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FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH

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Flied Egg / Strawberry Path biography
FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH was a series of Japanese progressive rock projects in early seventies carried out by two key players Shigeru NARUMO (guitars, keyboards) and Hiro TSUNODA (drums). In the late sixties, Shigeru has already been famous and charismatic on Japanese underground rock scene. Woodstock Festival could notify him of a need to hold Japanese rock festivals and let him give some reasonable concerts (called '10 yen concert') in Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall with great players ... Shinki Chen (ex-Food Brain, Speed Glue and Shinki), George Yanagi (ex-Power House), Hiro Yanagida (ex-Apryl Fool, Food Brain), or Hiro Tsunoda (ex-Sadao Watanabe Quartet, Food Brain). This experience might be the basis of a project named STRAWBERRY PATH.

STRAWBERRY PATH shot only one album - 'When The Raven Has Come To The Earth' (1971). In this work, Shigeru could play multi-instruments at the same time (a keyboard by his left hand, a guitar by his right hand, a bass pedal by his feet!). Influenced of Jimi Hendrix or lots of British progressive artists, he tried to shoot the psychedelic and progressive style with Hiro's jazzy and freaky drumming. At an opening performance of the Pink Floyd Japan tour, Shigeru and Hiro persuaded Masayoshi TAKANAKA (bass) to join them...after a month, these three talented players changed their outfit name from STRAWBERRY PATH to FLIED EGG.

FLIED EGG produced two album - 'Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine' (1972) and 'Good Bye Flied Egg' (1972). (Anyway, Dr. Siegel is of course Shigeru NARUMO himself.) They turned up the colours and influences of British rock. Masayoshi, an only 17 year-old bassist, could evolve and dignify the works with his heavy and steady bass plays. The novel project could impress strongly Japanese rock fans and broke up in 1973.

Shigeru trained lots of younger musicians or enjoyed playing some gigs with his mates in his later years, and passed away in 2007.

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FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.49 | 7 ratings
When The Raven Has Come To The Earth
1971
3.88 | 7 ratings
Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine
1972
2.22 | 8 ratings
Good Bye Flied Egg
1972

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FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 When The Raven Has Come To The Earth by FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.49 | 7 ratings

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When The Raven Has Come To The Earth
Flied Egg / Strawberry Path Prog Related

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Strawberry Path was the first band created together by Shigeru Narumo & Hiro Tsunoda. Under this moniker they recorded only one but highly entertaining album called "When the Raven Has Come to the Earth". How to describe music included on this disk? The easiest way could be to say: mix of Jimi Hendrix and Procol Harum plus a spoon of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Doesn't sound very "progressive" for you? OK, I admit that it's far away from being typical symphonic/progressive album but I can assure you that this raw, hard, psychedelic but in the same time still very "artsy" staff will stuck in your brain for a long time after you listen to it!

And now the tracks:

1. "I Gotta See My Gypsy Woman" - LP kicks off with very Hendrix-like song full of fuzzed electric guitar & heavy Hammond floods (keep in mind that Shigeru Narumo's playing both instruments!). It it based upon rather slow, bluesy tempo which can crash you like a tank! Hiro's voice is really similar to Hendrix's and I can say that his accent is even better than Jimi's, very British! Guitar solo in the middle is truly spaced out, full of strange "once loud-once calm" effects. Fantastic heavy psych.

2. "Woman Called Yellow 'Z'" - slightly repetitive boogie hard rock but I truly love it. Such mix of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, this time without any keyboards but "only" with great guitar lines. In fact all the time you can hear 2 completely different guitar lines here: one plays riffs and solos, while the other usually creates psych noises and background rhythms. Bass work (also Shigeru Narumo) is truly spectacular too.

3. "The Second Fate" - it's instrumental track completely different then 2 preceding tracks. "The Second Fate" has nothing to do with hard rock, it's a very melodic piece of music dominated by lush Hammond organ sound with additional rhythmic piano and electric guitar fills. Sounds like lost "Procol Harum" composition from their early, classic period.

4. "Five More Pennies" - the longest song of this album begins as a bouncy hard rock tune full of extremely engaging guitar and organ riffs. After that drums stop and Shigeru Narumo proceeds to slightly tiresome guitar soloing clearly influences by the most self-indulgent moments of Ritchie Blackmore. But after a while guitar is jointed by powerful drum beat again and Narumo's solos became much more interesting. Brilliant, flashy performance! And all of these noisy organ slides in the background, really great!

5. "Maximum Speed Of Muji Bird (45 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Sabbath)" - just splendid 45 seconds of beautifully played organ melody. Hammond sounds almost like real pipe-organ here and the whole piece resemblance similarity to some church music composed by J.S.Bach.

6. "Leave Me Woman" - definitely my favorite song of Strawberry Path and maybe even my favorite track in Narumo's career at all! Highly energetic track in the tradition of Deep Purple led by totally amazing, over-driven organ chops! Hammond B-3 solo in "Leave Me Woman" is also long enough to show all breathtaking tricks & ultra speedy melodies. Jon Lord would be proud to play such solo! Definition of heavy prog for me.

7. "Mary Jane On My Mind" - ultimately atmospheric ballad with very pleasant melody and female choirs in the background. Hiro Tsunoda's voice sounds enough passionate too. Strings arrangements and lush organ sound is another highlight here. And this catharsis, tear-jerking guitar solo... Good job! When I listen to this piece I can hear clear "Procol Harum" & "Brian Auger & The Trinity" influences

8. "Spherical Illusion" - it's definitely the least interesting piece on this LP. Main guitar riff sounds like directly stolen from one of Hendrix's albums but it's not the biggest problem here. The worst thing is that 3/4 of this track is occupied by long, tiresome drum solo. Huge misstep guys!

9. "When The Raven Has Come To The Earth" - beautiful instrumental with melody very similar to song "Mocking Bird" recorded by Barclay James Harvest. Melancholic flute, delicate piano, tears inducting weeps of the guitar and lush Hammond waves. Highly recommended autumn music :-).

In general "When the Raven Has Come to the Earth" maybe isn't as compelling piece of art as LP "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" recorded by these guys (+Masayoshi Takanaka) under Flied Egg moniker, but it's still definitely this kind of recording which you just have to check if you're fan of 70s prog/psych/art rock. Especially if you're fan of Jimi Hendrix, Procol Harum and Deep Purple, Strawberry Path can be "your thing". If you're a fan of Strawberry Path's style of rock, I can also recommend you to check other early 70s Japanese artists like: Speed, Glue & Shinki, Shinki Chen & Friends, Kuni Kawachi, The Happenings Four and - more experimental one - Food Brain.

I've always remembered that this album was more like 3,5 worth one, but after I listened to it recently once again, I'm sure that it's full 4 stars album for me.

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 Good Bye Flied Egg by FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.22 | 8 ratings

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Good Bye Flied Egg
Flied Egg / Strawberry Path Prog Related

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 3rd and the last album of Shigeru Narumo & Co. (I'm counting the only album as "Strawberry Path" as the first one). For sure this is the weakest one from the "trilogy". Most of progressive rock influences from their last, fantastic record are sadly gone here. What we have here is mostly up-tempo, basic blues/hard rock with screaming vocals and loud electric guitars + not so inspired jamming (especially in 12-minutes "Five More Pennies"). Moreover half of the album (first 4 tracks) was recorded live so sound quality of this material isn't perfect. There are no scratches or clicks but overall sound isn't so clear and percussion seems to create this annoying "hiss" sound. The whole situation doesn't help that 2 songs from this album we already know from better, studio versions ("Leave Me Woman" & "Rolling Down the Broadway"). Another bad thing according to live part of the record: there are completely no keyboards! After "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" I was prepared for more organ/piano-driven music delivered by band' leader. So I was were disappointed after first listen, especially that I've heard Narumo was quite famous for playing both keyboards and guitars simultaneously. Unfortunately not here... Thankfully second part of "Good Bye" has 4 studio tracks (3 on vinyl version), including one brilliant composition... So let's review in details now:

1. "Leave Me Woman" - live version of this song which was previously presented in "When the Raven Has Come to the Earth" album is really nothing special. Typical, early 70' hard rock, very rough. Compared to fantastic studio version which sounds like Deep Purple-inspired heavy prog with roaring organ chops and blasting solo, this version is very dull.

2. "Rolling Down The Broadway" - is probably the best song on concert part of the album. However it doesn't bring anything new to superb version from 1st Flied Egg's LP. The only difference is lack of Hammond solo and lower sound quality.

3. "Rock Me Baby" - 60's-like rock'n'roll with basic guitar riffing and stupid lyrics. Besides it seems that drummer screams his head off to sound as loud as possible. I much prefer him from their last album where his vocal performance was surely better and his voice warmer/deeper. Skip it.

4. "Five More Pennies" - basic hard/blues rock riffing continuation. The only difference that here the song quickly transform into long guitar jamming, later drum solo and...another guitar noodling. In general it's not my cup of tea. A bit tiresome. I expected something much better after I saw duration of this track.

5. "Before You Descend" - first song in studio material part doesn't bring so much improvement in fact. Narumo's keyboards are still absent and overall composition seems to be rather typical hard rock one in the vain of Nazareth but with occasional "spooky" choirs in the background a la Uriah Heep. Still better than anything in 1-4 tracks.

6. "Out To The Sea" - very short (only 2:35 minutes) song with organ (finally!!!) & "weeping" guitar. Very good vocal with discreet background choirs, occasional sparkling piano and everything "swimming" in deep organ waves. It reminds me very much of English band "Cressida" from their debut album. First song which I really like in this album!

7. "Goodbye My Friends" (only on CD version) - very short pop-ballad added to CD version of the album doesn't change a thing here. It lasts less then 2 minutes and include only vocal, drums and some unidentified keyboard (electric piano? organ?). Can't be even compared to ballads from previous album.

8. "521 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Symphony" - and in the end opus magnum of "Good Bye": almost 9 minutes instrumental composition which sounds completely out of place in this album. It's just too good! Truly magnificent piece of art. For me it's one of the best Hammond organ performances I ever listened too. This great instrument leads throughout this epic and until 4 minutes we don't even hear any evident electric guitar sound at all. No need! But heh, I have to admit that when guitar finally kick-in with mind blowing solo it perfectly fits there. There are lots of rhythm and melody changes and beautiful, somehow unexpected moments like symphonic Grand piano solo between 2:30 - 2:51 minute or short, acoustic guitar-only section after previously mentioned electric guitar solo based on powerful organ "breaks". And closing 2 minutes with powerful organ roars & symphonic piano which are finally joined by "crying" electric guitar will surely bring sheer goose bumps all along your spine. This composition clearly shows that this band was capable of creating great progressive rock music. It's a pity they didn't pick up their chances and they finished career with this unsatisfying, unbalanced album.

I really don't know how to summarize this album. Compared to previous one it's surely a big letdown. Whole 1st side is a rather poor, basic blues rock with some jamming guitar exercises here and there. Nothing to be impressed at all. However the second part brings as two pearls: short but lovely "Out To The Sea" & mini-suite masterpiece "521 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Symphony" with breath-taking instrumental performance. But as I said, to dig to them you have to go through 5 rather not interesting songs or lame versions of decent ones ("Leave Me Woman" & "Rolling Down The Broadway").

I can recommend this album to fans of late 60'/early 70' blues based hard rock a la Jimi Hendrix, Cream or Led Zeppelin. And if you have enough patience to wait most of the album for really only one progressive rock masterpiece you can also enjoy having this record.

I thought that 3 stars would be ok for the whole thing, but what kind of rating would I give "When the Raven Has Come to the Earth" then? Album recorded as "Strawberry Path" is much more consistent and enjoyable compared to this one. As a duo they didn't reach the hights of "521 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Symphony" at all, but they were able to produce one, solid record which can be listened with pleasure without skipping. Taking this into consideration I can rate "Good Bye" only with 2,5 stars.

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 Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine by FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 7 ratings

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Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine
Flied Egg / Strawberry Path Prog Related

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'm glad that Shigeru Narumo's two projects "Strawberry Path" & "Flied Egg" were finally added to Progarchives (following my suggestion:-). Here is my review of first Flied Egg's album:

First album recorded as Flied Egg called "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" is surely the best record Shigeru Narumo & his friends ever done. Improvement over "When The Raven Has Come To The Earth"(recorded as Strawberry Path) is really huge. The most important is that band's leader extended his keyboard instruments equipment by adding to his traditional Hammond organ and piano such classic prog keys as Moog synthesizer, celeste, harpsichord and even...toy instruments (?!). Compared to previous album he also uses them much more often here and very often places his guitar sounds behind the wall of multi-layers analog keyboards. Another change was occurred in band's line-up. Additional musician - bassist Masayoshi Takanaka - much improved rhythm section and gave more freedom to Narumo which was previously responsible for bass duties (using bass pedal). However the biggest change was in overall music which became much more interesting and prog-oriented compared to blues-rock/early psych oriented previous effort (which was already very good record anyway). Jimi Hendrix influences were mostly replaced by Uriah Heep/Deep Purple/Birth Control ones. Especially Uriah Heep seems to be the biggest source of inspiration this time. It's especially evident in fantastic harmony vocals & Hensley- like organ playing. To be more interesting Narumo probably was also under Emerson impression and it can be heard in instrumental "Oke-Kas" composition. In general music seems to be much more "focused" and songs are really well-written here.

Let's move to the details:

1. "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" - album kicks-off with quite funny song which is still rather the weakest spot on this great album. In the beginning we can hear some foot steps and short "conversation" which seems to be spoof of Superman movies/comic books: "Excuse me sir. Look up the sky. It's a bullet, it's an airplane. WOW! It's flied egg. Oh! Fried egg!". Such humor :-). After that we can hear something is falling down (probably flied egg...or rather fried egg) and the song finally begin. It's fast-tempo rocker with incredibly silly lyrics and to be honest it's one of only few moments on this album where you can hear that the vocals are sang by non-native speakers probably because here drummer/lead vocalist Hiro Tsunoda is heavily supported by his companions. To be honest I prefer when Hiro takes the leads and other "supply" the song only with background "aaaaa...", 'cos the drummer has really great, deep voice. I could bet my bottom dollar that he's British guy!! (but who knows maybe for British guys his accent isn't so good? I'm not native English speaker myself :-P ). Anyway after brief electric guitar solo supported by organ waves, around 3:30 min. few sound effects are presented and song moves into its mellow part. Vocal become much better here and piano lead with Hammond background sounds really tasteful. Before 5 minutes music return to its previous rock'n'roll form with somehow "razzle-dazzle" feeling.

2. "Rolling Down The Broadway" - first song was a mixed-bag. Fortunately next one called "Rolling Down The Broadway" is completely different! Heavy, but in the same time very melodic and catchy guitar riff + fantastic, Uriah Heep/Queen oriented harmony vocals with its "AAAAAAAA" singing. And centre part is occupied with great soloing, at first guitar which later transformed into Hammond organ showcase and finally come back to another guitar one. You can say that it's only well arranged hard rock song heavily influenced by blues-rock, but I enjoy it more than many Led Zeppelin or Nazareth's rockers!

3. "I Love You" - I'm almost sure that most of hard rock and prog rock elitists will pretend that they hate this song. They will call it cheesy, lackluster or corny...but it will surely stuck in everybody's head. It's just very soft love-ballad with Hiro Tsunoda very "British" lead vocal (I can't help to praise his voice abilities). Only vocal, acoustic piano & drums + tasteful string arrangements. And in the middle we can even listen to trumpet solo! Great song for me, really.

4. "Burning Fever" - another fast rocker in the vain of "Rolling Down The Broadway" song. Lots of screaming electric guitar catchy riffs and blistering solos. Masayoshi Takanaka's bass is also very evident here, it's one of his better performance. Only a pity that voices are a bit too much buried in the background, but probably it was intentional mix. This song is a bit similar to tracks from their last album called "Goodbye"(more blues-rock oriented, also no keyboards) but it's still much better.

5. "Plastic Fantasy" - just like titled song, this one has two faces. The first part of "Plastic Fantasy" is just magnificent. In the beginning 30 seconds intro, pompous, loud piano along with thrilling organ & violin (?) can bring goose bumps. Than the vocals starts (surely it isn't Hiro Tsunoda, maybe Narumo sings here? Not sure) and we already know it's one of the highlights of the album. Beautiful piece of art led by sparkling piano & fat organ chops in a real symphonic manner. However around 3:30 we can hear some toy piano motif, after a while music starts to sound a bit too childish. Unfortunately song finishes with silly refrain which is repeated again and again until the song fade out. Anyhow it still remain to be a good song, and one of the most progressive here.

6. "15 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Sabbath" - 15 seconds of sheer...beauty. All three members sing in Gregorian choir manner. Sounds fantastic for me. It's a pity only 15 seconds... BTW I think that Black Sabbath must have listened to this track before they recorded "Supertzar" several years later!

7. "I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight" - here comes another winner! Fantastic heavy prog song. I know that it's mostly ripped-off from Uriah Heep's "Look At Yourself", but it doesn't change a thing that I love listen to this one a lot. Narumo plays his organ like his life would depend on it and his colleagues spit their lungs to deliver as spooky harmony vocals ("AAAAA") as it possible. Groovy rhythm all over the place and magic guitar/organ soloing in the middle. If somebody asked by what heavy prog is, I'd show him this song.

8. "Oke-Kas" - whatever the title means this is surely one of my favorite compositions here. As I said before this track was without doubt composed under strong influence by ELP music. It starts with magnificent, powerful Hammond organ chops followed by supportive acoustic piano. After more than a minute organ solo kicks-off. But it's not typical organ solo 'cos sound is fully distorted and it seems to be reminiscence of Emerson's noise- making show-offs. After that Shigeru plays truly crazy Moog synthesizer solo in the vain of Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson. What a pity it seems to be his only Moog performance in career (anyway recorded one). Composition finishes with main motif played with sheer virtuosity and...furious. Prog gem!

9. "Someday" - along with "I Love You" this is another ballad on the record. And it's equally good or maybe even better. String arrangements are a bit more discreet here and piano/harpsichord (or maybe celeste?) melodies give a bit Baroque feeling here and there. Good pop-ballad with soulful vocals and clever arrangements. I can also add that it was a very good move to place this song between 2 progressive rock monsters.

10. "Guide Me To The Quietness" - and here comes the EPIC of course. In this moments I'm almost sure that Flied Egg tried to create something as "Look At Yourself 2" album. We have something like their own version of guitar-driven "Tears in My Eyes" called "Burning Fever" here, we can find 2 sweet (what other word can I use here?) ballads "Someday" & "I Love You" which seems to be reply to "What Should Be Done", "I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight" has very similar rhythm to "Look At Yourself" song, "Oke-Kas" borrowed experimentalism of "Shadows of Grief", so now it's time for their own..."July Morning" of course!! And I have to admit that "Guide Me To The Quietness" is a worth-listening successor to Uriah Heep's mini suite. This is surely the best composed song, no filler moments and pure passion & enjoyment of playing. Keyboardist again pull off all his strength to deliver the most powerful organ passages when it's necessary and the most melancholic tunes in other moments. Acoustic guitar in more mellow moments is beautiful and drummer's voice is soulful and stunning. It seems he's almost crying most of the song, so "UUUUU" harmony vocals suite incredibly well with his passionate singing. And of course organ solo in the middle is another highlight and sound as clever rendition of Hensley's solo on "July Morning".

To summarize: for me this is one of the best rock albums ever recorded in the country of blossoming cherry. Not because it's ultra experimental and avantgarde recording, but 'cos it's extremely enjoyable one. All song has good melodies and vocals, along with tasteful guitar and analog keyboards soloing. And when we need some experiments we can also find them here from time to time ("Oke-Kas", "15 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Sabbath"). I can heartfully recommend this album to fans of Uriah Heep. It will surely sound like hidden UH's recording from early 70' which was lost long time ago on some music manager's shelf :-). For sure Deep Purple, Birth Control, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath (among others) fans will also find lots of interesting music for themselves here. It's a pity that after this one Flied Egg recorded their weakest, blues-rock album "Goodbye"...and then disappeared forever.

I'd like to give them 5 stars, but I have to admit that it's rather derivative album so "only" 4,5 stars.

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 When The Raven Has Come To The Earth by FLIED EGG / STRAWBERRY PATH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.49 | 7 ratings

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When The Raven Has Come To The Earth
Flied Egg / Strawberry Path Prog Related

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

3 stars Yeah first of all, as a Japanese progressive rock freak I'm very happy I can review this album.

Needless to say that Shigeru NARUMO should be one of the opening acts in Japanese Progressive Rock scene, with his wonderful guitar technique and talent as a multi-instrumentalist. As I've mentioned in their biography, in this album Shigeru simultaneously played a keyboard by his left hand, a guitar by his right hand, and a bass pedal by his feet - can you imagine this? Furthermore, his play could be terrifically steady like a machine indeed, but also human nature was absolutely in his play amazingly. And Hiro's drumming completely could support Shigeru ... oh, brothers, just like rock brothers!

Basically their songs can remind us some of traditional progressive rock ones. For example, The Second Fate is an imitation of Procol Harum's Whiter Shade Of Pale, Five More Pennies knocks our brain into a magnificent guitar play like Jimi hendrix or his followers, and Leave Me Woman kicks our stomach under improvised and speedy keyboard shots like Jon Lord ... Hiro's drum play has very jazzy flavour of a session drummer, strict and rigid, but this style itself did hold STRAWBERRY PATH themselves with scratching for every poppy and jazzy essence. Oh, even Mary Jane On My Mind, one of the most famous songs in Japan and at the same time one of the most controversial ones here, can be comfortable for us ... mysterious touch.

Exactly this album is slightly pop and catchy rather than progressive, but let me emphasize that you can feel their skill and talent for progressive rock, especially of Shigeru NARUMO.

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