionate vocals suggest Freddie Mercury from time to time. Opener 'Kagami No Naka No Shojo (Skin Tight Snake Skin Girl)' is not as heavy as the title might suggest yet some of the vocal arrangements sound like they were lifted straight off of 'Queen II'. It's well known Japanese song titles often don't translate very well to English, case in point 'Daddy Michael No Hanzai (Crime of Daddy Michael)'. I don't know what the lyrical subject matter is although two songs deep and its clear Atsumi's keyboard work is the star of the show with sweeping, pomp synth washes and dazzling piano runs. 'Giniro no Nami (Silver Wave)' offers a classical minuet while 'Arabesque' is the album's winner with a beautiful Brian May influenced guitar solo and string orchestration. Closing with the gorgeous three part symphonic pop masterpiece 'Candle Love'; Moondancer were perhaps too late in the game to appeal to wider audiences with their version of hard prog, but this album is nothing to be ashamed of and can be slotted as a precursor to the productive mid-80's Japanese prog revival that included Gerard, Outer Limits, Pale Acute Moon, Vienna, Scheherazade, Starless and my personal favourite Teru's Symphonia.


In Summary
A YouTube clip of Moondancer performing a live version of 'Arabesque' on Japanese TV is entertaining, especially Atsumi Rei's flouncy Freddie Mercury meets Gregg Giuffria stage wear while the rest of the band are barely visible. In 1997 the LP saw a CD reissue although no bonus tracks were included.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on November 17 2014 20:46:01
Moondancer - 1979 Arabesque
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on November 17 2014 20:52:25
The Japanese Queen?
#3 | gdazegod on November 17 2014 20:53:43
Eric, I managed to find a good sized jacket/album cover of this one over at discogs.com.
#4 | Eric on November 17 2014 22:54:13
Thanks G!
 
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