Sunday, 12 January 2014

Godiego - A Fool (1978)

As a kid growing up in the UK in the 1980's, I was exposed to some great television shows with equally killer theme music. For me, the intro music was the highlight of the show most of the time. One show that was guaranteed to get me all pumped up was Monkey. Based on a 16th century Chinese novel of folk religion and mythology called "Journey To The West", the show followed five characters on their path to spiritual enlightenment. 
Lead character Monkey was a short tempered half man-half monkey, a great fighter with some cool weapons including a stick which he would shrink down to the size of a match and keep behind his ear, a pink cloud that used to come down from the sky whenever he whistled for it and when he was outnumbered in a fight he could pinch of few of his chest hairs and he'd be cloned several times over. Joining Monkey on his pilgrimage were Pigsy, a horny half man-half pig, Sandy, a balding half man-half fish, a great swimmer and Tripitaka a young Buddhist monk (played by a bald headed girl) who would regularly get the gang into some dangerous shit and then punish Monkey for fighting with the baddies! There was also a horse, "Horse" who spoke about three times in the whole series.

Monkey & Co
The soundtrack was performed by Japanese, five-piece pop band Godiego and the songs were repeated throughout the series. I finally found a copy of the soundtrack LP a couple of weeks ago in a record shop in Brighton and its great to hear the full songs instead of just the snippets scattered around the show. There's some great funky pop on the record which was used in the fight scenes on the show, but the real stand out track, "A Fool" is a great McCartney-esque piano pop tune which would be played whenever Pigsy would fall for a girl, but end up having his heart broken. 

The Monkey soundtrack album topped the Japanese charts in 1979 and was released in the UK on the BBC record label. The band at the time were Mickie Yoshino (Keyboards), Yukihide Takekaka (Vocals), Steve Fox (Bass), Takami Asano (Guitar) and Tommy Snyder (Drums, Vocals, Marimba). Godiego remain active as a band and are still very popular in Japan, having released an impressive 55 albums since 1975 including many English language and soundtrack recordings. 

I should also mention that the actor who played Monkey, Masaaki Sakai was in pop group in the sixties called The Spiders, Japan's answer to the Beatles! And there's more...Sandy, aka ShirĊ Kishibe was also in a sixties band called The Tigers who had a hit record in 1968 called "Smile For Me", which was written for them by Barry & Maurice Gibb!!

"A Fool"

A fool, I'm a fool
Fallin' in love like this
I shouldn't let myself
Run away with a dream like this

It started as a harmless game
But I was playin' with fire
And now so hopelessly
I can't stop my desire

(*) A fool, I'm a fool
Cause I'm in love with you
How could there be a chance
To make this love come through
A fool yes you are
I know that you are

I hope that you weren't
A fool like you are
Oh boy aren't you dumb
A fool that you are
A fool
I'm a fool

I gotta go through that pain
Of always wantin' you near
And wishin' you'd give me one look
That knows my heart and hears

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for turning me onto this! As a kid growing up in the USA on the 1970s, there's no way I would have ever heard this wonderful song on my own. The instrumentation reminds me of some of the playful music composed by Joe Raposo for Sesame Street, a show I did watch growing up. Not familiar with Godiego, yet they've released 55 albums?! Where have I been?