Exposé Online banner

Bi Kyo Ran — Fairy Tale, Early Live Vol. 1
(Belle Antique 8704, 1979/1987, LP)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1996-03-01

Fairy Tale, Early Live Vol. 1 Cover art

No more than a year after recording an album of King Crimson covers as Madoromi, it was 1978, and the band changed its name back to Bi Kyo Ran; they won first prize in a Yamaha-sponsored contest, and ended up on a compilation LP called Wind & Wave. With the addition of violin, keyboards, and new drummer Masaharu Sato (from Crosswind, a famous fusion band at that time) they set about writing and performing original music. Their live work from this period is captured on Fairy Tale - Early Live, Vol. 1 (released in 1987 on LP). Though it is not professionally recorded, it features a nice variety of material, their most enjoyable, in my opinion. First is the lengthy Crimsoid workout, "Uneri," recalling perhaps the album In the Wake of Poseidon; but the structure reminds me of something like "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 1." Then there is the title track with some great plaintive singing by Kunio Suma; arrangements that feature keys and recorders, and some ballad-like moments as well. I feel this is a direction very much inspired by Japanese culture, and other Japanese prog of its time. The only piece that would reappear later, "Prediction," is a nice showcase for Sato's Bruford-esque drumming. Lastly, the cover art is breathtaking. This LP has not been reissued on CD.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1987 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Bi Kyo Ran / Madoromi

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Leo Küpper - Electro-Acoustic – You have to admit, with a title as academic sounding as this, one would not be unjustified in expecting a musical experience on the equivalent stimulation level of a botany lecture. That "new music"...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues