Alan Merrill | Merrill 1

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JAPAN

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Pop: 60's Pop Rock: 60's Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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Merrill 1

by Alan Merrill

Recorded in Tokyo during 1968-1970 by Alan Merrill, the first domestic market foreign pop star in Japan. The sounds on this album very much reflect the international popular music of that era, specifically British rock and pop.
Genre: Pop: 60's Pop
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Everyday all night stand
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3:03 $0.99
2. Starstruck
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2:11 $0.99
3. Knot tier
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3:13 $0.99
4. First love
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2:25 $0.99
5. Movies
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3:11 $0.99
6. Crazy lady
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2:52 $0.99
7. Policy
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2:47 $0.99
8. Please let me love you
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3:15 $0.99
9. Know yourself
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2:24 $0.99
10. Ferris wheel
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2:15 $0.99
11. Tranquility
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3:14 $0.99
12. Jacqueline
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2:17 $0.99
13. Daydream believer
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2:36 $0.99
14. Hey Jude
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5:03 $0.99
15. The Drifter
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3:10 $0.99
16. Long hard road
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2:27 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This album was written and recorded in 1968-70, and released in 1971.
It was the first album by Alan Merrill to feature entirely his own compositions, singing all and playing (almost all) the parts himself.
Released on Denon-Columbia Records in Japan exclusively (and produced by Miki Curtis), the album did very well, even though all the songs were in the English language. A very unusual thing in Japan at the time.
Alan Merrill was the first successful foreigner in Japan's domestic rock market in the country's history, having hit records in the Japanese language, touring, modeling, and hosting TV shows in the late 1960s and early 70s. He was a pioneer, performing and touring with the top Japanese bands of the day, The Tigers, Tempters, The Spiders, and Golden Cups, the only foreigner in the "Group Sounds" scene.
In fact, some of the players on this album making cameo appearances were top stars of the Group Sounds era. Even though at the time a teenager, Merrill paved the way for a legion of foreign performers who would follow in his footsteps in Japan for years to come.
Alan lived in Japan from 1968 until 1974, changing and reinventing himself in that territory. He finally left Tokyo for London, to form the successful British pop group Arrows in 1974, after a heated dispute with his Tokyo based management over money.

The album "Merrill 1", produced by Miki Curtis, is stylistically very 60s pop, with teenager Merrill obviously influenced by stars of that decade like The Beatles, Nilsson, The Iveys, Emitt Rhodes, and Crosby Stills & Nash.
Of the bonus tracks, the two cover songs ("Daydream Believer" and "Hey Jude") were from his band The Lead's "Sound Of Silence" album, recorded in Japan in November of 1968 for RCA Victor and featuring Alan on vocals, guitar, and keyboard. The Lead's record was produced by music veteran Robby Wada.
"Jacqueline" was recorded on a brief exploratory visit to London in 1969, and produced by Alan's friend, "Ready Steady Go" TV compere Michael Aldred, at Decca Studios.
"The Drifter" and "Long Hard Road" were demos for the start of a "Merrill 2" album, but Alan Merrill took a left turn and abandoned the project, forming the legendary Japan scene glam rock band Vodka Collins instead.

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1 - Everyday All Night Stand (3:02)
2 - Starstruck (2:11)
3 - Knot Tier (3:13)
4 - First Love (2:25)
5 - Movies (3:10)
6 - Crazy Lady (2:51)
7 - Policy (2:47)
8 - Please Let Me Love You (3:14)
9 - Know Yourself (2:23)
10 - Ferris Wheel (2:15)
11 - Tranquility (3:14)
Bonus tracks-
12 - Jacqueline (2:17)
13 - Daydream Believer (2:35)
14 - Hey Jude (5:03)
15 - The Drifter (3:11)
16 - Long Hard Road (2:37)


Reviews


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Robert Blevins

Merrill One
What a fun album! This 60s style pop recording has the balance of a late 60s Beatles album. Alternately serious, funny, dark and light. The bittersweet "starstruck" is a beautiful Merrill tune that could have been written by Harry Nilsson, and "everyday all night stand" rings with echoes of early Badfinger. Where "policy" smacks of Lennon, "ferris wheel" has a lilting McCartney-like melodic structure. All this, and surprise surprise, it was recorded by Merrill in Japan in 1969!

Louise Hunter

*Should* have been a global hit album
Exceptional from first to last, I had to keep pinching myself to remember that these compositions were written and recorded by Alan Merrill when he was still only a teenager. Given the strength in depth of the songwriting and musicianship I strongly believe that if "Merrill 1" had had a wider release, Alan Merrill's career could well have skyrocketed worldwide at that point. This album was only released in Japan, which makes me feel we have all been cheated out of something I consider something of a lost masterpiece.

The tunes follow a fairly "Beatles-esque" pattern, typical of that era in some ways, but always have a unique twist that lifts them out of the soundalike zone. Born into a family of jazz musicians, Alan Merrill has plenty of bright ideas of his own without any need to copy anyone else. These songs are strong and memorable in their own right and really ought to be as familiar to us as anything by the Beatles, or the Turtles, The Lovin' Spoonful or anyone else you could name from that late 60s early 70s era. It was a time of transition in music and this is reflected here in the varied nature of the songs, from lilting ballads to dirty grinding rock'n roll. Every one has the potential to have been a successful single.
Buy this. You will not be disappointed in this wonderfully gifted artist

Crawdaddy Simon

Recommended for fans of vintage pop
I enjoyed this album very much. The style reminds me mostly of McCartney, and also of the Left Banke and Merry-Go-Round in parts. Recommended for fans of quality vintage pop.