Their story  began in '66 ,first they started as a instrumental band influenced from Ventures same as another bands at the time.
They were around 18 years old highschool boys.
One day drummer Mikiharu Suzuki 's elder brother Hiromitu came to  their practice session.
He had to say his brother  to sturdy  hard more than music, but  when he hard their playing, he was deep into the music!
He joined the band, and became the vocalist . In '67 they appeared in discotheque, Go Go Kissa(club) around Tokyo and Saitama .
left to right:early '67
Mikiharu Suzuki(drms), Tarou Miyuki(gtr), HiromituSuzuki(Vocals), KaoruMurakami(Bs), Masaru Hoshi(lead Gtr,Vocals)
 

The lead singer Hiromitu Suzuki was deeply influenced  by  Eric Bardon.
Originally they played beat-style number, but when they sought out management, they were advised to became a psychedelic band. The band agreed.
In  November '67   Mops debuted as the ' First Psychedelic band in Japan' ! . They released a single "Asamade Matenai" on the Japanese Victor Label.(JVC)  It  made # 38 on the Japanese charts.  They became one of  famous GS bands.(Group Sounds=Japanese beat combo) .
By the time, the GS boom (Japanese Beat explosion)had  passed it's peak and listeners wanted something new .
In April '68 they released their first album "Psychedelic Sound In Japan".  The title  may sound silly  , but  they did  faithful  psychedelic covers, yet their original songs were real garage in nature.The word of GS songs were mainly simple love songs.But they sung more serious. In "Blind Bird",Mops sung about terrible dark  world and said "Please Kill Me".
In '69 bassist Murakami quit the band, and Miyuki switched to base from guiter.
 After released 3 singles and an album , they  moved to Toshiba Liberty label.  It was late '69, the GS boom had all but disappeared  , some GS bands switched to moody pop, many other unknown GS bands disbanded.
At this time ,a new era was ushered in. It was called "New Rock" shich waas reminiscent of such bands as  Cream, Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad. However,  the Japanese New l Rock market was very small  and  this movement became underground.
The Mops changed their sound to  heavy  Rock'n'Roll.  They were no longer  psychedelic band ,but this is another story.  They released 13singles and 8 albums on Liberty until they disbanded in May '74.
'69
 listen The Letter (rm 33.5kb)The Letter  (wav174kb)


mops '67 promo shot
Glynis Ward's review  : courtesy of  Feline Flenzy 

Although the Mops sported the most American sound of all the Japanese teen bands, their number one idols were the Animals. Their 1968 album features two vocalists, both trying to out do each other for the best Eric Burdon  sound alike. And to prove their love of  the Animals , the Mops recorded a version of the New Animals " San Francisco Nights "where the lead Mop tells us in English why the band chose to cover this song! Wonder if the band ever saved the bread to buy a ticket?
The Mops themselves single handedly introduced Japan to the psychedelic sounds of  San Francisco covering  both " White Rabbit " which is rather poor, and " Somebody To Love "which they turn into a punk/psych masterpiece Live ,the Mops used psychedelic lighting effects and played blindfolded to stimulate themselves to hallucinogenic heights (obtaining LSD was next to impossible in Japan at the time).Flanging, phasing and other studio techniques were also introduced to Japan by the Mops who experimented in various ways to achieve their  psychedelic sounds. Most of their material was originally recorded for the Victor  label.
The Mops not only displayed an amazing adeptness at copying psychedelia but also American punk. I'm sure this  is a total coincidence(?) ,but classic teen punk songs like " I Am  Just A Mops "which would have made Ar4mand Schaubroeck  proud , and " Pleas Kill Me" which appears on Boulders # 7 sound like so many of the garagedelic  tunes penned by their teenage American counterparts. At the very end of  their  album is a very slow fuzz-punker, sung in Japanese ( I don't know the title as it is written in Japanese) with a  mourngul repetitive chorus of " I Love You" making  it a real mood piece. The Mops where one of Japan's wildest groups!
 



Psychedelic Sound In Japan psychedelic sound in Japan
Asamade Matenai, San Franciscan Nights, I Am Just A Mops, Inside Looking Out, The Letter,Blind Bird, Somebody to Love, Bera Yo Isoge, White Rabbit, Asahi Yo Saraba, Light My Fire , Kienai Omoi

Unfortunately  on Japanese reissued CD, Blind Bird ("Please Kill Me") was omitted because it has terrible words). On Planest X trilogy, some titeles is wrong  "Haiku" is "Bera Yo Isoge" in correct, "Yosabite" is "Asahi Yo Saraba".
 
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