Illustrated with seminal photographs and extraordinary Jap Rock album designsCope's previous book Krautrocksampler sold 13,000 copies in its underground, self-published incarnationJulian Cope's army of fans (Copeheads) will lap up this take on the Jap Rock phenomenon. Cope tours regularly and has brought out a new album, Dark Orgasm
Julian Cope was born in Deri, South Glamorgan, and grew up in Tamworth. After forming a succession of half-groups and writing songs with Ian McCulloch (later of Echo & the Bunnymen), he eventually formed Teardrop Explodes with Gary Dwyer in 1978. He is the author of Krautrocksampler, Megalithic European, The Modern Antiquarian, Head-On and Repossessed. His website, www.headheritage.co.uk, contains some of the most entertaining and insightful album reviews on the web.
Verdict: Cope's study of Japan's rock history from post-World War II occupation to the 1980s is well researched and absorbing (at least for music fiends); but it is written in a dry tone that's more polite than compelling-not too surprising from a British outsider mapping a portion of Japan's cultural history. Recommended for libraries with considerable Japanese or Japanese American patrons. Background: Cope's tone is particularly disappointing because his previous books, such as his autobiographies Head-on/Repossessed, have displayed the fearless and stylish voice you'd expect from a former rocker. Still, his latest has plenty of worth as it traces how armed forces radio broadcasts shaped a forming Japanese musical culture, how the lack of imported guitars affected the Japrock sound, and how the nation's most famous rock icon, Yoko Ono, influenced her homeland's artistic oeuvre. The author's comments on the Japrock scene's antidrug stance almost chastise sobriety; and his list of the top 50 Japrock albums is a primer for musical tourists.-Robert Morast, Fargo, ND Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
'This book's astonishing blend of seriousness and hilariousness is testament to perhaps the most remarkable mind in rock today' Word 'The most obscenely enjoyable book of the year ... enlightening, thrilling and occasionally hilarious ... Cope is a supremely engaging writer whose aim is to entertain, educate and freak out, like A. J. P. Taylor being spiked by Lester Bangs' Telegraph 'Fascinating ... keeps the reader gripped ... his evocations of all this authentically inauthentic music are enticing and convincing' ***** Observer Music Monthly 'Cope's first-hand knowledge of the petty rivalries and idiocies of life in the rock 'n' roll business lends his tales the sheen of authenticity. In its own way, Japrocksampler is a brave book' The Wire