Nippon Girls: Japanese, Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1966-70

After our acclaimed GS I Love You volumes, it’s the girls turn, as we examine the distaff side of the country’s remarkable GS pop scene with Nippon Girls. The likes of Shonen Knife and The 5-6-7-8s have given more face to women in Japanese pop, but they draw on a tradition that stretches back to the wild 1960s ‘Group Sounds’ era, when the Land Of the Rising Sun was smitten with westernized rock ‘n’ roll, yet came to develop its own distinctive brand of the same. Like in the west, female artistes tended to be solo, though their accompaniment often came from some of the top GS acts like the Bunnies. Major female stars of the period represented here include Miki Obata, Linda Yamamoto and Mie Nakao, the latter with the fuzztoned classic Sharock No 1. The sound was eclectic, drawing upon not only the full smorgasbord of 60s styles like groovy go-go, lounge-y bossa nova and wobbly pop-psych, but also traditional Japanese songwriting and themes. There’s dance floor fillers such as Ye-Ye and t