Ryuichi Sakamoto “Futurista”

Happy birthday Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears) (1961), John Lee Hooker (1917) and Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers) (1958).

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO – Futurista (Midi / School, 1986); I never got the paper sleeve SHM-CD version, so I don’t know what’s on that one, but the CD always had 1 more song than the LP, usually the 45 version of “G.T.”, the single from this LP.

This LP has some interesting guests – most notably Kenji Suzuki (the guitarist), New Yorker guitarist Arto Lindsay, and Japanese female vocalist Cano Caoli.  Also guesting is Maceo Parker on sax and vocalist Bernard Fowler (recently seen with The Rolling Stones).  They also thank TRA Project, Bill Laswell and Akiko Yano (Sakamoto’s ex-wife).

“Broadway Boogie Woogie” has more “Bladerunner” (feature film) samples than most music made these days; at least it’s snappy!

Second song doesn’t have any English, but it is pleasant ambient-type “typical” Sakamoto stuff.

“Ballet Mecanique” has some reasonably nice processed vocals from Bernard Fowler.  “G.T. II” is a re-make of “G.T.”, so treat accordingly.

“Milan, 1909” does indeed invoke the thought of Italy many years ago.  “Variety Show” is a computer genius showing off.  “Verso Lo Schermo” features Cano Caoli, the singer of Cioccolata.

“Water IS Life” is the shortest song on this LP @ 1:52.  The album ends with “Parolibre”, again, sung by Cano Caoli – but it always sounded like Miharu Koshi to me (Hosono’s sidekick).  And at least the CD version ends with “G.T.”, the original 45 version, a great song.

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Today, happy birthday to jazz bassist Charlie Haden (1937). On 8-7, happy birthday to Stan Freberg! Where’s the “Orville” movie? Also Robert Mitchum (1917) and Andy Warhol (1927).

Certainly by the time of “Neo Geo”, I was busily buying Ryuichi Sakamoto CD’s. Did he make any more LP’s after that? Why, yes, he did!


In 1990 Virgin US released an LP of “Beauty”, a fabulous LP; my original release LP has custom labels and a spiffy innersleeve. The only place song titles are easy to read is in tiny lettering on the reverse cover of the LP! Have you heard the Robert Wyatt vocal on “We Love You”, the Rolling Stones song covered on this LP?


Also in 1990, Virgin US did a 12” single of “You Do Me”, the track from “Beauty” sung by Prince protégé Jill Jones. Looks to be approx. 30 minutes of music on this promo 12”!


After the 1990 releases on Virgin US, I thought Virgin US had thrown in the towel, but no! I found a ’92 promo 12” of “Heartbeat”, labeled as “Ventricle” and “Auricle” sides.


Many moons later (’98) Mr. Sakamoto had a 12” single on Ninja Tune, out of the UK, taken from his “Dischord” CD, “Anger” b/w “Grief” with remixes by Amon Tobin and Talvin Singh, among others.


Bringing us to the current century, right after it came out in Japan, somebody on eBay had an LP for “Chasm” (’04) for a super low price. I bid the minimum, and a few weeks later an LP of it arrived at my home. This is one of the last great albums Mr. Sakamoto did, that I am aware of. The LP has 11 songs to the CD having 14 (or 15) tracks.


So that’s what I’ve found on vinyl for Ryuichi Sakamoto for almost the last 20 years!

Up To Date?

3-25-13          Up to date



March 24th:  Happy birthday, Mike Kellie (Spooky Tooth), born 1947.  On 3/25/72, the LP “Fog On The Tyne” by Lindisfarne was No. 1 in England.  Happy birthday, Nick Lowe!  (Born 1949).

Trying to keep up to date, with the Y.M.O. CD issues.  Looks like I can get it to within 10 years, re: the mastering.  I recently got an ‘03 Sony issue of “Service”, and for a CD, I think that’s the last time it was mastered.

I know that they did a Blu-spec (Blu-ray) issue a while back; not sure if it’s a complete re-origination of any of their titles, or if they used the most recent CD mastering for the Blu-spec mastering.

They should’ve re-mastered “Ultimate Collection” when they made an SA-CD non-hybird issue, but did they do all the others too?

So, is 2003 really the most recent mastering on all of the Japanese Y.M.O. CD titles?

Zaine Griff

8-6-12             Zaine Griff

Jazz bassist Charlie Haden born 1937

LP                ASHES AND DIAMONDS                                        WARNER US       BSK 3488

1980 11 TRKS with Hans Zimmer, produced by Tony Visconti

LP                ASHES AND DIAMONDS                                        ZG NZ                    CDMANU132

1980 11 TRKS Hans Zimmer (’12 issue)

7″                 ASHES AND DIAMONDS / HAUNT, THE (PS)     AUTOMATIC UK   K 17610

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD                FIGURES                                                                   ZG NZ                    CDMANU133

1982 11 TRKS Yukihiro Takahashi etc. (’12 issue)

LP                FIGURES                                                                   POLYDOR JPN    28MM 0221

1982 11 TRKS Yukihiro Takahashi etc., insert

LP                FIGURES                                                                   POLYDOR UK      2311 160

1982 11 TRKS with Yukihiro Takahashi, produced by Hans Zimmer and Zaine Griff

7″                 FIGURES / MENTAL PICTURES (PS)                  POLYDOR UK      POSP 458

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                 FLOWERS / TURN OUT THE LIGHT (PS)           POLYDOR UK      POSP 506

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                 SWING / HOT (PS)                                                   POLYDOR NL      815781.7

1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, the sole post-Figures ZG release that I know of!

The two Zaine Griff albums have recently been released on CD!

I probably first heard of Zaine Griff on Yukihiro Takahashi’s fantastic “What Me Worry” LP, in 1982 (“Ronny” wasn’t the only guest vocalist on that fine album!).  Synergy being what it is, Griff’s “Figures” appeared shortly thereafter.  A quick perusal of the $1.- bins in L.A. record stores revealed US copies of Griff’s debut LP, “Ashes & Diamonds” (“Looks like a Bowie clone, but there’s a bit more going on”, is how I remember it).  Both albums were originated in England.

These records are an excellent chance to hear Hans Zimmer at the peak of his Fairlight-ish abilities!  And the songs are great on “Figures”; I do like it better than “Ashes and Diamonds”.

Circa ’82, how many records did Yukihiro Takahashi appear on, outside of Japan?

Are fans of Ultravox (“Class of ’82”) aware that Warren Cann appears on “Figures”?

And, of course, as soon as Gary Steel sends me promo copies of the CD’s from New Zealand, I see that they have been licensed to Japan, as kami sleeve CD’s (little paper album covers).  I’d go for ‘em if they were right in front of me, priced-down, because the clerks ‘didn’t know what they were’.

But “Figures” came out in Japan on LP, so the Japanese know what this is.  It’s a must-own for your Y.M.O. / Yukihiro Takahashi collection.  It’s a no-brainer for the serious collector of Ultravox.

Both albums are a very decent addition to your collection of a) NZ artists b) Hans Zimmer productions c) Y.M.O. solo / ‘guest’ titles d) Ultravox periphery.  Good songs!

1977 – 1982

5-2-12             1977 1982

Guitarist Link Wrap born 1929, Singer / Songwriter Leslie Gore born 1946; Rumble.

A while back, I ran into someone who virtually sat out 1977 – 1982; doesn’t matter why, but this person didn’t hear much of anything during these years.   I only wanted to pick one album by an artist, too.  The sole exception to this rule today is for The Damned, as both the debut and 3rd album were real favorites of mine.  The idea was to suggest a set of records that would get you up to speed in my universe.  These artists are all conditionally recommended – start with these records!

A CERTAIN RATIO – The Graveyard & The Ballroom (1979)

ATHLETICO SPIZZ 80 – Do A Runner (1980) not on CD

BEAT, THE – I Just Can’t Stop It (1980) aka The English Beat

BIRTHDAY PARTY – Prayers on Fire (1981)

BLACK RANDY / ELITE METROSQUAD – Pass The Dust, I Think I’m Bowie (1979)

BOWIE, DAVID – Low (1977)

BUGGLES – The Age Of Plastic (1980)

BUZZCOCKS – Time’s Up (1977)

CALE, JOHN – Sabotage (1979)

COOPERCLARKE, JOHN – Disguise In Love (1978)

CURE, THE – 17 Seconds (1980)

CZUKAY, HOLGER – Movies (1979)

DAMNED – Damned (1st) (1977)

DAMNED – Machine Gun Etiquette (1979)

DEVO – Are We Not Men? (1978)

DURY, IAN / BLOCKHEADS – New Boots and Panties (1977)

ENO, BRIAN – Before and After Science (1977)

FLYING LIZARDS – self-titled debut LP (1979)

FOXX, JOHN – Metamatic (1980)

GANG OF FOUR – Entertainment (1979)

GLASS, PHILIP – Einstein On The Beach (1978)

GOBLIN – Suspiria O.S.T. (1977)

GODLEY & CRÈME – L (1978)

GRIFF, ZAINE – Figures (1982) not on CD

GRUPPO SPORTIVO – 10 Mistakes (1977)

HAWKWIND – Quark, Strangeness & Charm (1978)

HINE, RUPERT – Immunity (1981)

HOPPER, HUGH – Hoppertunity Box (1977)

JAPAN – Quiet Life (1979)

JONES, GRACE – Nightclubbing (1981)

KRAFTWERK – Computerwelt (1981)

LARD FREE – Lard Free Vol. 3 (1977)

LEWIE, JONA – On The Other Hand, There’s A Fist (1978)

LIO – debut album (1980)

LOUNGE LIZARDS – debut album (1980)

LOVICH, LENE – Stateless (1979)

LOVSKY, FAY – Confetti (1981)

LOWE, NICK – The Jesus of Cool (1978)

M (Robin Scott) – London Paris etc. (“Pop Musik”) (1979)

MADNESS – One Step Beyond (1979)

MAGAZINE – Real Life (1978)

MANZANERA, PHIL / 801 – Listen Now (1977)

MELON – Do You Like Japan? (1982)

METHOD ACTORS – Rhythms Of You (1979?) on CD as “This Is Still It”

MODELS – Local and / Or General (1981)

MONOCHROME SET – Strange Boutique (1980)

MOTORS, THE – 1 (1977)

NELSON, BILL / RED NOISE – Sound On Sound (1979)

NITS, THE – New Flat (1981)

NUMAN, GARY / TUBEWAY ARMY – Replicas (1979)

PASSIONS, THE – Michael & Miranda (1980) not on CD

PEACOCK, ANNETTE – X Dreams (1978)

POP, IGGY – The Idiot (1977)

PSYCHEDELIC FURS – self titled debut (1980)

PYLON – Gyrate (1980)

RADIO BIRDMAN – Radios Appear (1977)

REVILLOS, THE – Rev Up (1980)

ROTHER, MICHAEL – Flammende Herzen (1977)

SCRITTI POLITTI – Songs To Remember (1982)

SIMPLE MINDS – Empires and Dance (1980)

SLITS, THE – Cut (1979)

SPECIALS, THE – debut album (1980)

SPEDDING, CHRIS – Hurt (1977)

STRANGLERS, THE – The Raven (1979)

SWEET, RACHEL – Fool Around (1979)

SWINGERS, THE – Practical Jokers (1981)


TAKAHASHI, YUKIHIRO – What Me Worry? (1982)

TALKING HEADS – More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)

TAYLOR, TOT – Playtime (1981)

THIS HEAT – Health and Efficiency E.P. (1980)

TIN HUEY – Contents Dislodged During Shipment (1979)

TOWNSHEND, PETE – Empty Glass (1980)

TOY LOVE – self titled debut (1980) on CD as “Cuts”

ULTRAVOX – Systems Of Romance (1978)

WIRE – 154 (1979)

WYATT, ROBERT – Nothing Can Stop Us (1982)

XTC – White Music (1978)

Y.M.O. – Technodelic (1981)

YELLO – Solid Pleasure (1980)

Ryuichi Sakamoto – 80’s releases


Ryuichi Sakamoto – 80’s releases

In just a little over a month, I will be seeing Y.M.O. on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.  Without doubt, my interest in Y.M.O. remained after their break-up in ’84 by some of the glorious solo albums by keyboard player Ryuichi Sakamoto.

There are so darned many 80’s solo albums by him – here’s what I remember:

7″                 FRONTLINE                                                                                      ALFA JPN                   ALR-730

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve – released in England by Island Records, too

12″               BAMBOO HOUSES / BAMBOO MUSIC                                         VIRGIN UK                 VS 510-12

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve (with David Sylvian)

12″               ARRANGEMENT, THE                                                                     ALFA JPN                   ALR-16001

1982 4 TRKS with pic sleeve, insert (with Robin Scott)

CD                MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE (O.S.T.)                        MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1220

1983 19 TRKS from the boxed set

12″               FORBIDDEN COLOURS                                                                VIRGIN UK                 VS 601-12

1983 3 TRKS with pic sleeve (with David Sylvian)

CD                FAVORITE VISIONS                                                                         NIPPON COL JPN    COCB-53331

1983 7 TRKS (’05 issue) (kami sleeve) collection of pre-80’s material

CD                ILLUSTRATED MUSIC ENCYCLOPEDIA                                    MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1091

1984 13 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks)

CD                CODA                                                                                                  MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1221

1984 16 TRKS Solo piano, from the boxed set

12″               FIELD WORK                                                                                    MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MIS-502

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve (with Thomas Dolby)

CD                ESPERANTO                                                                                     MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1217

1985 8 TRKS from the boxed set

CD                FUTURISTA                                                                                       MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1218

1986 10 TRKS 1 x bonus track, from the boxed set

CD                BEST SELECTION                                                                           ALFA JPN                   32XA-52

1986 13 TRK Collection – gets some of the early 80’s single material onto CD!

CD                ADVENTURES OF CHATRAIN, THE (O.S.T.)                              MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDC7-1017

1986 13 TRKS 1 x bonus track

CD                MEDIA BAHN LIVE                                                                            MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1219

1986 17 TRKS Live, from the boxed set

CD                AILE DE HONNEAMISE                                                                   MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1222

1987 15 TRKS Anime O.S.T., from the boxed set

CD                BEHIND THE MASK                                                                         MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCZ-1223

1987 6 TRK Collection, from the boxed set

CD                WORKS I – CM                                                                                   MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCL-1437

2002 19 TRK Collection (’81 – ’84 recordings) His work for film & TV

CD                WORKS II – TV / INST.                                                                      MIDI/SCHOOL JPN   MDCL-1438

2002 13 TRK Collection (’80 – ’84 recordings) His work for film & TV

CD                NEO GEO (CD + DVD)                                                                    SONY JPN                  MHCL 1363/4

1987 10 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks) + DVD, ’09 issue, kami sleeve

I only left in the really essential singles, and I did not include his late 80’s Virgin releases – I do really like “Beauty” (1989), but the above listed titles are what holds together for an essential 80’s Sakamoto solo collection.  Very fond of his collaborations with both David Sylvian and Robin Scott (perhaps better known as “M” – the “Pop Musik” guy) – too bad there wasn’t an entire album with David Sylvian!  The only post-80’s releases I am including are the 2 volumes of Film & TV work he did for Midi / School, both really rather good…

Oriental Magnetic Yellow



Never exactly certain of the whole story, I first started noticing O.M.Y. ( = Oriental Magnetic Yellow) titles on visits to Tokyo.


2001 12 TRKS

CD ORIENTAL MAGNETIC YELLOW                          PONY CANYON JP           PCCB-00235

1996 13 TRKS

CD SONIC SKATE SURVEYOR      PONY CANYON JP                   PCCB-00243

1997 10 TRKS

CD TECHNODERUCK                    PONY CANYON JP                   PCCB-00265

1997 10 TRKS

CD X O BREEDS                           PONY CANYON JP                   PCCB-00246

1997 12 TRKS

With their 5th album turning up on Scitron Records – it pretty much confirms the story that I’ve heard about them being musicians involved in the video game music industry.

Over these 5 CD’s they have successfully parodied all of Y.M.O.’s albums.  Yes, that’s fairly specialized!  In other words, over roughly the same amount of time that the original Y.M.O. works were created – O.M.Y. have created parody works, with similar covers, song construction, sound – but just different enough to not actually  infringe any copyrights.

“Naughty Boys” becomes “Nancy Boys”; “Service” becomes “Nervous” etc.  Get the idea?  A question to which I do not have the answer:  Why?

These guys are obviously huge Y.M.O. fans.

Oh yes – there is at least one I am missing – where they parody solo works of Y.M.O. members!

Yukihiro Takahashi


Yukihiro Takahashi

Yukihiro Takahashi of Y.M.O. certainly doesn’t crank out all that many solo albums these days.  I think I am missing a few, but here’s a basic list of known titles since 1990:

CD BROADCAST FROM HEAVEN                                     EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-5647

1990 10 TRKS

CD DAY IN THE NEXT LIFE, A                                            EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-6032

1991 10 TRKS

CD NIGHT IN THE NEXT LIFE, A                                       EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-6246

1991 16 TRKS Live

CD LIFETIME, HAPPY TIME                                                EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-6431

1992 11 TRKS

CD HEART OF HURT                                                           EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-6896

1992 12 TRKS


1993 18 TRKS O.S.T.

CD MR. Y.T.                                                                            EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-8601

1994 10 TRKS

CD I’M NOT IN LOVE (BEST OF ’88 – ’95)                         EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-8968

1995 16 TRK Collection, slipcase

CD PORTRAIT WITH NO NAME                                         EASTWORLD JPN   TOCT-9695

1996 10 TRKS

CD5 TOUCH OF LOVE, A                                                      CONSIPIO JPN         AGCA-50001

1997 4 TRK CD Single CD5

CD5 SIGH OF GHOST, A                                                       CONSIPIO JPN         AGCA-10007

1997 6 TRK CD EP CD5

CD PULSE x PULSE                                                            CONSIPIO JPN         AGCA-10008

1997 6 TRKS mylar insert

12″ PULSE REMIX (12″ x 3)                                                 CONSIPIO JPN         AGJA-70002

1998 11 TRK EP; #8147, insert, FPM etc.

CD DEAREST FOOL, THE                                                  CONSIPIO JPN         ACGA-10019

1999 10 TRKS

CD FOOL ON EARTH                                                           CONSIPIO JPN         COCD-9237

2000 7 TRK Remix Collection

CD ALL STAR REMIXES                                                      CONSIPIO JPN         COCD-9247

2001 8 TRK Collection

CD DOG SMILED, A                                                              CONSIPIO JPN         AGCA-1007

2002 15 TRK Collection, ’97-’99

CD BLUE MOON BLUE                                                       TOSHIBA JPN           TOCT-25939

2006 12 TRKS

Of course, Takahashi was also active with Haruomi Hosono, as Sketch Show during this period.  And next June, Y.M.O. are scheduled to play at the Hollywood Bowl here in L.A.!

While it’s true that his catalogue gets bogged down with remix titles, soundtracks and live albums, there are still quite a few original new works here!  There’s also apparently an SA-CD for “A Dog Smiled”, but I have never seen a copy, of course!

“Pulse x Pulse” was pretty good, as I recall – very 90’s electronica in style, it had a great guest female vocalist – and the remix vinyl of it nearly doubled the number of songs!

So, solid drummer and a great vocalist – the voice of Y.M.O.!

Japanese Genealogy


Japanese Genealogy


Take a look at the English-language Japanese artist genealogy that this guy has worked up (some time ago, I might add!).  I have always tried to piece this stuff together, not with 100% success.  It’s much easier to do if you’re in Japan and can see what everything in this genealogy looks like!

As I do not read Japanese, I always found it very helpful when stores in Japan group ‘like artists’ together.  “What does this record have to do with YMO?” – oh, it’s on one of their labels (Midi / School, Yen, Tent, Non Standard etc.)  But I spent years not having any sort of English-language “guide” to what I was looking for with my Japanese collection / collecting.

The gentleman who made this Japanese artist genealogy specializes in “Technopop” – bands like Y.M.O., Plastics, Pizzicato Five etc. – so I’m still out of luck with figuring out how 60’s Japanese bands turn into 70’s Japanese bands, turn into 80’s Japanese bands etc.

So, I eventually met people in Japan, made friends etc.  I was recommended to an 80’s magazine called Takarajima – as an invaluable resource for “up to the minute” info on lots of artists that I liked.  I never found any issues of Takarajima, but I did eventually find a large paperback book that seemed to cover most of the 1980’s.  I can recognize the names of some of the artists  that I like, and I can certainly recognize record covers and a few faces!

I visited Japan many times between 1994 and 2007 – I lost count!  I found lots of cool Japanese domestic artist vinyl, I bought many limited edition CD packages, found tons of 7” singles…in 2010, my collection of Japanese artists numbers in excess of 1,600 titles!  I collect the Trattoria Records “Menu” series – yes, I was given many of them, but I always keep my eyes open for new “Menus”!

I confess that there was a big attraction to trying to collect a genre that there was virtually nothing written in English about it!  The first time I really went to Japan in 1994, I was still carrying notebooks with my lists – it was pre-Palm!  I got to make so many mental leaps, while searching for stuff in Japan – it was so much fun!

The specific scene I was working just seemed to evaporate – Trattoria ended it’s “Menu” series, Pizzicato Five broke up – and Konishi-san has made it very difficult to try and track down what he has done in the ensuing decade.  I regularly “read” Strange Days and Record Collectors Magazine from Japan – but there’s no more Music Life, Swing Journal etc.

So, enjoy the work of the guy who made a beautiful Japanese artist genealogy.  If only I’d had this while I rifled through countless bins of records in Tokyo…over the years…