Ryuichi Sakamoto “Ongakuzukan” SHM-CD

Happy birthday Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax player in Colosseum)(1934) and Bryan Ferry (singer & piano player of Roxy Music)!

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO – Ongakuzukan / Illustrated Music Encyclopedia (2CD SHM-CD)

The original 1984 LP was 10 tracks, it was…all we knew about Mr. Sakamoto, at that time.  There are several versions of CD, each time adding a track (or two).  This album is straightforward Japanese music, of the electro-pop type; a Y.M.O. solo album, too.  The new 2CD SHM-CD version is designated as the “2015 edition”, with 27 tracks!  Disc 2 of the new set is 12 “demos” of nearly the entire album!

To be fair, it is a pretty good Ryuichi Sakamoto album.  I’d put it in the Top 10 of Y.M.O. solo albums.

Disc 1

Tibetan Dance


Paradise Lost

Self Portrait

(Japanese title)

M.A.Y. In The Backyard

(Japanese title)

(Japanese title)

A Tribute To Nam Jun Paik


(Japanese title)

(Japanese title)

(Japanese title)

(Japanese title)

Tibetan Dance (Version)


Disc 2

M2 Bill

M4 Tod

Self Portrait (featuring Minako Yoshida)


M11 Bruc

M16 Untitled


M23 Ballad


0014-02-May 16

M31 Tokyo Melody

M33 Untitled

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!

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Happy birthday Country Joe McDonald of Country Joe & The Fish (born 1942, El Monte, CA).

Been following keyboard player Ryuichi Sakamoto for over 30 years now.  This is a detailing of the last 10 years worth of releases that I’ve been able to source locally.  Not always an easy task!

I remember “Chasm” being pretty good!  And “Moto.Tronic” has a neat / groovy DVD!


CD                DAY IN NEW YORK, A              SONY CLASS US   SK 80018

2003 11 TRKS


CD                MOTO.TRONIC (CD + DVD)   SONY CLASS US   SK 93044

2003 14 TRK Collection + 5 track DVD


CD5              WORLD CITIZEN                      S SOUND UK         SS 002

2003 5 TRK CD Single CD5


LP                CHASM                                       WARNER JPN        WQJL-10002

2004 11 TRKS insert


CD                CHASM                                       WARNER JPN        WPCL-10072

2004 14 TRKS (3 x bonus tracks)

CD                CHASM promo                          KA’+B US                 KAB-0000.2

2004 15 TRKS (4 x bonus tracks) promo-only?


CD                #04                                              WARNER JPN        WPCL-10136

2004 14 TRKS


CD5              UNDERCOOLED                      WARNER JPN        WPCL-70013

2004 2 TRK CD Single CD5 with Cornelius


CD                #05                                              WARNER JPN        WPCL-10222

2005 14 TRKS


CD                CENDRE                                    COMMONS JPN     RZCM-45525

2007 11 TRKS


CD                SILK (O.S.T.)                              COMMONS JPN     RZCM-45721

2007 21 TRKS

So, listen to and enjoy the keyboard player of Y.M.O., Mr. Ryuichi Sakamoto.  Is everything on the Commons label now?  Aren’t there great hunks of his large ‘catalogue’ that aren’t currently available, in 2014?

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…

Ryuichi Sakamoto (Works from 1999 – 2007)


Ryuichi Sakamoto (Works from 1999 – 2007)

CD #04                                                                               WARNER JPN           WPCL-10136

2004 14 TRKS

CD #05                                                                               WARNER JPN           WPCL-10222

2005 14 TRKS

CDx2 AUDIO LIFE                                                                 WARNER JPN           WPC6-10073/4

1999 9 TRKS “Life” Opera

CD BTTB                                                                            WARNER JPN           WPC6-10019

1999 16 TRKS

CD5 BTTB                                                                            WARNER JPN           WPC6-10022

1999 3 TRK CD Single CD5

CD CASA (w/ Morelenbaum)                                          WARNER JPN           WPC6-10145

2001 16 TRKS

CD CENDRE (w/ Christian Fennesz)                           COMMONS JPN        RZCM-45525

2007 11 TRKS

CD CHASM                                                                        WARNER JPN           WPCL-10072

2004 14 TRKS (3 x bonus tracks)

LP CHASM                                                                        WARNER JPN           WQJL-10002

2004 11 TRKS insert

CD CM/TV                                                                           WARNER JPN           WPC6-10244

2002 50 TRKS

CD COMICA                                                                       WARNER JPN           WPC6-10194

2002 6 TRKS

CD DAY IN NEW YORK, A (w/ Morelenbaum)             SONY CLASSICS      SK 80018

2003 11 TRKS

CD ELEPHANTISM                                                           WARNER JPN           WPC6-10211

2002 12 TRKS

CD FEMME FATALE (O.S.T.)                                           WARNER JPN           WPC6-10232

2002 14 TRKS

CD GOHATTO (O.S.T.)                                                     WARNER JPN           WPC6-10063

1999 21 TRKS

CD IN THE LOBBY                                                           WARNER JPN           WPC6-10124

2001 6 TRKS Live, London

CD L.O.L. LACK OF LOVE                                               WARNER JPN           WPC6-10086

2000 13 TRKS Sega Dreamcast

CDx2 LIFE IN PROGRESS                                                 WARNER JPN           WPC6-10035/6

1999 9 TRKS “Life” Opera

CD5 LOST CHILD                                                               WARNER JPN           WPC6-10085

2000 3 TRK CD Single CD5

CDx2 RAW LIFE OSAKA                                                      WARNER JPN           WPC6-10054/5

1999 9 TRKS W/ William S. Burroughs, Laurie Anderson etc.

CD SILK (O.S.T.)                                                               COMMONS JPN        RZCM-45721

2007 21 TRKS

CD5 UNDERCOOLED                                                       WARNER JPN           WPCL-70013

2004 2 TRK CD Single CD5 Cornelius

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

2002 19 TRK Collection (’81 – ’84 recordings)

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

2002 13 TRK Collection (’80 – ’84 recordings)

CD5 WORLD CITIZEN(w/ David Sylvian)                       S SOUND UK            SS 002

2003 5 TRK CD Single CD5

CD ZERO LANDMINE (as “No More Landmines”)     WARNER JPN           WPC6-10126

2001 6 TRKS David Sylvian etc.

When Y.M.O. was active in the 80’s, even before the advent of the compact disc, I remember how the 3 members of Y.M.O. had so many solo records that it was nearly impossible to find out about and keep up with it.  Keyboard master Sakamoto-san continues apace, as this list today is only the last decade or so of his releases I have managed to find.

For fans of his song-based work – if you liked his 80’s albums, such as “Illustrated Music Encyclopedia” or “Futurista” the one I heartily recommend to you is “Chasm”, his 2004 album.  It didn’t get a full U.S. release, but I have found a promo-only U.S. CD for it.  I also got lucky finding a Japanese LP for it off of the internet for a very low price.

The “Life” opera CD’s have proved to be a bit of a tough listen for me, even with William S. Burroughs involvement.  Maybe if I had video of the event, it would make more sense to me?