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PYG - Original First Album (1971)

Pyg was formed in 1971, as a super group, by former Tigers vocalist Kenji Julie Sawada. Made up of Sawada and former Tigers drummer Hiroshi Oguchi, plus ex-members of Group Sounds bands The Spiders and The Tempters, Pyg was a highly commercial early 70s pretty boy rock quintet. Fronted by this extravagantly preening and effeminate former Tigers frontman (sometimes described by the Japanese press as the Japanese David Bowie), and supported by the uber-heavyweight Tanabe management agency, Pyg released very commercial singles and albums to a predominantly female audience, reinforced with contemporary heavy cover versions. Inane rock fodder at its worst, and even at their best - barely slapping together passable renditions of the heavy hits of the day, Pyg LPs should not be touched even with a bargepole. Imagine early Deep Purples version of Hush performed with a Blackpool Illuminations organ accompaniment and weak-as-shit lead vocalist, and youre getting somewhere close. Recorded at Tokyo Colosseum on August 16th 1971, and fleshed out with a triple gatefold sleeve and free poster, Pygs live double-LP FREE WITH PYG was nevertheless nothing more than a teenage scream-o-thon, containing bland play-by-numbers band compositions buoyed up by thumping Smokie-meets-Arrows versions of Randy Newmans Cowboy, Screaming Jay Hawkins I Put A Spell On You, Slys I Wanna Take You Higher, and The Rolling Stones arrangement of Woody Paynes Love In Vain, plus the Stones own Sympathy For The Devil. Capturing the mood of the time, they also managed Elton Johns Bitch and Country Comfort plus The Bee Gees To Love Somebody. You just dont need this shit.

Julian Cope

Kenji Julie Sawada - vocals
Takayuki Inoue - guitar
Osami Sally Kishibe - bass
Katsuo Ohno - keyboards, steel guitar
Hiroshi Oguchi - drums

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