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Marty Friedman: Tokyo Jukebox

May 27, 2009

Former Megadeth “charisma guitarist” Marty Friedman (46) has been unashamedly gushing about his love of the J-pop scene for a few years now. And today he’s cashing in on the mismatch of heavy metal axeman and sugar sweet pop music with the release of “Tokyo Jukebox,” an instrumental album of J-pop covers. Friedman performed a few guitar licks for reporters at the Tokyo Tower observation deck yesterday, including his take on Mr. Children’s “Gift” and a little enka in the form of Ishikawa Sayuri’s “Amagigoe.” Friedman performed as a member of Megadeth during their most successful decade from 1990-2000. After moving to Japan, he joined X Japan guitarist Pata and Luna Sea drummer Shinya as a backing musician to rock singer Aikawa Nanase in 2005. A more unlikely pairing was with J-pop star Suzuki Ami on NHK’s “Kohaku Uta Gassen” that New Year’s Eve. He also performed last year on a mini-album of covers by African American enka singer Jero. In March, he performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. A famous Friedman anecdote is that he auditioned for legendary rockers Kiss, but was turned down because he was under six feet tall.

Tokyo Jukebox tracklist

  1. Tsume Tsume Tsume (Maximum the Hormone)
  2. Gift (Mr. Children)
  3. Amagigoe (Sayuri Ishikawa)
  4. Story (AI)
  5. Polyrhythm (Perfume)
  6. Kaeritakunatta yo (Ikimonogakari)
  7. Tsunami (Southern All Stars)
  8. Yuki no Hana (Mika Nakashima)
  9. Eki (Takeuchi Mariya)
  10. Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana (SMAP)
  11. Romansu no Kamisama (Hirose Kohmi)
  12. Ashita he no Sanka (Alan)
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