Finally reissued outside of Japan! Happy End's eponymous debut is a crucial piece of the J-Rock puzzle and a turning point for Japanese music. Originally released in 1970 on URC (Underground Record Club), Happy End finds creative mastermind Haruomi Hosono aborting the short-lived psychedelic rock project Apryl Fool, for a new direction in sound. Here the future YMO head teams up with former Apryl Fool drummer Takashi "Rei" Matsumoto and two new guitarists, Shigeru Suzuki and Eiichi Ohtaki, to deliver pioneering Japanese folk rock that remains influential in Japan to this day. While rock music certainly existed in Japan previous to this album's release, it was almost always sung in English. Happy End changed this and sparked what is known as the "Japanese-language Rock Controversy" - a series of high profile debates on if Japanese rock music sung in Japanese would be sustainable. This album's success (and the follow-up Kazemachi Roman) proved the sustainability of rock in Nihongo, and gave the world two brilliant slices of fuzzy J-folk in the process. This official 2020 repress is presented on black vinyl with repro pic sleeve, courtesy of Survival Research. Recommended.
- music label: Survival Research 2020
reviewed by Yuzu Rhode 03/2020