Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Half Japanese - Greatest Hits
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Of course, there were no hits, but in world more skewed than this, the naive rock of Jad Fair and company could have been a contender. Over the loose-knit band's 20-year history, they pushed the anyone-can-do-it rock & rol... more »
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Of course, there were no hits, but in world more skewed than this, the naive rock of Jad Fair and company could have been a contender. Over the loose-knit band's 20-year history, they pushed the anyone-can-do-it rock & roll aesthetic to its limits and stayed in the underground by never learning to play (or even tune) their guitars or to sing on key. Now, with other obscure heros like Mayo Thompson (of Red Crayola) and Daniel Johnston getting their due in the postindie explosion care of hip namedroppers like Sonic Youth and Nirvana, its only fair that Fair and his would-be kings get their own fantasy box set from hell: Greatest Hits collects 68 tracks from twelve H. J. records and one Jad solo shot. Without doubt, Greatest Hits offers much more than any curiosity seeker needs in order to grasp both the charms and the terrors of the band's extended plod through post-Velvets garage punk. Chronological order, however, might have made listening to this grand and unruly compilation a little easier by keeping the formless yelling and screeching of the 1980 triple-album debut 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts ("No More Beatlemania," "Her Parents Came Home") separated from the more melodic, Moe Tucker-like garage rock of 1988's pinnacle of accessibility, Charmed Life ("1,000,000 Kisses," "Red Dress"). Then again, Fair's child-like squeal and clangings are most moving in a middle-period song like "Ball and Chain," which mixes both styles and makes tuneful music out some of the most painfully desperate whine-cry shrills ever put to record. --Roni Sarig
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Richard Millett | Chicago | 02/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard Half Japaneese before I picked up the Greatest Hits, and I cant believe I was an idiot for waiting to hear them. Dont be scared off by the amount of music....its so vast and indelible, you'll wish it was 112 songs. The musical range is so amazing, and it has the best saxpophone playing this side of Dolphy's Out To Lunch. Yeah, supposedly "they cant play" etc...but I think thats nonsense. Music like this really is limitless, from free jazz to funk, to bedroom feedback jams.......its really a miracle for the ears and heart. So, buy buy buy buy. PS--(and this is very important) if anyone out there has a copy of the long out of print "Zombies of Mora-Tau" EP, please contact me, I'm really getting tired of searching for it"
Scott McCormick | Wilmington, NC | 09/28/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How come no one's reviewed this before me? If you haven't heard Half Japanese before, here's where you start. I know, it's two CDs, but it's worth it. This is where I started. This album has some of the funniest, most enjoyable, most endearing, freaked-out, cool, original music I've ever heard. ot every song is perfect, but enough of them are. Jad Fair is a freak and thank god he makes songs. Take a chance on this one."
A remarkable document of a remarkable band
Andrew Suber | Terlingua, TX United States | 01/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Half Japanese is a great band... they're definitely not for everyone, but they're still great.The reason they're great is they broke down rock culture and recreated it in a simple, completely idiosyncratic form. Most music lovers are amateur cultural critics too, so that sort of introspective diy music is pure heaven.Yeah, compared to most other musicians, they can't play. But rock and roll is about making your shortcomings so obvious and in-your-face that they're aesthetically pleasing. And they manage to do that.Not recommended for mainstream rock fans. Watch the documentary about them, "The Band that Would Be King" first. Essential for lo-fi and indie fans."