Band members               Related acts

- Kiyomasa Higa - guitar (-77 and 92)

- Eiichi Miyanaga - drums, vocals (-77 and 92)

- George Murasaki - keyboards, synthesizers, backing

  vocals (1970-77 and 92)

- Yukio Shimoji - guitar (-77 and 92)

- Masao Shiroma - vocals, percussion (1970-77 and 92)

- Toshio Shiroma - bass, backing vocals (1970-77 and 92)



- George Murasaki & Mariner

- George Murasaki & Okinawa





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Doin' Our Thing at The Live House Murasaki

Company: Bourbon

Catalog: MBC-2004-5

Year: 1977

Country/State: Japan

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: double LP set; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4628

Price: $40.00

Cost: $66.00


Hum, guess these guys are considered to be something along the lines of Okinawa's Black Sabbath, or Deep Purple.  


Born in Okinawa, namesake George Murasaki had a background in classical music.  In 1967 he enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles where he majored in math and computer science.  Murasaki also found the time to minor in music, studying piano, pipe organ and voice.  Graduating in 1970 he returned to Okinawa where he formed the original Murasaki band. The band spent the next five years honing their skills on the local club circuit, in the process becoming favorites among the island's large population of American soldiers and sailors. 


By 1975 the band consisted of guitarist Kiyomasa Higa, drummer Eiichi Miyanaga, guitarist Yukio Shimoji, and twin brothers Masao (vocals) and Toshio (bass) Shiroma.  Signed by the Japanese Bourbon Records label, they recorded a pair of critically acclaimed and big selling albums - 1975's “Murasaki” and the follow-up “Impact”.


A double live set recorded in Okinawa, "Doin' Our Thing at The Live House Murasaki" sports surprisingly good acoustics for a concert documentary, though it occasionally sounds like the band were playing in front of five or six close friends instead of a big club audience.  While the stage pattern is kind of lame and the English lyrics are occasionally a bit flat ('Mother Nature's Plite'), these guys generate considerable enthusiasm and energy on the ensuing mix of originals and covers. The Black Sabbath/Deep Purple influences are certainly their, complete with Murasaki's own stabbing keyboards and occasional lapses into overindulgence (the seemingly endless 15 minutes 'Mother Nature's Plite'). Overlooking those flaws, I'd put this set up against virtually any Western hard rock outfit.  Besides, can you imagine Black Sabbath trying to perform in Japanese?  Personal favorites are Murasaki's 'Rock and Roll Night Mare' and 'Double Dealing Woman'.  To my ears the other standout tunes are the two covers - ZZ Top's 'Tush' and Deep Purple's 'Fireball'.  

"Doin' Our Thing at The Live House Murasaki" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Just a Roc'n Roll Band   (George Murasaki - Yukio Shimoji) - 6:40

2.) (Now I'm) Free    (George Murasaki - Kiyomaosa Higa) - 6:22

3.) Tush   (Billy Gibbons - Dusty Hill - Frank Beard) - 3:37

4.) Wrath of the Gods   (George Murasaki) - 4:02


(side 2)
1.) Blackout   (George Murasaki) - 4:28

2.) Rock'n Roll Singer  (Masao Shiromo - George Murasaki) - 3:03

3.) Don't Come To Me Side  (Masao Shiromo - George Murasaki) - 7:52

4.) Rock and Roll Night Mare   (George Murasaki) - 4:34


(side 3)

1.) Double Dealing Woman   (George Murasaki) - 6:03

2.) Mother Nature's Plite   (Masao Shiromo - George Murasaki - Yukio Shimoji) - 15:05


(side 4)
1.) Doomsday   (George Murasaki) - 4:56

2.) Far Away   (George Murasaki) - 4:52

3.) Sugisarishi Hibi  (Eiichi Miyanaga) - 4:16

4.) Fireball   (Deep Purple) - 5:00



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