• 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 impactful solo career on Kitty Records started in 1976 with Seychelles (1976) and his catalog today features over forty albums, with classics like An Insatiable High (1977), Finger Dancin' (1980), and Brasilian Skies (1978), but the one project of Takanaka's that is truly enigmatic and unforgettable is the electrifying psychedelic fusion 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 Japanese 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 musicality and 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 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 album is available below.

~ Psychic Garden

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