• Denholm Hewlett

[Music/Film] Masayoshi Takanaka - THE RAINBOW GOBLINS (1981)

Masayoshi Takanaka, (Born in Tokyo, 1953) is one of Japan's most legendary guitarists, composers and producers. Takanaka's unique brand of fusion music was extremely influential in pioneering the Japanese City Pop genre of the late 1970's and 80's, he is a truly gifted experimentalist.

Takanata's career started back in 1976 and his catalog features over forty acclaimed albums, but the one project of his that is truly enigmatic and unforgettable is the electrifying psychedelic rock concept album, THE RAINBOW GOBLINS (1981), a fantastical voyage of artwork and music that was adapted from the 1977 book of the same name written by Ul de Rico.

The album is an uplifting psychedelic jazz-funk fusion storybook experience unlike anything you have ever seen or heard before. 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 outstanding tracks on the album. Every song progresses the enchanting musical narrative of the Seven Rainbow Goblins further, with every composition featuring a phenomenal level of inventive musicality and colourful execution from Takanaka and co.

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

After hearing the album, I discovered the incredible live performance of Rainbow Goblins at Budokan, featuring Takanaka with slick rainbow glitter hair, in full command of his dynamite band with his unparalleled and razor sharp guitar playing virtuosity. 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 and original!

Please enjoy the incredible live performance, or check our time-codes for our favourite tracks from RAINBOW GOBLINS setlist.


The goblins were awakened when it began to thunder in the distance. "Great, a wild storm" they said. Knowing that the most wonderful rainbows spring from the biggest thunderstorm, they began to dance. ~ Prologue from Track 8 - Thunder Storm

The original RAINBOW GOBLINS studio album is available below, enjoy a selection of Takahata's other acclaimed albums.

~ Psychic Garden

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