Jacks / Vacant World (Vinyl LP)
Label: Life Goes On Records
Format: Vinyl LP
Release date: 2021
Straight from the historical vaults of Japanese music, Jacks’s first album remains a wonderful piece of 60’s psychedelica, that can draw comparisons to Western acts such as The Velvet Underground.
One of the most groundbreaking bands in the field of Japanese psychedelic is a short lived group by the name of Jacks. Jacks formed in 1965, and in 1968, just three years later, Jacks released one of the most revolutionary albums to surface in 20th century Japanese music. The album, known in Japan as “Jacks no Sekai” (loosely translated as The World of Jacks), and known as “Vacant World” mostly everywhere else, showed the young group channeling pure psychedelic music with an experimental touch, and, with the album’s cozy, homelike atmosphere, various bands seemed to have immediately been influenced, starting with the likes of Happy End and Gedo.
Vacant World is the first studio album by Jacks. It was released on September 10, 1968. In 2007, Rolling Stone Japan placed it at number 13 on its list of the “100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time”. Rumored to be a big influence on High Rise, one of their tracks (“Marianne”) was covered by Fushitsusha on Tokyo Flashback II. “Here’s what is considered one of the best psychedelic records in the world and certainly one of the must-have Japanese rock albums. The Jacks managed to record a very unique album, very dark and introspective, an album full of tension and contained wrath that maintains its power by refusing to fully explode. You’ll find fuzz guitars, tremolo, lots of reverb and the occasional use of flute and vibraphone
” The Jacks were at the forefront of the Japanese folk rock boom, in 1968 scoring a huge hit with their nihilistic single ‘Marianne’, a demented and atonal 6/8 sub-‘Signed DC’ that sounded like the Velvet Undergound played by free jazzers, wherein the undead Marianne emerges from the stormy sea to drag the singer to hos doom. Their refusal to be interviewed, emphasis on poetry and the extremely long hair of singer Yoshio Hayakawa created an underground cult that would later influence Takashi Mizutani of Les Rallizes Denudes. Their debut album, VACANT WORLD (featuring the epic ‘Marianne’), is at number 42 in the Japrocksampler Top 50.”
_ Julian Cope
A2. Stop The Clock
A3. Vacant World
A4. In The Broken Mirror
A5. Gloomy Flower
B1. Love Generation
B5. 500 Miles From The Sky