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Blues Creation — Blues Creation (1969)

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Blues Creation — Blues Creation (1969)

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01. Checkin’ Up On My Baby — 4:53
02. Steppin’ Out — 2:52
03. Smoke Stack Lightnin’ — 5:31
04. Double Crossing Time — 7:03
05. I Can’t Keep From Crying — 4:37
06. Spoonful — 8:13
07. Rollin’ And Tumblin’ — 4:03
08. All Your Love — 4:34

Kazuo Takeda — lead guitar, vocals, harmonica
Fumio Fuya — vocals
Yoshiyuki Noji — bass
Shinichi Tashiro — drums

 

Even by the flash-in-the-pan standards of Japan's turbulent late-‘60s/early-70s post-Group Sounds psychedelic rock scene, Blues Creation seemed to come out of nowhere and head right back there again faster than most anyone else. Like many of its contemporaries, Blues Creation was launched by a budding Japanese guitar hero whose mind had been effectively blown by the deafeningly heavy sounds of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath -- this being Kazuo Takeda, who had actually already spent some time playing in Europe and America, and was therefore a first-hand witness to the sonic events that spawned heavy metal's birth. But before going down that road, Takeda and his chosen Blues Creation bandmates, Fumio Nunoya (vocals), Takayuki Noji (bass), and Shinichi Tashiro (drums), recorded an eponymous 1969 debut filled with heavy-handed blues covers (a strategy copied by Flower Travellin' Band just one year later), as befit their chosen moniker. But Takeda would soon have his stylistic rethink and scrap everything for a new lineup consisting of Hiromi Osawa (vocals), Masashi Saeki (bass), and Akiyuki Higuchi (drums), returning in 1971 with Blues Creation's most legendary artifact, the cryptically named sophomore LP, Demon & Eleven Children, which was awash in primal, proto-metallic acid rock. The album would only achieve legendary status decades later, though, and so the rest of that year found a multi-tasking Blues Creation recording another album backing singer Carmen Maki (billed as Carmen Maki & Blues Creation), as well as a jam-happy concert document entitled simply Blues Creation Live. And then there was…silence; and by the very next year Takeda had decided to break up the band and move back to London, where he befriended American hard rockers Mountain (among others), and duly returned to Japan for a tour with them in 1975. Now leading a new power trio billed only as Creation, he recorded several albums well into the early '80s, including 1975's Creation, 1976's Felix Pappalardi & Creation (recorded with the man himself in Nantucket), 1977's Pure Electric Soul, 1978's Super Rock in the Highest Voltage, 1981's Lonely Heart, and 1982's Rock City. In the aftermath, Takeda continued to perform live, work sessions as a musician and producer, and released more than 20 solo albums, but it's arguably still Blues Creation's brief but volcanic existence that headlines his impressive CV. --- Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi

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