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ORPHEUS

Neo-Prog • Japan


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Orpheus picture
Orpheus biography
In early 1982, a Japanese obscure rock project ORPHEUS were founded firstly as a quartet in Osaka, Japan by Shigekazu KAMAKI (guitar), Yasufumi KAWAMURA (voices), Hiroyuki NAGASE (drums) and Naofumi OCHIAI (bass). Their formation had been altered step by step, whilst gigging many times in Kyoto or Osaka. Although Shigekazu had stepped down for a while since the following year, the new guitarist and bassist left away soon so that he came back to them as a collaborator.

In September 1983, Yasufumi persuaded all the other members to record material and release an album - the members in those days were Shigekazu (guitar), Yasufumi (voices), Hiroyuki (drums), Masaru KODAMA (bass) and Kazuki HATTORI (keyboards) - finally, their eponymous album was released in late 1983. Sadly they were disbanded soon after a gig in Hirakata Blow Down (Osaka) upon March 17th, 1984.

(Thanks to Shigekazu for providing their information.)

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CD : Gil Shaham Romances for Violin and Orchestra ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA USD $5.99 Buy It Now
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LP SIR THOMAS BEECHAM 2LP BOX SET Liszt: A Faust Symphony ORPHEUS SYMPHONIC POEM USD $9.95 Buy It Now
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JULIO IGLESIAS - ADAMO - BEN CRAMER - MORANDI - BULGARIAN Lp - GOLDEN ORPHEUS USD $22.90 Buy It Now 1h 55m
GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR: ALL CREATURES NOW ARE MERRY MINDED / O LIGHT OF LIFE. HMV USD $1.33 [0 bids]
2h 53m
Purcell Songs From Orpheus Britannicus Mellon Rousset Kuijken ASTREE USD $89.00 Buy It Now 3h 5m
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ISAO SUZUKI TRIO BLACK ORPHEUS TBM-63 AUDIOPHILE JAPAN OBI PREMIUM HQ-180g LP USD $70.00 Buy It Now 3h 54m
VINYL LP - SONGS FROM THE GREEN HILLS - THE MORRISTON ORPHEUS CHOIR - 33SX 1576 USD $12.58 Buy It Now 4h 7m
HENRY PURCELL - Classical Songbook - ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS - Seven Songs USD $13.99 Buy It Now 4h 23m
The Morriston Orpheus Choir. We'll Keep a Welcome LP. Columbia SX 6211. 1968. Ex USD $1.39 [0 bids]
4h 38m
ASH - Orpheus (Infectious 2004) Numbered 7" Single USD $1.39 [0 bids]
5h 43m
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J.S. Bach / Edwards - Orpheus Descending [New CD] USD $16.72 Buy It Now 6h 3m
Garden Party by Michelle Marie (CD, Aug-2002, Orpheus Records) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 7h 16m
Jacques Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld (CD, Jan-1995, Curb) USD $13.98 Buy It Now 7h 25m
OFFENBACH: ORPHEUS IN DER UNTERWELT (NEW CD) USD $10.39 Buy It Now 7h 40m
BLACK ORPHEUS (NEW CD) USD $5.51 Buy It Now 7h 41m
HANS WERNER HENZE: ARISTAEUS; ORPHEUS BEHIND THE WIRE (NEW CD) USD $14.97 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Orpheus ex record mono promo LP Ascending USD $24.99 Buy It Now 8h
Lfo : Symphonic Poems / Les Preludes / Orpheus CD USD $3.46 Buy It Now 8h 52m
ORPHEUS MUSIC GROUP-NEW-NEVER OPENED-HAS ALL SONGS YOU'D WANT TO HEAR-READ AD USD $30.00 Buy It Now 9h 29m
Saint-Saens, Goss, Franck: Piano Concertos, Orpheus Sinfonia, 0635212034927 USD $18.37 Buy It Now 9h 36m
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Orpheus in the Underworld/improvisati - Don Shirley Compact Disc USD $18.67 Buy It Now 10h 57m
Ode To Orpheus - On the Darkside of the Sun [New CD] Digipack Packaging USD $13.32 Buy It Now 11h 5m
the GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR - All In the April Evening - hmv 78 Vinyl Record USD $59.46 Buy It Now 11h 23m
the GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR - The Turtle Dove - hmv 78 Vinyl Record USD $59.46 Buy It Now 11h 26m
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CSD 1316 1st gold STEREO SADLERS WELLS OPERA OFFENBACH ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD USD $25.00 Buy It Now 11h 53m
The Glasgow Orpheus Choir - Vol. Two 10" LP - DLP 1020 - VG+ USD $10.48 Buy It Now 12h 18m
LP 1961 Capitol T6003 The Glasgow Orpheus Choir Hugh Roberton USD $3.99 Buy It Now 12h 21m
TEST PRESS / ISAO SUZUKI TSUYOSHI YAMAMOTO BLACK ORPHEUS / TBM USD $499.99 Buy It Now 12h 25m
ORPHEUS - Can't Find The Time/Lesley's World USD $13.00 Buy It Now 12h 32m
No Orpheus - Fairouz / Lindsey / Moody / Duffy / Kaplan / Bo (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.33 Buy It Now 13h
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Black Orpheus Trio de Paz USD $10.00 Buy It Now 13h 11m
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[RAP]~SEALED LP~B-FATS~Music Maestro~[1989 ORPHEUS ]~ap~ USD $4.88 Buy It Now 13h 40m
'Music of Wales' RHOS ORPHEUS MALE VOICE CHOIR vinyl record LP Polydor 2460 215 USD $9.45 Buy It Now 13h 55m
HARRY EDISON - Black Orpheus - CD - Import - **Mint Condition** USD $15.95 Buy It Now 13h 56m
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VINCE GUARALDI Black Orpheus LP W/ RARE STICKER &MASTERED BY PHIL DE LANCIE 1990 USD $84.99 Buy It Now 14h 17m
ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA. Handel. Water Music. 1992 Digital CD. DG 435 390-2 USD $6.98 Buy It Now 14h 19m
Liszt Les Preludes Orpheus Tasso Bernard Haitink London Philharmonic Orchestra USD $6.00 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Stravinsky: Three Greek Ballets (Apollo, Agon, Orpheus) LSO Robert Craft CD USD $11.18 Buy It Now 14h 27m
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DIGITAL LP ROSSINI OVERTURES ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTA DG 415 363-1 NM ST 1985 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 38m
R480 DG DIGITAL MOZART SERENATA & DIVERTIMENTI ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA STEREO USD $9.50 Buy It Now 14h 44m
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CD GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR all in the April evening Hymns religious scotland USD $6.98 Buy It Now 15h 18m
R&B/Soul Sealed 12" Lp Atoozi Calling Out Your Name On Orpheus USD $14.99 Buy It Now 15h 26m
Stravinsky: Three Greek Ballets: Apollo, Agon, Orpheus, , Good USD $7.59 Buy It Now 15h 27m
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Orpheus - Philosopher of the Sublime (Paradigms Recordings CD 2010) USD $4.88 [0 bids]
17h 22m
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus - Double LP USD $30.83 Buy It Now 17h 54m
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Mey,Reinhard - Ich Wollte Wie Orpheus Singen [Vinyl LP] /0* USD $25.99 Buy It Now 18h 10m
Glory " Orpheus male chorus of phoenix "Ralph hess, director / LP VG USD $5.71 Buy It Now 18h 37m
Offenbach -- Orpheus in the Underworld -- Conductor Rene Leibowitz -- MMS-140 USD $59.95 Buy It Now 19h 34m
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ORPHEUS (80'S GROUP) Jerusalem 12" VINYL UK Monarch 2 Track Featuring 8.18 USD $5.86 Buy It Now 19h 56m
CSD1316 ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD S/T LP VINYL UK His Masters Voice 1960 13 USD $6.98 Buy It Now 19h 57m
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MORRISTON ORPHEUS CHOIR God Bless The Prince Of Wales LP VINYL UK One Up 1969 USD $6.98 Buy It Now 19h 59m
MORRISTON ORPHEUS CHOIR We'll Keep A Welcome LP VINYL UK Columbia 1968 12 Track USD $6.98 Buy It Now 19h 59m
CHILL Hangin' On 12" VINYL US Orpheus 1990 4 Track In Company Sleeve Radio Edit USD $6.98 Buy It Now 19h 59m
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Cave,Nick & Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues The Lyre Of Orpheus UK vinyl 2LP NEW sealed USD $61.67 Buy It Now 20h
GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR S/T Vol 2 10" VINYL UK His Masters Voice 9 Track Mono 10 USD $6.98 Buy It Now 20h

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ORPHEUS discography


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ORPHEUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 2 ratings
Orpheus
1983

ORPHEUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ORPHEUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Orpheus by ORPHEUS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Orpheus
Orpheus Neo-Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Orpheus is probably the most obscure Japanese band I had pleasure to listen to. They only to manage record one self-titled LP in 1983 before they completely vanished. It seems that this album hasn't even been re-released on CD, so it's not easy to find it out!

Orpheus' eponymous album is filled with rather good but derivative neo/symphonic prog with hard rock touches, in general very similar to work of much more popular band from Japan - Novela. Nothing spectacular, but if you've already collected all records of Novela, Gerard, Vienna and alike, you should also check Orpheus 'cos you will find "more of the same".

This long-play includes 5, rather long tracks:

1. "Tsurugi No Mai" - the shortest track begins with thundering sounds of some huge storm followed by...naive-sounding "lalala" singing. A bit like kindergarten chorus :-). But don't worry and don't run away from the speaker 'cos after few seconds "proper" music kicks in! Soon "Tsurugi No Mai" appears to be rather simple but enough enjoyable hard rock song in the vain of Scheherazade. Especially middle section with Moog synthesizer/guitar solos is good. And one thing is sure from the beginning: Yasufumi Kawamura's voice is very similar to Hisakatsu Igarashi (Novela, Scheherazade). So if you don't like over-the-top, shrieking vocals it may be not a perfect choice for you to listen to Orpheus...

2. "Mermaid" - another track is a truly nice mini-suite (almost 10 minutes long). After first part with sea waves sounds, acoustic guitar guitar lines and soft vocals, before 4th minute we enter into dynamic, full-blown symphonic hard rock piece. Vocals become more "screamy" in this point but they are still catchy enough to deliver what we expects from such kind of music. Guitar is sharp, keyboards are floating and background Hammond organ chops are decent enough to provide us with fantastic prog-rock paradise.

3. "Les Sylphides Suite" - another long epic begins with sober church-like organ motif, truly magic moment. Later we have standard but surely entertaining symphonic prog music surely influenced by early Novela and Genesis. Around 5th minute tempo significantly rises and Shigekazu Kamaki's guitar riffs become more evident. Kazuki Hattori's keyboards are also decent, but especially his swirling organ parts are the most enjoyable for me, sometimes they bring lots of dynamics to the music and sometimes they create heavenly mellow atmosphere (like between 8:37 - 10:15 minutes). Fantastic epic with many memorable fragments and overall captivating ideas.

4. "Ai No Yosei" - it's a shorter, much more straightforward track, filled with up-beat drum and guitar work. There is also wakemanish synthesizer solo which should please symph-prog fans and in general Hattori's organ/keys lines are always nice to listen to. I would call it prog-inspired hard rocker.

5. "Shi To Shojo Suite" - opus magnum of the album: 14+ minutes long epic! I like that in this track Hammond lines are much more audible and sharp than in previous songs, where keyboards in general sounded to "muddled". I suppose cheap recording production... But anyway "Shi To Shojo Suite" is a magnificent suite for me. Yasufumi Kawamura's vocal is truly passionate here and whole band seems to deliver all the goods. Fast, adrenaline-driven fragments are mixed with atmospheric ones in a perfect balance here!

To sum up, I can say that Orpheus could be a real competitor for Novela and Gerard, so it's really a pity that they didn't manage to continue and disbanded soon after their debut was released. The only real problem I had with this album is very poor production values which made many keyboard parts sound too buried in the background. But I guess it's not band's fault, just like it's not their fault that it still wasn't remastered and recorded in CD with decent quality (anyway I don't know anything about it, so I listened to it from rather low quality vinyl transfer). But don't worry, if you overcome recording issues, I can assure you that the quality of the music itself is very high and all fans of Japanese 80's prog should enjoy Orpheus.

As I said target listener for this band are people who also like such formations like: Novela, Scheherazade, early Gerard, Vienna, Starless, Rosalia and alike.

4 stars from ozzy_tom

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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