CASIOPEA

Fusion / Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop • Japan
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Casiopea, also known as Casiopea 3rd (カシオペア Kashiopea, derived from the name of the constellation Cassiopeia), is a Japanese jazz fusion band formed in 1976 by guitarist Issei Noro, bassist Tetsuo Sakurai, and keyboardist Hidehiko Koike. In 1977, keyboardist Minoru Mukaiya and drummer Takashi Sasaki joined, leaving out Hidehiko. They recorded their debut album Casiopea (1979) with guest appearances by American jazz musicians Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, and David Sanborn. In 1980, Sasaki was replaced by Akira Jimbo. Casiopea has released over 30 albums in Japan and around the world.

The first label to sign them was Alfa Records, which released their album Casiopea. "Galactic Funk" appeared on their 1981 album Cross Point (1981) with ten different versions recorded both live and in studio. The album Eyes of the Mind was released in the United States in 1981. They then released Mint Jams (1982), followed during the same year by
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CASIOPEA Discography

CASIOPEA albums / top albums

CASIOPEA Casiopea album cover 3.20 | 4 ratings
Casiopea
Fusion 1979
CASIOPEA Super Flight album cover 4.38 | 4 ratings
Super Flight
Fusion 1979
CASIOPEA Make Up City album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Make Up City
Fusion 1980
CASIOPEA Cross Point album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Cross Point
Fusion 1981
CASIOPEA Eyes of the Mind album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Eyes of the Mind
Fusion 1981
CASIOPEA 4x4 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
4x4
Fusion 1982
CASIOPEA Photographs album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Photographs
Fusion 1983
CASIOPEA Jive Jive album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jive Jive
Fusion 1983
CASIOPEA Soundgraphy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soundgraphy
Fusion 1984
CASIOPEA Down Upbeat album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Down Upbeat
Fusion 1984
CASIOPEA Zoom album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zoom
Fusion 1985
CASIOPEA Halle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Halle
Fusion 1985
CASIOPEA Sun Sun album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sun Sun
Fusion 1986
CASIOPEA Landing To Summer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Landing To Summer
Fusion 1986
CASIOPEA Wind & Quiet Storm album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wind & Quiet Storm
Fusion 1987
CASIOPEA Platinum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Platinum
Fusion 1987
CASIOPEA Funky Sound Bombers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Funky Sound Bombers
Fusion 1987
CASIOPEA Euphony album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Euphony
Fusion 1988
CASIOPEA The Party album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Party
Fusion 1990
CASIOPEA The Last Members album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Last Members
Fusion 1990
CASIOPEA Full Colors album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Full Colors
Fusion 1991
CASIOPEA Active album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Active
Fusion 1992
CASIOPEA We Want More album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Want More
Fusion 1992
CASIOPEA Dramatic = ドラマティック album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dramatic = ドラマティック
Fusion 1993
CASIOPEA Casiopea-Recall Cuts U.K. Remix album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea-Recall Cuts U.K. Remix
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1993
CASIOPEA Hearty Notes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hearty Notes
Fusion 1994
CASIOPEA Answers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Answers
Fusion 1994
CASIOPEA Asian Dreamer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Asian Dreamer
Fusion 1994
CASIOPEA Freshness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Freshness
Fusion 1995
CASIOPEA Flowers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Flowers
Fusion 1996
CASIOPEA Casiopea and Jimsaku album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea and Jimsaku
Fusion 1996
CASIOPEA Light And Shadows album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Light And Shadows
Fusion 1997
CASIOPEA Be album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Be
Fusion 1998
CASIOPEA Material album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Material
Fusion 1999
CASIOPEA Bitter Sweet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bitter Sweet
Fusion 2000
CASIOPEA Main Gate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Main Gate
Fusion 2001
CASIOPEA Inspire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Inspire
Fusion 2002
CASIOPEA Places album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Places
Fusion 2003
CASIOPEA Marble album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Marble
Fusion 2004
CASIOPEA Signal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Signal
Fusion 2005
CASIOPEA Casiopea 3rd : Ta Ma Te Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea 3rd : Ta Ma Te Box
Fusion 2013
CASIOPEA CASIOPEA 3rd : A SO BO album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
CASIOPEA 3rd : A SO BO
Fusion 2015
CASIOPEA Casiopea 3rd : A.Ka.Ri album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea 3rd : A.Ka.Ri
Fusion 2018
CASIOPEA CASIOPEA 3rd : Panspermia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
CASIOPEA 3rd : Panspermia
Fusion 2019

CASIOPEA EPs & splits

CASIOPEA live albums

CASIOPEA Thunder Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thunder Live
Fusion 1980
CASIOPEA Mint Jams album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mint Jams
Fusion 1982
CASIOPEA Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live
Fusion 1985
CASIOPEA Perfect Live II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Perfect Live II
Fusion 1987
CASIOPEA World Live '88 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
World Live '88
Fusion 1988
CASIOPEA Live Anthology Fine 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Anthology Fine 1
Fusion 1994
CASIOPEA Made In Melbourne album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Made In Melbourne
Fusion 1994
CASIOPEA Live Anthology Fine 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Anthology Fine 2
Fusion 1995
CASIOPEA 20th Anniversary Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
20th Anniversary Live
Fusion 2000
CASIOPEA Casiopea Vs The Square -Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea Vs The Square -Live
Fusion 2004
CASIOPEA Live And More album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live And More
Fusion 2004
CASIOPEA Gig 25 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gig 25
Fusion 2005
CASIOPEA Casiopea 3rd : A・SO・N・DA LIVE album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea 3rd : A・SO・N・DA LIVE
Fusion 2016
CASIOPEA Casiopea 3rd : I・BU・KI album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea 3rd : I・BU・KI
Fusion 2016
CASIOPEA CASIOPEA 3rd & INSPIRITS : Both Anniversary Gig CD album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
CASIOPEA 3rd & INSPIRITS : Both Anniversary Gig CD
Fusion 2018
CASIOPEA Casiopea 3rd Celebrate 40th Live CD album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea 3rd Celebrate 40th Live CD
Fusion 2020

CASIOPEA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CASIOPEA re-issues & compilations

CASIOPEA Platinum [1992] album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Platinum [1992]
Fusion 1982
CASIOPEA Best Of The Best album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of The Best
Fusion 1990
CASIOPEA Aguri Suzuki's album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aguri Suzuki's
Fusion 1994
CASIOPEA Work In album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Work In
Fusion 1995
CASIOPEA Workout (Best Live & Studio) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Workout (Best Live & Studio)
Fusion 1995
CASIOPEA Super Best album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Super Best
Fusion 1996
CASIOPEA Best Selection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Selection
Fusion 1999
CASIOPEA Super Best 2000 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Super Best 2000
Fusion 2000
CASIOPEA Single Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Single Collection
Fusion 2001
CASIOPEA Groove & Passion [Best Live Selection] album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Groove & Passion [Best Live Selection]
Fusion 2006
CASIOPEA Gentle & Mellow (Best Studio Selections) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gentle & Mellow (Best Studio Selections)
Fusion 2006
CASIOPEA Living on a Feeling - Night Selection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Living on a Feeling - Night Selection
Fusion 2009
CASIOPEA Best of CASIOPEA -Alfa Collection- album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best of CASIOPEA -Alfa Collection-
Fusion 2009
CASIOPEA Legend of CASIOPEA album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Legend of CASIOPEA
Fusion 2009
CASIOPEA ULTIMATE BEST ~ Early Alfa Years album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
ULTIMATE BEST ~ Early Alfa Years
Fusion 2012

CASIOPEA singles (0)

CASIOPEA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Act-One(Live History)
Fusion 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In London 1983
Fusion 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea Again
Fusion 2000
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
20th Live
Fusion 2000
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Joia Casiopea World Tour
Fusion 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Vintage 2002
Fusion 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
the way of CASIOPEA
Fusion 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Casiopea with Tetsuo Sakurai / Akira Jimbo: The Mint Session
Fusion 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
5 Stars Live
Fusion 2005
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Liftoff 2012
Fusion 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
TA · MA · TE · BOX Tour
Fusion 2014

CASIOPEA Reviews

CASIOPEA Casiopea

Album · 1979 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
Casiopea do fairly slick fusion that can get spacey but is mostly funk-influenced. Their first album includes a horn section on several songs, and even strings at times, but the chief focus is on the guitar of leader Issei Noro and the keys of Minoru Mukaiya, both which spend as much time establishing texture, working on riffs and melody as they do soloing or digging into anything tangled. But that’s not a weakness, the accessibility and melody are nice features, and it’s also not to say there are no solos at all. ‘Swallow’ for instance has some great solos from both players, and in fact, I’m reminded of Al Di Meola at times.

I do feel like this is a good album rather than an essential release. It’s got a nice amount of punch from the bursts of lockstep playing or up-tempo numbers like ‘Black Joke’ or ‘Space Road’ and contrasts this with cruising moments, even including a nice ballad of sorts, in ‘Tears of the Stars’ where Noro brings out the acoustic guitar. Opener ‘Time Limit’ is great, but my favourite piece is probably the fantastic ‘Midnight Rendezvous.’ Not every song is as distinctive as some of those mentioned, and at times the album seems ‘safe’ and I found myself wondering what Casiopea would sound like if they approached some of the pieces in a less composed manner. (I ought to check out some live tracks and do a bit of a comparison.)

At a production level, the ultra crisp and reasonably trebly bass sound does date the album a little, it has a bit of an 1980s feel that doesn’t sit all that well with me, but this is nitpicking to some extent. Because it doesn’t truly detract from the better compositions, and probably my chief concern is with the overall slickness of the songs, both in terms of sound and composition, which is clear from first listen.

Casiopea were one of the most durable fusion bands from Japan, releasing over thirty albums in their career, and this is certainly an impressive debut, even if I don’t think it’s essential. It’s still a good album and would probably work as a fitting (and logical) introduction to the band, so slowly, I'm going to dig into the rest of their discography.

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