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The Rangers

Hiroshi Miyagi – vocals
Tamiya Koga – lead guitar
Masami Tsumura – rhythm guitar
Takeshi Nakatani – Yamaha Electone organ
Akira Mine – bass
Tomoaki Morimoto – drums

Despite four of The Rangers being just 18-years-old, this GS act were a particularly old fashioned six piece, who sounded as though they had just stepped out of 1962, after a career singing adaptations of Brian Hyland’s version of Sealed With A Kiss’. With their green double-breasted jackets and action poses, The Rangers were outfitted so as to provide contrast to their red clad star singer Hiroshi Miyagi. In 1967, the band made two unmemorable singles on Crown Records that I know of, neither of which would shake the foundations. The Rangers’ first single ‘Hoshizora No Koibito’ suffers from a French horn introduction, overly sweet string lines and a spy guitar theme, all of which are merely clichéd rather than memorable. The far catchier B-side ‘Let’s Go Rangers’ employs the kind of ‘Dark Side Of The Mushroom’ traditional Shadows/Ventures guitar spangle that Zappa or The Chocolate Watchband offered, but without the sarcasm. The ‘50s stylings of second single ‘Sally No Hitomi’ include irritating hiccupping vocals and ultra-shrill harmony vocals, whilst the B-side ‘Akaku Akaku Heart Ka’ is a soul stomp performed as a stentorian bark. But then again you try singing ‘Akaku Akaku’ more than once and try to keep a straight face.

Julian Cope
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