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J-BAND Of The Week 11/15/2009 – JUDY & MARY!

JUDY+AND+MARY

JUDY & MARY - Yuki (Vocals, center), Takuya Asanuma (Guitar, left), Yoshihito Onda (Bass, back) & Kohta Igarashi (Drums, right)

After 2 weeks of no J-Band of the week I’m coming back at you with the awesomeness of JUDY & MARY!

Now why bring up a band tht broke up 8 years ago? I mean that doesn’t seem to make much sense does it?

Ah but JUDY & MARY aren’t just any Rock/Pop act from Japan. One could definitely make the argument that they are THE Japanese rock act of the decade. So let’d dive into JUDY & MARY with a quick look at some history. Theband first formed in 1992 after vocalist Yuki Isoya met bassist Yoshihito Onda, Yuki had been working as a beautician and Onda had been working as a production assistant on a movie and so began the the journet of JUDY & MARY. From there the two hooked up with drummer Kohta Igarashi and guitarist Taiji Fujimoto. Fujmoto was eventually replaced by Takuya Asanuma, whose sound helped define the band’s raw yet melodic sound. The band released their first independent record Be Ambirious in 1992. That led to a major label deal with Epic/Sony andt he release of their first single Power Of Love in 1993. The band grew a strong fan base quickly due ot their melodic blend of pop and rock with punk and raw noise elements.

JUDY & MARY made it big in 1996 when theri single “Sobakasu” (aka Freckles) was used as the opening for the animated series Rurouni Kenshin and sold over 1 million copies in Japan. All together they released 22 singles and seven originalk studio albums, along with 4 Best Of Compilations. High energy from Takua’s guitar work and Yuki’s high pitched yet extremely powerful vocals are the fuel for JUDY & MARY and were kind of the reason that they never gor stuck with the label of being a Visual Kei band. Still, by 2001 the band had taken things as far they wanted too. They released their last studio album WARP the same year and promoted it with a nationwide farewell tour. The last show of ther WARP TOUR was held at the Tokyo Dome adn JUDY & MARY blew the roof off the place.

Since then Yuki has embarked on a successful solo career, TAKUYA is a much sought after guitarist and Yoshihito Onda has been working with The Hot Rod Crue and ZAMZA N’BANSHEE. Yuki also got married, suffered the loss of her first child and rebounded to have 2 more. Still, JUDY & MARY are one of those bands that those who follow the Japanese music scene stil miss. There si hope that maybe one day, they will reuntie as a one off occurence but no one is holding their breath.

JUDY & MARY Videos:

I’m hitting you with nothing but JUDY & MARY from their WARP TOUR FINAL LIVE! DVD. Some really great performances, including one of the last times that Yuki performed “Sobakasu”. While it is one of the band’s biggest hits, Yuki grew tired of singing it and refuses to perform it anymore (though she has broken that vow for a few TV Specials).

JUDY & MARY – Sobakasu

Next up is “Brave New Wave Upper Ground”, which, as great as the studio version is, this live version is fantasticly greater…

And now the Coup De Grace as he bad busts out with “Lolita A-Go-Go!”. The original is a great 3 minute song but this is the Tokyo Dome and deserves special crazy near10 minute epice version complete with pink dancing Teddy Bears with pom-poms! I’m seriosuly not even joking about that shit. It is far and away awesome and kinda surreal. Hell Takuya even tackles one down astraddles it! Still, the “Lolita A-Go-Go!” is fucking BOSS!

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