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

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?

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?

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…

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?

Japanese Top 100 60’s/70’s Titles


Japanese Top 100 60’s / 70’s Titles

In the August 2010 issue of “Record Collectors magazine” from Japan, they name the “Top 100” Japanese artist 60’s & 70’s titles.  I am only familiar with a small amount of titles in this list – in fact, I can’t even read what many of the titles are!  The ones I recognized (and / or own) are:

Happy End – Happy End (Haruomi Hosono)

Haruomi Hosono – Bon Voyage Co.

Haruomi Hosono – Hosono House

Flower Travelin’ Band – Satori

Y.M.O. – Solid State Survivors

Carmen Maki & Oz – (self-titled)

Y.M.O. – Y.M.O. (debut)

Haruomi Hosono – Paraiso

Food Brain – Social Gathering

Pyg – (self titled) (Kenji Sawada)

Haruomi Hosono – Tropical Dandy

Yukihiro Takahashi – Saravah

Yuzo Kayama – Kayama Yuzo No Subete

Makoto Kubota – Second Line

There were a few other titles that I recognized, but the above 14 titles are the ones I actually own and / or am familiar with.  They really seem to be very fond of the 70’s solo albums by Y.M.O.’s Haruomi Hosono!

I don’t actually own an LP of the Happy End title, but I think I have it on CD – a collection, perhaps?  I do own all the Hosono titles mentioned here.  I used to own a Japanese LP of the Flower Travelin’ Band – but it wasn’t to my taste.  Of course I have the Y.M.O. material.  I found a used LP of the Carmen Maki & Oz LP; I mail-ordered the Food Brain from Japan on CD; I bought the Pyg album on CD in Japan.  I have both an LP & CD of the Yukihiro Takahashi album.  I believe Makoto Kubota is from Sandii & The Sunsetz, which explains why I have a CD of this title.

It’s always interesting to me to see how the Japanese magazines rank genres.  I knew that some of the titles listed above are ‘famous’ – but, for example, I would never have guessed about this Yukihiro Takahashi title over any other – did “Murdered By The Music” fall outside of the criteria because of it’s 1980 release date?  Gee, I would love to see this same list for Japanese Rock 1980 – 2000!

I always saw this Yuzo Kayama album when I visited Tokyo – so when one turned up locally, I snapped it up.  Mid-60’s guitar rock, a la The Ventures etc.  I guess he was more of an actor than a musician?  But he certainly seems to be highly regarded as a guitarist!