Aihiyō - Aihiyō (1998)

Aihiyō (哀秘謡) is one of Keiji Haino's more obscure groups. There were only 2 albums, a studio recording (this one here, released in June 1998 on Tokuma) and a live one (June 2000, PSF). Both were 'cover' albums, though you'll have to take that term very loosely here. The song covered are mostly '60s and '70s pop hits. Haino released no less than 8 albums on Tokuma in 1997-1998, and they are all quite collectible nowadays. What's more important, quite a few of them are really good. There is for instance Haino's solo album 息をしているまま ('Iki o shite iru mama', or 'Keeping on Breathing') and 完結されもしない死 ('Kanketsu sare mo shinai shi', or 'A Death Never to Be Complete') by Fushitsusha (不失者), both of which I suggest you pick up next time they turn up at your local yard sale or flea market. This Aihiyō isn't half bad either, though fans of the original songs will not automatically dig these interpretations. Bear in mind that when Haino covers a song, what you end up with is 5% original song and 95% vintage Haino. Or in other words, Haino fans need not fear any bubblegum singalongs; just a slightly more accessible, melodic sound. Let's have a look at the tracklist.
What you'll find below are the Japanese titles, followed by romaji transliterations and the English titles (as given on Discogs - note that these are not always literal, and that they do not appear anywhere on the original CD). Furthermore, the original artist is given (note: the artist who first performed the song - not necessarily the songwriter), occasionally the year of original publication or some other info, and finally YouTube links to the original songs.

1. いとしのマックス ('Itoshi no Makkusu' - 'My Darling Max')
by 荒木一郎 (Ichirō Araki), from 1967; [YT]
2. 八月の濡れた砂 ('Hachigatsu no nureta suna' - 'Wet Sand in August')
by 石川 セリ (Seri Ishikawa), from the soundtrack of the 1971 film of the same title, directed by 藤田敏八 (Toshiya Fujita), who is best known for the 修羅雪姫 ('Shurayukihime' - 'Lady Snowblood') films; [YT]
3. 悲しき願い ('Kanashiki negai' - 'Melancholy Wish')
by 尾藤イサオ (Isao Bitō), from 1965; [YT]
4. 赤い靴 ('Akai kutsu' - 'Red Shoes')
by 秋吉久美子 (Kumiko Akiyoshi) on her great untitled album (1975); [YT]
5. 何故に二人はここに ('Naze ni futari wa koko ni' - 'Why the Two of Us Here')
by Kとブルンネン (K & Burunnen); [YT]
6. 骨まで愛して ('Hone made ai shite' - 'I Love You to Your Bones')
by 城卓矢 (Takuya Jō), from 1966; [YT]
7. 好きさ 好きさ 好きさ ('Sukisa sukisa sukisa' - 'I Love You')
by The Zombies (1965), but more famous as covered by Californian rock band People! (their one hit single, in 1968); [YT] / [YT]
8. 世界は二人のために ('Sekai wa futari no tame ni' - 'The World Is Ours')
by 佐良直美 (Naomi Sagara), her debut single in 1967; [YT]
9. 夜と朝のあいだに ('Yoru to asa no aida ni' - 'Between Night and Morning')
by ピーター (Peter, stage name for 池畑慎之介 (Shinnosuke Ikehata), who also acted, notably in 乱 / 'Ran' (by 黒澤明 (Akira Kurosawa)) and 薔薇の葬列 / 'Funeral Parade of Roses' (by 松本俊夫 (Toshio Matsumoto)); a single from 1969) [YT].

For some lyric translations, go here.

The line-up on both Aihiyō albums is:
Keiji Haino (灰野敬二): guitar, voice
Ikurō Takahashi (高橋幾郎): drums
Masami Kawaguchi (川口雅巳): bass

Regarding the band name, it's a word coined by Haino himself, consisting of 3 kanji characters: 哀 (ai) means sorrow; 秘 (hi) means secret; and 謡 (yō) means chant (often specifically noh chanting). What more fitting name for a '60s pop cover band?
Here [2012 reupload!].


  1. Hola, en primer lugar quiero decirte que tu blog es de lo mejor que he encontrado en internet últimamente; en segundo lugar me gustaría hacerte una pequeña petición: ¿podrías subir de nuevo este disco?, lo he buscado por todas partes y no lo encontraba, justo encontré en tu blog hace un mes y he bajado ya muchos discos y debo agradecer la exelente calidad de tus publicaciones. Desgraciadamente tardé un poco en bajar este disco y ahora con las represalias contra Megaupload han bloqueado el último link que quedaba en pie. Te agradecería mucho si lo subieras de nuevo.

    Hello, first I want to tell you that your blog is the best I've found online lately, secondly I would like to make one small request: could you upload again this album?, I've looked everywhere and could not find it, just found your blog a month ago and I've down already many albums and I must thank the excellent quality of your publications. Unfortunately it took me a while to download this album and now the reprisals against Megaupload blocked the last link that was left standing. I would greatly appreciate if you upstairs again.

    Saludos desde México.
    Atte JAOZ

  2. Thank you for your comment. This album has now been reuploaded - enjoy!

  3. Reupload, please.