Masayoshi Takanaka, (Born in Tokyo, 1953) is one of Japan's most talented and respected virtuoso guitarists, musicians, composers and producers. Mr Takanaka's unique music, which blends the instrumentation of Blues, Latin, Jazz, Rock, Pop and Psychedelia, was an extremely influential style that helped pioneer the Jazz Fusion & City Pop genres of the 70's and 80's.
Takanata's impactful solo career started with Seychelles (1976) and was followed by countless classic albums such as An Insatiable High (1977), Brazilian Skies (1978), Jolly Jive (1979) and Finger Dancin' (1980). Mr Takanaka produced thirteen amazing solo albums with Kitty Records from 1976 until 1984. He would later transition over to EMI from 1985 to 2000, before eventually establishing his own label, Lagoon Records in 2000.
Although his discography includes over thirty praised albums, the one project of Takanaka's catalog that is truly unforgettable, enigmatic and masterfully executed is the electrifying concept album, THE RAINBOW GOBLINS (1981), a fantastical voyage of vibrant artwork and incredible fusion music, inspired and adapted from the 1977 book of the same name by Ul de Rico.
The album is an uplifting psychedelic jazz-funk fusion storybook experience unlike anything else. The whole concept is a remarkably original work of audiovisual art. English spoken prologues kickstarts the album and sets the stage for a whimsical and unorthodox journey into the heart of the vibrant fantasy realm of the supernatural. These monologues intertwine all throughout the 12 tracks on the album. Every song progresses the enchanting narrative of the Seven Rainbow Goblins, with every composition featuring a phenomenal level of musicality and execution from Takanaka and co.
After hearing the album, we discovered the incredible live performance of Rainbow Goblins at Budokan. Takanaka leads the show with his rainbow guitar, in full command of his aerodynamic band with his unparalleled razor sharp guitar skills at the forefront. Spellbinding canvases of vibrant medieval artwork illustrates the Goblin's story alongside the music. Halfway through the performance, the band transform into the Seven Rainbow Goblins, and summon a musical thunderstorm that is truly electrifying to the senses!
Please enjoy the incredible technicolour live performance, or check our time-codes for our personal favourites from the setlist - SEVEN GOBLINS (06:50) - THUNDERSTORM (25:00) - PLUME BIRD (35:20)
The seven goblins lived by eating the colours from rainbows; for that reason, they were known as the Rainbow Goblins. One day, the Rainbow Goblins heard about the Valley of the Rainbow. It gave them an infinite appetite just thinking about the great banquet they could enjoys there. Immediately, they set off in search of the legendary valley. Whenever difficulties arose concerning their journey, they just thought of the delicious colours ahead. ~ Prologue for Track 2 - Seven Goblins
The original RAINBOW GOBLINS album is available below along with some rare live performances and classic studio tracks ~
~ Psychic Garden