Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Takeshi Terauchi and his Blue Jeans - Early Times 1964-1965dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is an excellent collection of Terauchi Takeshi and his Blue Jeans' vintage material, part surf, part post-surf eleki, and some pure eleki, all dating from 1964-65. Eleki a genre that takes a little getting used to, but it's also very interesting. The surf arrangements are quite something.
Picks: Slaughter On 10th Avenue, Diamond Head, Pipeline, Surf Party, Wild Weekend, Walk Don't Run, Point Panic, When The Saints Go Marching In, Theme From Karen, Out Of Limits, I Go To Pieces, Ogonek, Troika, Joy To The World, Una Sera De Tokyo, Johnny Of Glass, Don't Say Nothing, Sunset Hill, You're My Weakness, Tokyo Olympic Dancing Song

Track by Track Review


Slaughter On 10th Avenue dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a pretty adventurous interpretation of the show tune. It's based on the Ventures arrangement of course, but the individuality of the session is adequate to keep it from being just a cover. Very nice.

Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Slightly phase-shifted surf laps at the shore as an introduction to "Diamond Head." A distant chorus adds a haunted feel to the song. An original, yet reverent arrangement.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

A wholly original treatment of the Chantays' "Pipeline" with strangely damped guitar, ultra reverbed glissandos, and a kind of Jerry Cole sound without the cheese. It's not really fluid, but it sure is interesting.

Surf Party dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is an interesting interpretation of the Astronauts film theme. It's more rhythmic due to a generally dry sound, and the organ adds a strange twist as well. The glissandos are well played and the arrangement works very well.

Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Takeshi Terauchi's lead guitar is very Ventures-ish, while the second guitar is damped and reverbed. Some verses are led by the organ. This version of the Rockin' Rebels' hit is pretty tame, but mostly because of the recording techniques of the day (play quiet please, this is a lab, not an alley).

Walk Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a very original arrangement of "Walk Don't Run," with organ in the lead and dangly-dry guitar rhythms nervously flailing. That may sound strange, but it's really quite something to hear.

Blue Jean Blues dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Blue Jean Blues" is like the title implies, a rockin' bluesy jam. The tone is very Ventures. Not very melodic, but high spirited. It's nice enough, but doesn't grab me.

Point Panic dotdotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Opening with the beginning shout and surf from the Surfaris' version, this is a very aggressive instro for Japanese surf. Very fast and accurate picking and lots of energy, missing only the loudness and reverb of American surf. A fine cover!

Galaxy dotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Double picking and organ, heavy drums, and chorus. Perhaps inspired by the Tornados or the Shadows. Lots of spirit, but just too poppy for me.

My Bonnie dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a combination of small combo and surf thrash as Terauchi Takeshi and his Blue Jeans tackle the classic "My Bonnie" as if they wrote it. It would be cool if it weren't so funny. Frantic and very odd.

Ajoen Ajoen dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Ajoen Ajoen" verges on "Old Smokey." Bouncy and click-click muted, with a small combo playfulness. Much more fun than cool, like a sideshow at the carnival where chicken bop used to reign.

When The Saints Go Marching In dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a somewhat dark rendering of "When The Saints Go Marching In." A little stiff, but rhythmic and fun. The guitars are heavier than most eleki, but it's also nonmagnetic.

Theme From Karen dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

The Surfaris did this vocally (as did several Japanese artists of the day), but Terauchi Takeshi and his Blue Jeans have chosen to treat it instrumentally, and it works pretty well, though it's a little cheesy at times.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is actually a pretty decent cover of the Marketts' hit. It's reverby and very small combo suave. The warbling organ is cool, and adds an intimate edge to the arrangement.

I Go To Pieces dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Patsy Cline really didn't mean this to happen. This is really quite nice, with echoed vibrato guitar and a nice backtrack. The whistling organ is sorta haunted. It's more than MOR, but less than rock.

Ogonek dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

The melody line here is mostly from "Besame Mucho" with chords occasionally borrowed from "Bumble Bee." Great muted surf rhythm. "Ogonek" means "Fire."

Troika dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This traditional Russian song is whammied, warbled, and weirded out in an endearing way. The Russian melody brings forth the image alright, but imagine seeing it through clown's eyes at the carnival of souls. Disturbing, light, inventive, and very strange.

Joy To The World dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Never did Christmas sound like this! Great dry chop rhythm and lead guitar. Entirely original arrangement with a grin required for listening.

Una Sera De Tokyo dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

With a chord progression similar to "What Have I Got Of My Own," this song is catchy rhythmically. Its melody seems a blend of Japanese and European, especially as the organ takes the lead in the break.

Johnny Of Glass dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Dribble double picked rhythm guitar and boomy kick drums support a European sounding melody. The drums are perhaps the most interesting part of the track, as they are very modern sounding and up front.

Red Handkerchief dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Red Handkerchief" seems a little forced in contrast to many of Terauchi Takeshi's work. It's poppy and light, and a significant distance from classic eleki.

Don't Say Nothing dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Goofy tremolo keys and gong bring on a warbly melody that's slow, sad, and reminiscent of Greek folk music. Extremely well played, and with the tribal drums over the organ in the break, very unusual.

Sunset Hill dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

A dramatic opening yields to very cool tribal drums and an almost spooky Japanese melody. "Sunset Hill" is on the slow side, and at times carnival like, and yet it commands your attention.

The Blues Of Foggy Night dotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Mid tempo with handclaps, and a cycling bass line born of The Blues Magoos' "We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet," but with very low energy. This is unimpressive for Terauchi Takeshi and his Blue Jeans. It seems like something that evolved in the studio - not fleshed out, and little chemistry.

You're My Weakness dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This warbly whammified string bender sports a nifty melody line. It's very surf, yet is also quite Japanese.

Born And Grown In The Island dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Nice shallow island whammy and a delicate lead tone, with some cruddy sounding waves rolling by. This sounds more like Beautiful Spring than Terauchi Takeshi and his Blue Jeans less the reverb.

Tokyo Roaming Song dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Tokyo Roaming Song" is a slow and easy listening kind of track. Basic, uninspired, and sounding very deliberate.

I'll Be Rainbow, Tomorrow dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Cool whammy chords, muted echoed tomfoolery, and an easy melody. The muted lines seem pretty gimmicky.

Ballad Of Back Street dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

A little too cute to be cool, but certainly no worse than most of what came out of the studio systems in the USA. "Ballad Of Back Street" is kind of interesting conceptually, but the delivery is unemotional.

Tokyo Olympic Dancing Song dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Tokyo Olympic Dancing Song" is more interesting than I expected. While not really memorable, you won't turn away either. There are some cool changes and a compelling bend of genres.