Lovin' Mighty Fire - Nippon Funk, Soul, Disco 1973-1983
2LP | 2016 | UK | Original (BGP)
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Release:2016 / UK – Original
“Lovin’ Mighty Fire” is Howard Williams’ third Japanese music compilation for the Ace Records house of labels - this time, for BGP International. Assembled in between his job as a record distributor and his monthly Japan Blues show for NTS radio, the first two have taken a look at the late 50s for a blast of Japanese rockabilly (“Nippon Rock’n’Roll” CDWIKD 313), then the 60s and 70s for a romp in Japanese surf music (“Nippon Guitars” CDWIKD 297). Following his retrospective of jazz singer Maki Asakawa for Honest Jon’s, this new outing searches for the soul music of Japan, from the early 70s to the early 80s. Japan has long been known as the final destination for many a collectible soul record. Yet, who suspected that some fine soul grooves were recorded for the domestic market, from ballads, to funk and disco? Strangely enough, some of the busiest writers and producers in this field came from a late 60s rock band, Happy End, but on listening to their collaborations, their rhythmic, soulful feel is immediately apparent.The bluesy funk of Lily; the soul-diva brilliance of Minako Yoshida – represented here in both slow-grind mode and epic disco; the maverick genius of Haruomi Hosono; the lively songstress Yasuko Agawa; and the sultry steaminess of Mari Natsuki, and more. This album finally plants a Japanese flag firmly on the global map of soul.