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Music / The Tigers

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A Japanese band including Kenji Sawada that existed during the Group Sounds era in the late 1960s. They were one of many attempts to cash in on the Beatles by Japanese record labels, this was the most successful, with composer Koichi Sugiyama (yes, that one) giving much of their songs a very classical feel...


  • Ascended Extra: Shiro Kishibe was originally musical advisor to Watanabe Productions, The Tigers' production company, and specifically told them to disband around the time Heavy Metal and Psychedelic Rock became big in the US, but ended up as the replacement for Katsumi "Toppo" Kahashi, ironically.
  • Baroque Pop: A lot of their later stuff, especially 1968's Human Renascence can be seen as this, with most tracks especially the ones composed by Koichi Sugiyama, having elaborate orchestration almost to the point of being egregious. This had consequences for the band - the songs proved to be a nightmare to perform live coherently, and critics bashed the album for being far too pretentious.
  • Band of Relatives: On bass and vocals, Itou Kishibe. Later, on lead guitar and vocals, Shiro Kishibe, a New-Age Retro Hippie with a knack for American culture, and Itou's brother, would replace Toppo.
  • Break-Up Song: Solitude In The City, sung by Julie about him walking alone in a crowded metropolis reflecting on a lost love.
  • Cover Version: Have covered The Zombies "Time Of The Season" and several The Rolling Stones, BeeGees, and The Beatles standards, with Ittoku singing "Tell Me", and Julie singing "Nowhere Man."
  • Grief Song: Nageki (Grief).
  • God-Is-Love Songs: Love, love, love seems to be this judging from the rather spiritual lyrics.
  • Hidden Depths: Shiro Kishibe, despite being the least musically fluent of The Tigers, having been taught guitar by Taro rather than learning himself and playing tambourine and singing before actually being able to play guitar like he was brought in to do, is the most English proficient of the band, a very talented writer, and a seiyuu, voicing Mammoth Nishi in Tomorrow's Joe.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The white jumpsuits the band wore on stage, and the knightly robes they wore in some photoshoots and lives.
  • Jukebox Musical: Barry Gibb of the The Bee Gees wrote "Smile For Me" and starred in one of theirs.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "The Broken Earth" has Julie letting out a guttural wail as the song fades out.
  • Lead Bassist: Sally is a type A & B, singing lead on quite a few songs as well as being admired for his rather strong bassklines by even John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.
  • Long Runner: First debuted in 1966, disbanded in 1971, reunited in 1981, disbanded again in 1983, had a mini=reunion in 2011, are reuniting again December of 2013.
  • Metal Scream: Toppo pulled off a few of these doing the band's cover of "I Put A Spell On You".
  • Misogyny Song: Covered Under My Thumb.
  • New Sound Album: Human Renascence was the most ambitious effort by the Tigers, shifting them into total Baroque Pop territory. Their next three albums led by new guitarist/vocalist Shiro Kishibe took the band in a more Psychedelic Rock direction, with a bit of dabbling in Baroque Pop still. Their reunion album in 1981 had a very New Wave feel too it similar to Sawada's solo material at the time.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Although Kishibe Shiro possessed almost as much prowess vocally as Toppo, his guitar playing skills weren't nearly up to par, and most of the guitar parts he played on the two albums were rhythm picking, and actual melody playing was left up to Morimoto Taro.
  • Stage Names: In addition to the Visual Kei Unbuilt Trope of costuming, the Tigers also used stage names most of the time (which most Vis Kei bands also do), with Kenji Sawada going by Julie, and guitarist Katsumi Kahashi going by Toppo.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Shiro Kishibe, brother of Itou "Sally" Kishibe, eventually became the bands new lead guitarist after Toppo left the band.
  • Take That!: In a meta sense. "The Blue Bird" was written by lead guitarist Morimoto Taro as a counter to the claims by rival bands' fans that The Tigers were purely a manufactured band.
  • Uncommon Time: Love, Love, Love's intro and verses switch time signatures, and the outro is 6/7 live.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Usually rhythm guitarist Katsumi "Toppo" Kahashi or Kenji Sawada would be on lead, but occasionally bassist Ittou Kishibe would Step Up to the Mic.
  • The Voiceless: Lead guitarist Taro Morimoto, who never sang lead on a studio album song but lots of backing, and Minrou Hitomi has only a few vocal interjections on "Seaside Bound" as far as studio cuts.