The original lineup of the band included Kato, Mika, drummer Hiro Tsunoda, and lead guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka. This lineup recorded the single ‘Cycling Boogie’ in 1973. Subsequently Tsunoda left the band, to be replaced by Yukihiro Takahashi, and bassist Rei (Ray) Ohara joined the band. This lineup completed the band’s first, self-titled, album. This album was released on the Harvest label in the United Kingdom.
Their second album Kurobune (literally ‘Black Ship(s)’) was recorded in England, produced by Chris Thomas. Thomas also introduced Mika to Badfinger while he produced their 1974 masterpiece Wish You Were Here, her vocals can be heard on the track ‘Know One Knows’ (translating Pete Ham’s lyrics to Japanese. Keyboardist Yu Imai who had worked as a supporting musician on the first album was promoted to full member status. The album sold well in Japan. In the United Kingdom, where the album was released on Harvest records, the album sold poorly, but received high praise from critics.
Bassist Ray Ohara left the band, and was replaced by Tsugutoshi Goto. Chris Thomas also produced their third album, Hot! Menu. The album “Hot Menu” featuring tracks such as “Mada, Mada Samba” is now quite rare though it featured on Radio Four’s “Sounds Interesting”. They played live on BBC TV’s “Old Grey Whistle Test” during October, 1975. The band featured two tracks from the “Hot Menu” album, ‘Time To Noodle’ and ‘Suki, Suki, Suki’.
The band played live in the United Kingdom supporting Roxy Music. Recordings from these concerts were released as their Live in London album.
After this album was released, Kazuhiko Kato and Mika divorced, and both left the band. Mika later married British producer Chris Thomas, and moved to the UK, where she worked as a food researcher.
HMV Japan rated them #94 in their “Top 100 Japanese pops Artists”.
Edited by Sneakglove on 4 Feb 2007, 14:23
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