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Biography

  • Years Active

    1971 – present (51 years)

  • Members

    • 中村真一 (1971 – 1974)
    • 佐久間正英
    • 佐藤満 (1977 – present)
    • 坂下秀実
    • 岡井大二
    • 森園勝敏 (1971 – 1976)
    • 茂木由多加

四人囃子 ('Yonin Bayashi' which in english means "Four Musicians") is a legendary Japanese rock group that was popular in the 1970s. This Tokyo quartet began in 1970 as '三人' ('Sannin' which in English means "The Trio"), with Kasutoshi Morizono on guitar and vocals, Shinichi Nakamura on bass and vocals, and Daiji Okai on drums. In early 1971, they were joined by keyboard player Hidemi Sakashita, and there after took the name Yonin Bayashi, which is old Japanese for "Four Musicians". The band's first gig was at the Satsuki-Sai (May Festival) at Tokyo University, on May 1971.

The group made its debut with the record Isshoku Sokuhatsu (一触即発) in 1974, when all of the members were 20. Their virtuoso performance and experiment in studio were exceptional and impressive at the dawn of Japanese rock business.

In the beginning, the band was led by singer-guitarist Katsutoshi Morizono and drummer Daiji Okai. The sound was a mixture of Pink Floyd, Yes, Deep Purple or Frank Zappa with Hendrixed guitar and Procol Harum-like drumming. After the first guitarist and bassist left, the band was fronted by guitarist, Mitsuru Sato. The second bassist, Masahide Sakuma brought feelings of Talking Heads or King Crimson in the 1980s.

Yonin Bayashi broke up in 1979. Since then, the group has sporadically reformed with its almost original lineup in 1989.

In 2003, HMV Records Japan rated Yonin Bayashi #86 in their "Top 100 Japanese pops Artists"-

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