RC Succession

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RC Succession
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genres Rock
Years active 1968–1990
Labels Toshiba EMI, Polydor, London, Kitty
Members Kiyoshiro Imawano
Reichi Nakaido
Kazuo Kobayashi
Past members Kenchi Haren
Kozo Niida
Hirofumi Kasuga
Ginji Ogawa
Rei Atsumi

RC Succession was an influential Japanese rock band fronted by singer-songwriter Kiyoshiro Imawano.

In 2003, HMV Japan ranked RC Succession at No. 16 on their list of the "Top 100 Japanese Pops Artists".[1] In September 2007, Rolling Stone Japan rated their 1980 live album Rhapsody at No. 2 and their 1988 cover album Covers at No. 41 on its list of the "100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time".[2]


In 1966, Kiyoshiro formed a band named the Clover with Kenchi Haren. This band broke up the following year, however, the remaining members added some new members and called it the Remainders of the Clover. This band changed members again in 1968, and this time they were renamed to The Remainders of the Clover Succession. The name was shortened and the band RC Succession was born.[1][3]

In 1970, RC Succession made its debut as an acoustic trio of Kiyoshiro Imawano (vo., gt.), Wassho Rinko (another name for Kazuo Kobayashi) (b.) and Kenchi Haren (gt.). After guitarist Reichi Nakaido joined the band in 1979 replacing Haren, their popularity grew as they strengthened their rock and roll sound. Since then, they released series of milestone numbers including "Ameagari no Yozora Ni" (1980) and "Transistor Radio" (1980).

In 1988, the band recorded an album consisting of cover versions of rock and pop standards (with original Japanese lyrics) aptly named Covers. It was originally intended for a release from the band's record company Toshiba EMI, however, the release was suddenly canceled with small notice by Toshiba EMI on newspapers claiming "The album was too wonderful to be released." Two months later in August 1988, it was released by Kitty Records. Kiyoshiro revealed that there had been pressure from Toshiba to remove some of the anti-war and anti-nuclear songs from the album. Ironically, the album gained wide attention due to the incident, and debuted at number one of the Oricon album chart.[3]

The members Gee2Woo (keyboards) and Kozo Niida (drums) left the band in 1990. The remaining members Kiyoshiro, Nakaido, and Kazuo Kobayashi (bass) with some supporting musicians released the album Baby a Go-Go that year, but the band later announced that they would stop performing. The last concert was given at Nippon Budokan on December 25, 1990.

After they stopped performing, Kiyoshiro and Nakaido continued as solo artists, while other members (Kobayashi, Niida, and Gee2Woo) resumed their careers as session players. While the band never played together again, Kiyoshiro and Nakaido kept close relationships and collaborated from time to time, including the 1994 album Glad All Over which was credited to Kiyoshiro Imawano & Reichi Nakaido.

Kiyoshiro died of cancer on May 2, 2009.



  • Kenchi Haren - guitar (1968–77)
  • Kozo Niida - drums (1978–90)
  • Hirofumi Kasuga - guitar, drums (1978, 1990)
  • Ginji Ogawa - guitar (1979–80)
  • Gee2Woo - keyboards (1980–90)
  • Rei Atsumi - keyboards (1990)


Original albums[edit]

  • 1972 Shoki no RC Succession (Toshiba)
  • 1972 Tanoshii Yube Ni (Toshiba)
  • 1976 Single Man (Polydor)
  • 1980 Rhapsody (Kitty) [live album]
  • 1980 Please (Kitty)
  • 1981 Blue (Kitty)
  • 1982 Beat Pops (London)
  • 1983 OK (London)
  • 1983 King of Live (London) [live album]
  • 1984 Feel So Bad (Toshiba EMI)
  • 1985 Heart Ace (Toshiba EMI)
  • 1986 the TEARS OF a CLOWN (Toshiba EMI) [live album]
  • 1988 Marvy (Toshiba EMI)
  • 1988 Covers (Kitty) [cover album]
  • 1988 Cobra No Nayami (Toshiba EMI) [live album]
  • 1990 Baby a Go Go (Toshiba EMI)


  • 1981 EPLP (Toshiba EMI)
  • 1984 EPLP-2 (Toshiba EMI)
  • 1990 Best of RC Succession 1970-1980 (Toshiba EMI)
  • 1990 Best of RC Succession 1981-1990 (Toshiba EMI)
  • 2002 Golden Best (EMI Music Japan)
  • 2005 Wonderful Days 1970-80 (USM Japan)
  • 2005 Greatful Days 1981-90 (USM Japan)