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Recommended CDs: Japanese Popular Music
Last touched: Sep. 23, 2017
Highly recommended (This rating is on webmaster's personal taste.)
|image||artist/title (release year), memo|
|Kosaku Yamada/Akatonbo (2005)|
Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965) is a Japanese composer and conductor, and the first Japanese musician who composed pieces in the Western classical music form, such as symphonies, symphonic poems, modern vocal music and operas, and valued from Europe and the United States. An anthology (a set of 2 CDs, 58 tracks in total) which mainly consists of his songs (Lieder) and children's songs, such as "Akatombo/Red Dragonfly" (composed in 1927), "Kono Michi/This Path" (1927), "Karatachi no Hana/Trifoliate Orange Flowers" (1925), "Pechka" (1923), "Awate-Dokoya/A Barber in Haste" (1927), "Kane ga Narimasu/The Bell Rings" (1923), and "Machibouke/Waiting in Vain" (1923). Beautiful melodies with using Japanese intonation and accent. Released on Victor in 2005. The recording dates are not listed. Performed by Kurumi Kobato, Aiko Koori, Bonny Jacks, Kuniko Nakamura, Hiroko Nakamura, Kyoko Ito, Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus and others.
|Hideko Hirai/Star Deluxe (2014/1928-1941)|
A compilation album (2 CDs, 51 tracks) which includes the recordings by Hideko Hirai, a female singer born in Tokyo in 1918, who had been active in the fields of children's song and popular song before and during the war. Released from Victor in 2014. The CD 1 includes children's songs and songs from the school text books (released in 1928-1934), and the CD 2 includes her songs released in 1937-1941, popular songs and covers of Western music. She had a high-pitched, meltingly enchanting beautiful voice. Most of the children's songs in CD 1, such as "Shojoji no Tanuki Bayashi (Raccoon Dogs Dancing at Shojoji Temple)", "Ano Machi Kono Machi (Towns, Here and There)", "Koganemushi (A Golden Beetle)", and "Usagi no Dance (Dancing Rabbit)", are written by Ujo Noguchi and composed by Shinpei Nakayama, and these tracks with Hideko Hirai are the first recordings of them. "Chameko no Ichinichi (Chameko's Day)" (1929. Uncut version) is a hit of operetta for children (written and composed by Kouka Sassa). The CD 2 includes modern pop songs with introducing jazz, tango, Hawaiian and Latin music, and wartime pop songs too. "Tobacco-ya no Musume (A Girl of Cigar Store)" (a duet with Akira Kishii) is a hit of novelty song.
|Ryoichi Hattori/Boku no Ongaku Jinsei (My Music Life) (1935-1973)|
An anthology of the works (on Columbia Japan) of Ryoichi Hattori (1907-1993), the originator of Japanese modern popular songs. A set of 3 CDs. Includes Noriko Awaya's "Wakare no Blues (Farewell Blues)" (1937), Hamako Watanabe & Noboru Kirishima's "Soshu Yakyoku (Suzhou Serenade)" (1940), Shizuko Kasagi's "Tokyo Boogie-Woogie" (1947), Hideko Takamine's "Ginza Kan Kan Musume (Ginza Street Girl)" (1949), Ichiro Fujiyama & Mitsue Nara's "Aoi Sanmyaku (Blue Mountain Range)" (1949) and others.
|Shizuko Kasagi/Boogie no Joou (The Queen of the Boogie) (1939-1955)|
Shizuko Kasagi (1914-1985) is a great entertainer who had been active in singing, dance, stage and movies as a star member of the Japan's girls' opera company SGD before the World War II, and became a very popular singer with "Tokyo Boogie-Woogie" and other boogie hits in the postwar Japan occupied by the Allies. A set of 3 CDs which includes almost all her recordings (only four songs are not included). A sense of swingy rhythm, and powerful and resounding vocals. Almost all the songs are composed by Ryoichi Hattori. The music is based on the American jazz and modern in style. "Rappa to Musume (Bugle and Girl)" (1939), recorded with a big band before the war, is a good tune in a swing jazz style. "Aire Kawaiya" (1946), which is like Southeast Asia's folk songs, is a popular song during the war (recorded after the war). "Tokyo Boogie-Woogie" is a smash hit of the immediate postwar years. "Jungle Boogie" (1948) is the theme song of the movie "Yoidore Tenshi/Drunken Angel" directed by Akira Kurosawa.
|(Various Artists)/Seishun Uta Nenkan: 50-Nendai Soshuhen (Youth Song Yearbook: The 1950s Digest) (1946-1960)|
The decennial digest edition (a set of 2 CDs, 44 tracks) of 'Seishun Uta Nenkan (the 1950s)', a compilation series that includes the 1950s smash hit songs per year, beyond the the bounds of record companies. Includes:
1. Shizuko Kasagi/Tokyo Boogie-Woogie (1948)
2. Michiko Namiki, Noboru Kirishima/Ringo no Uta (Song of Apple) (1946)
3. Ichiro Fujiyama, Mitsue Nara/Aoi Sanmyaku (Blue Mountain Range) (1949)
4. Hideko Takamine/Ginza Kan Kan Musume (Ginza Street Girl) (1949)
5. Katsuhiko Haida/Tokyo no Yane no Shita (Under the Roof of Tokyo) (1948)
6. Ichimaru/Shamisen Boogie-Woogie (1949)
7. Ichiro Fujiyama/Nagasaki no Kane (The Bell of Nagasaki) (1949)
8. Akiko Futaba/Mizuiro no Waltz (Light Blue Waltz) (1950)
9. Minoru Obata/Hoshikage no Komichi (Path under the Starlight) (1951)
10. Ken Tsumura/Shanghai Gaeri no Lill (Lill Returning from Shanghai) (1951)
11. Yoshiko Yamaguchi/Yelaixiang (Night Fragrant Flower) (1951)
12. Hamako Watanabe/Cisco no Chinatown (Chinatown of Cisco) (1950)
13. Hibari Misora/Tokyo Kid (1950)
14. Hisao Ito/Iyomante no Yoru (Iyomante Night) (1949)
15. Shigeko Orii/Kimi no Na wa (What's Your Name) (1953)
16. Toriro Miki, Kiyoko Tange, Hisaya Morishige/Boku wa Tokkyu no Kikanshi de -Tokaido no Maki- (I'm an Express Driver -Tokaido Version-) (1950)
17. Shizuko Kasagi/Kaimono Boogie (Shopping Boogie) (1950)
18. Teruko Akatsuki/Tokyo Shoeshine Boy (1951)
19. Mariko Ike/Botton to Ribbon (Buttons and Bows) (1950)
20. Izumi Yukimura/Aoi Canariya (Blue Canary) (1954)
21. Chiemi Eri/Tennessee Waltz (1952)
22. Hibari Misora/Ringo Oiwake (1952)
1. Hibari Misora/Omatsuri Mambo (Festival Mambo) (1952)
2. Atsuo Okamoto/Kougen-ressha wa Yuku (Plateau Train Goes) (1954)
3. Kazuya Kosaka/Seishun Cycling (Young Cycling) (1957)
4. Shodai Columbia Rose/Tokyo no Bus Girl (A Bus Girl in Tokyo) (1957)
5. Shiro Sone/Wakai Omawari-san (A Young Cop) (1956)
6. Ichiro Wakahara/Ooi Nakamura-kun (Hallo, Nakamura) (1958)
7. Mariko Miyagi/Guard-shita no Kutsumigaki (A Shoeshine in Underpass) (1955)
8. Kunie Eto/Kasbah no Onna (A Woman in Kasbah) (1955)
9. Hideo Ko/Yuki no Furu Machi wo (In a Snowy Town) (1953)
10. Yoshiko Otsu/Koko ni Sachi Ari (There's Happiness Here) (1956)
11. Akira Wakayama/Yorokobi mo Kanashimi mo Ikutoshitsuki (Years of Joy and Sorrow) (1957)
12. Frank Nagai, Kazuko Matsuo/Tokyo Nightclub (1959)
13. Ichiro Kanbe/Ginza Kyu-chome Mizu no Ue (Ginza 9-chome on Water) (1958)
14. Frank Nagai/Yurakucho de Aimashou (Let's Meet at Yurakucho) (1958)
15. Akira Kobayashi/Guitar wo Motta Wataridori (A Migratory Bird with Guitar) (1959)
16. Yujiro Ishihara/Arashi wo Yobu Otoko (The Man Who Generates a Storm) (1958)
17. Michiko Hamamura/Banana Boat (1957)
18. Three Cats/Kiiroi Sakuranbo (Yellow Cherries) (1959)
19. Chiyoko Shimakura/Karatachi Nikki (Trifoliate Orange Diary) (1958)
20. Hiroshi Moriya/Boku wa Naichicchi (I'm Crying) (1960)
21. Masaaki Hirao/Hoshi wa Nandemo Shitteiru (The Stars Know Everything) (1958)
22. The Peanuts/Kawaii Hana (Pretty Flower) (1959)
|Hibari Misora/Original Best 50 (1949-1989)|
A female vocalist, who debut as a 12-year-old girl singer in 1949 right after the World War II, and then became the most popular singer in Japan's postwar pop music history. Noted for her distinctive mellow voice and excellent skill as a singer. The songs are mostly in the style of Enka (schmaltzy Japanese ballad), but there are also lots of pop songs influenced by jazz and Western popular music. In the 1950s, she gained popularity as one of 'the girl trio' with other two female singers of her generation, Chiemi Eri and Izumi Yukimura, co-starring with them in films. A set of 3 CDs that includes all her main songs released in 1949 to 1989. Features lots of hit songs such as 'Tokyo Kid' and 'Ringo Oiwake'. 'Omatsuri Mambo' (Festival Mambo) is a Japanese mambo hit inspired by Latin music. 'Makka na Taiyo' (Bright Red Sun), a collaboration with Jackey Yoshikawa and his Blue Comets in 1967 (the heyday of GS), is a catchy pop song in the GS style.
|Chiemi Eri/King Re-Jazz Swing: Chiemi Sings (2006/1953-1981)|
Chiemi Eri is a popular singer and actress born in Tokyo in Tokyo in 1937, a pioneer of covers of Western popular songs in Japanese music history, and also known her large repertoire including musical, Japanese folk songs, and Enka. A compilation (20 tracks) of her covers of Western songs. One of the swing jazz-oriented pop song compilation series by King Records, "King Re-Jazz Swing". Unfortunately her famous debut song "Tennessee Waltz" is not included, but you can enjoy her swingy, rhythmic vocals and scat with her forceful, husky voice and catchy songs with big band or orchestra, jazz standards and popular songs such as "Crazy Rhythm", "Cheek to Cheek", "How High the Moon", "Blue Moon", "Come On-a My House", "Rock Around the Clock", and three mambo covers with Tadaaki Misago and Tokyo Cuban Boys. The lyrics are English and Japanese. The songs selected by singer Asako Toki.
|Hachidai Nakamura/Hachidai Song Collection (1952-1999)|
An anthology of the original sound sources composed/performed by Hachidai Nakamura (1931-1992), the popular music composer/jazz pianist. A set of 4 CDs. Includes his famous/hit songs such as Hiroshi Mizuhara's "Kuroi Hanabira (Black Petal)" (1959), Kyu Sakamoto's "Ue o Muite Arukou (Sukiyaki)" (1961), Kyu Sakamoto's "Ashita ga Arusa (There's Always Tomorrow)" (1963), Michiyo Azusa's "Konnichiwa Aka-chan (Hello, My Baby)" (1963), Haruo Minami's "Sekai no Kuni kara Konnichiwa (Hello from Countries in the World)" (1967. The theme song of the Japan World Exposition, "EXPO 1970"), Sing Out's "Namida o Koete (Beyond Tears)" (1969. Famous as a choral song in Japan), and also performances in jazz combo, theme songs for movies/TV shows, and commercial songs. Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" is a world-famous big hit song that topped the charts of the US music magazines, Billboard and Cashbox in 1963.
|Izumi Yukimura/Super Chic: Izumi Yukimura All Time Best Album (1953-1960/1962-2013)|
Izumi Yukimura is a pop singer and actress born in Tokyo in 1937, who became a popular star in the 1950s with her unconstrained, dynamic singing voice and lots of modern cover hits of Western (mainly American) pop music, such as swing jazz, country, rockabilly, blues, musical/movie songs, and Latin (mambo, cha-cha-cha). A compilation (2 CDs (50 tracks) with a DVD) which includes mainly covers of Western pop songs, and the songs are selected beyond the boundaries of record labels for the first time. The lyrics are English, Japanese and Spanish. Her debut song "Omoide no Waltz (Waltz of Memories)" is a cover of the pop song "Till I Waltz Again with You" (written by Sidney Prosen, sung by Teresa Brewer). "Jambalaya" is a cover of Hank Williams' country song "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)". "Harukanaru Yama no Yobigoe" is a cover of "The Call of the Faraway Hills" (theme from the film "Shane"). "Aoi Kanaria" is a cover of "Blue Canary" (written by Vincent C. Fiorino). "Mambo Italiano" is a cover of a pop song written by Bob Merrill. "Cha-Cha-Cha wa Subarashii (Cha-Cha-Cha is Great)" is a cover of Enrique Jorrín's "Milagros del Cha-Cha-Cha". "Be-Bop-A-Lula" is a cover of Gene Vincent's rockabilly song. "Fujiyama Mama" is a cover of Earl Burrows' rockabilly song. "Hikoki-gumo (Contrail)" is a song Yumi Arai (Yumi Matsutoya) provided to Yukimura before her debut. Also features three tracks from the 1974 album "Super Generation" (Yukimura sings Ryoichi Hattori songs with Caramel Mama). The planned and supervised by Motoharu Sano.
|(Various Artists)/Izumi Taku Songs for Beautiful Age (1999/1959-1989)|
Taku Izumi is a composer born in Tokyo in 1930, known for his huge number of compositions (over 15,000) in a wide range of genres (commercial song, Kayokyoku (pop song in Showa era), folk song, musical, anime song and others) and lots of hit songs/standards with popular melodies for all generations like folk music. A compilation (2 CDs, 51 tracks) which includes his famous works. Includes "Tenohira wo Taiyou ni (Palms In the Sun)" (a children's song. Includes the Suginami Junior Chorus with piano version), Tamaki Sawa/"Bed de Tabako wo Suwanaide (Don't Smoke in Bed)", Naomi Sagara/"Sekai wa Futari no Tame ni (The World is for the Two)" (#2 on Oricon Weekly. One of the standards of wedding song), "IIjyanaino Shiawase naraba (It's OK If I'm Happy)" (#2), The Drifters/"Ii Yu dana: Vivanon Rock (A Good Hot Spring)" (used as the ending theme for TV show "Hachijidayo! Zen'inshugo"), Pinky and Killers/"Koi no Kisetsu (The Season of Love)" (#1), Kazuo Kumakura/GeGeGe no Kitaro (opening theme for TV anime "GeGeGe no Kitaro"), Saori Yuki/"Yoake no Scat (Scat of Dawn)" (#1), Aoi Sankakujogi/"Taiyo ga Kureta Kisetsu (The Season Given by the Sun)" (#1), Masatoshi Nakamura/"Fureai (Interaction)" (#1), Dreaming/"Anpanman Ondo '89 (Anpanman Dance Song)" (song for TV anime "Soreike! Anpanman"), 19 commercial songs such as The Three Graces/"Chocolate wa Meiji (Chocolate is Meiji)" (for Meiji Seika) and Black Cats/"Ito ni Yukunara Hatoya (Hatoya, If you come to Ito)" (for Hatoya Hotel).
|(Various Artists)/Seishun Uta Nenkan: 60-Nendai Soshuhen (Youth Song Yearbook: The 1960s Digest) (1961-1969)|
The decennial digest edition (a set of 2 CDs, 40 tracks) of 'Seishun Uta Nenkan (the 1960s)', a compilation series that includes the 1960s smash hit songs per year, beyond the the bounds of record companies. Includes:
1. Kyu Sakamoto/Ue wo Muite Arukou (Sukiyaki) (1961)
2. Yukio Hashi, Sayuri Yoshinaga/Itsudemo Yume wo (Always Keep Dreams) (1962)
3. Michiyo Azusa/Konnichiwa Aka-chan (Hello, My Baby) (1963)
4. Kyu Sakamoto/Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi wo (Look Up at the Stars in the Night) (1963)
5. Fubuki Koshiji/Sans Toi Mamie (1964)
6. The Wild Ones/Omoide no Nagisa (The Beach of Memories) (1966)
7. Teruhiko Saigou/Hoshi no flamenco (Flamenco of the Stars) (1966)
8. The Peanuts/Koi no Fugue (The Fugue of Love) (1967)
9. Mike Maki/Bara ga Saita (The Rose Bloomed) (1966)
10. The Spiders/Yuuhi ga Naiteiru (The Sunset is Crying) (1966)
11. The Broadside Four/Wakamono tachi (The Youths) (1966)
12. Ichiro Araki/Sora ni Hoshi ga Aruyouni (Like There are the Stars in the Sky) (1966)
13. Yukari Itou/Koyubi no Omoide (The Memory of Little Finger) (1967)
14. Jun Mayuzumi/Koi no Hallelujah (Hallelujah of Love) (1968)
15. Ryoko Moriyama/Kono Hiroi Nohara Ippai (Full in this Wide Field) (1967)
16. Jackey Yoshikawa and his Blue Comets/Blue Chateau (1967)
17. The Carnabeats/Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa (I Love You) (1967)
18. The Folk Crusaders/Kaettekita Yopparai (The Return of the Dead Drunkard) (1967)
19. Pinky and Killers/Koi no Kisetsu (The Season of Love) (1968)
20. Jun Mayuzumi/Tenshi no Yuuwaki (Angel's Temptation) (1968)
1. The Tigers/Hana no Kubikazari (Flower Necklace) (1968)
2. Purple Shadows/Chiisana Snack (A Small Snack Bar) (1968)
3. The Golden Cups/Nagai Kami no Shojo (A Long-haired Girl) (1968)
4. The Village Singers/Amairo no Kami no Otome (A Tow-haired Girl) (1968)
5. The Tempters/Emerald no Densetsu (The Legend of Emerald) (1968)
6. Tomoko Ogawa/Yuube no Himitsu (The Secret of Last Night) (1968)
7. Ayumi Ishida/Bluelight Yokohama (1968)
8. Jun Mayuzumi/Yuuzuki (The Moon in the Evening Sky) (1968)
9. The Folk Crusaders/Kanashikute Yarikirenai (Deadly Grief) (1968)
10. Carmen Maki/Tokiniwa Haha no Nai Ko no Youni (Sometimes Like A Motherless Child) (1969)
11. Itsutsu no Akai Fusen (Five Red Balloons)/Tooi Sekai ni (To A Distant World) (1969)
12. Billy Banban/Shiroi Buranko (A White Swing) (1969)
13. Saori Yuki/Yoake no Scat (Scat of Dawn) (1969)
14. Mieko Hirota/Ningyou no Ie (A Doll's House) (1969)
15. Noriko Shintani/Francine no Baai (In the Case of Francine) (1969)
16. Norihiko Hashida and Schuberts/Kaze (Wind) (1969)
17. Toi et Moi/Aruhi Totsuzen (One day Suddenly) (1969)
18. Naomi Sagara/IIjyanaino Shiawase naraba (It's OK If I'm Happy) (1969)
19. Chiyo Okumura/Koi no Dorei (Slave of Love) (1969)
20. The Kingtones/Good Night Baby (1968)
|Harumi Miyako/Sange (Dispersing Flowers) (1964-2000)|
A female Enka singer who became a nationally-popular singer with lots of hit songs in the late 1960s and the 1970s, since her debut in 1964 when she was 16 years old. Characterized by her style with powerful tremolo and delicate vibrato. A best compilation (a set of 2 CDs, 26 tracks in total) that includes all her major songs such as "Anko Tsubaki wa Koi no Hana" (first hit song), "Namida no Renrakusen", "Suki ni Natta Hito", "Kita no Yado kara", "Osaka Shigure", "Futari no Osaka" (a duet with Tadashi Miyazaki), "Naniwa Koi Shigure" (a duet with Chiaki Oka), "Meoto-zaka" and "Otaru-unga" (re-debut single in 1990).
|Chiyo Okumura/Chiyo! Coquettish Bomb (1994)|
A female singer who debuted in 1965, Chiyo Okumura's compilation album (2 CDs). Compiled by Jun Miura, a manga artist/illustrator who calls himself a Chiyo Okumura fan, and released in 1994. Includes 40 tracks mainly forcusing on her songs released in around 1965-1971. Showa Kayo in the Enka/GS style, featuring Chiyo Okumura's coquettish and sensual vocals. Includes singles, "Gomenne Jiro (Sorry Jiro)" (1965), "Kitaguni no Aoi Sora" (a cover of the Ventures' "Hokkaido Skies") (1967), "Koi no Dorei (Slave of Love)" (1969. Her biggest hit song), "Shuuchakueki (Terminal Station)" (1971) and others. Recommended to Showa Kayo fans. The songs composed by Kunihiko Suzuki, Kyohei Tsutsumi, Keisuke Hama and others. "Look of love" is a cover of Burt Bacharach. "aux Camps-Elysées" is a cover of famous French pop song "Les Champs-Elysées" with Japanese lyrics.
|Yuzo Kayama/The Greatest Hits -Abbey Road Studios Masterings- (1965-1990)|
The compilation album that includes 24 masterpieces of Yuzo Kayama, who had been a movie star and cutting-edge musician (guitarist, singer) in Japan in the 1960s. All the tunes composed by Kayama himself, and there are lots of melodic tunes based on Country, Western and rockabilly. "Kimi to Itsumademo (Always with You)" is a smash hit song. "Black Sand Beach" released under the name of "Yuzo Kayama and the Launchers" is a masterpiece of Japanese instrumental electric guitar rock in the Ventures' style. "Oyome ni Oide (Come Be My Bride)" is a great song featuring ukulele in the Hawaiian style.
|The Spiders/Complete Singles (1965-1970)|
The pioneers of Japanese early vocal rock/pop groups called 'GS' (Group Sounds). Featuring Hiroshi Kamayatsu (vocals, guitar and songwriting), a good songwriter. They played some garage/psych/pop numbers under the influence of the 1960s UK/US rock bands, like Ventures, Beatles, Kinks and Beach Boys.
|(Various Artists)/Cult GS Collection: Crown Vol.1 (1965-1969)|
A compilation of Japanese GS tracks (from the Crown Records) that resemble the US/UK garage rock of the 1960s. Includes The Spiders/Furi Furi (the original Japanese version), The Rangers/Let's Go Rangers, The Cougars/Teku Teku Tengoku, The Cougars/J & A, and so on.
|(Various Artists)/Cult GS Collection: Crown Vol.2 (1965-1969)|
The Vol. 2 of the same series. Includes The Playboy/Shevidevi De Yuko, The Rangers/Akaku Akaku Heart Ga, The Genova/Sakhalin No Hi Wa Kiezu, The Cougars/Aphrodite, and so on.
|(Various Artists)/Japanese Rockin' Psyche & Punk '65-'71: Psychedelic Man (Columbia) (1965-1970)|
The Columbia edition of the series "Japanese Rockin' Psyche & Punk '65-'71", a compilation of Japanese psyche rock/garage punk-oriented GS tracks released in 1965-1971, co-planned by Universal, Columbia, King, Victor, Teichiku, Tokuma and Toshiba EMI. Jackey Yoshikawa and his Blue Comets/Psychedelic Man, The Mojo/Crazy Midnight, Yuya Uchida and the Flowers/Last Chance, Emy Jackson/Namida no Go Go (Tears' Go Go), Hajime Kaido/Snacky de Orodou (Dancin' with Snacky), Yasushi Suzuki/Gokiburi Tengoku (Cockroach Heaven), Jacks/Iiko dane, Mieko Hirota/Shake and Roll, Flower Travellin' Band + Herumasa Hino Quintet/Crash, and others (25 tracks in total). Includes lots of psych and cool numbers featuring fuzz guitar and organ.
|Rinsho Kadekaru/Hukyokajin: The Best of Rinsho Kadekaru (2000/1965-1983)|
Rinsho Kadekaru (1920-1999) is a pioneering singer in Okinawan folk music after the end of World War II.A best compilation album that includes excellent performances of 18 songs recorded in his glory days. Rinsho Kadekaru sings and plays sanshin=Okinawan strings. The lyrics are mainly Okinawan language (Uchinaguchi). Many famous Okinawan musicians joined, such as Seijin Noborikawa (vocals, sanshin), Teihan China (sanshin, ryukin=Okinawan koto/harp), Sadao China (sanshin, vocals), Tsuneo Fukuhara (kokyu=Chinese fiddle), Rinsuke Teruya (drums, bass), and Misako Oshiro (sanshin, vocals, sanba=Okinawan castanet). Supervised by Bisekatsu (Campus Records president/lyricist/music producer).
|Tokiko Kato/Golden Best: Singles (1966-1987)|
The female singer/songwriter known for her songs in various styles such as folk, chanson, south American folklore, Russian and Asian ballad. A best compilation album that includes the original recordings of the 36 singles from her 1966 debut song 'Daremo Daremo Shiranai (Nobody Knows)' to 1987 hit 'Million Roses'. Lots of songs popular in Japan. 'Ai no Kurashi (Love Life)' is a song composed by German tango player Alfred Hause and Tommy Children. 'Haiiro no Hitomi (Gray Eyes)' (a duet with Kiyoshi Hasegawa) is a smash hit and a cover of 'Aquellos Ojos Grises', a folklore classic composed by Argentine quena player Uña Ramos. 'Toki ni wa Mukashi no Hanashi wo (Once in a While, Talk of the Old Days)' is the ending theme song for the anime movie 'Porco Rosso'. 'Million Roses' is composed by Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls, and known as the hit with Russian lyrics by Russian singer Alla Pugacheva.
|The Golden Cups/Complete Best: Blues of Life (1967-1969)|
The best compilation album of the Golden Cups, the full-scale rock-oriented GS band greatly influenced by R&B and blues/psych/garage rock. Features Louise Louis Kabe's virtuoso bass playing called 'lead bass', Dave Hirao's soulful vocals, and Eddie Ban's psychedelic guitar playing making full use of fuzz. The lyrics are English and Japanese. Includes lots of covers such as "Hey Joe" (garage rock band, the Leaves' song, also covered by Jimi Hendrix), "Shotgun" (Junior Walker & the All-Stars), "In the Midnight Hour" (Wilson Pickett), "Strange Brew" (the Cream), "Lucille" (Little Richard), "One More Time" (Them) and "I Can't Keep from Cryin' Sometimes" (the Blues Project), and several original songs such as "This Bad Girl", "LSD Blues" and "Goodbye, My Love", and also their pop GS hits like "Nagai Kami no Shojo (A Long-haired Girl)".
|The Dynamites/Vintage Collection (1967-1969)|
A GS band formed in Asagaya, Tokyo in 1965, the Dynamites' compilation album which includes all the studio recordings (all the 12 tracks from their only original album "Young Sound: R&B wa Kore da!" (1968) and 8 single tracks). Features Hiroshi Segawa (vocals) and Fujio Yamaguchi (guitar. He later joined Murahachibu). The performance is influenced by the 1960s R&B and British Blues rock, such the Rolling Stones and Them. The tracks are GS songs (composed by Kunihiko Suzuki, Koichi Sugiyama and others) and lots of covers of Western R&B/rock/pop, such as "Massachusetts" (The Bee Gees), "Daydream Believer", "Last Train to Clarksville" (The Monkees), "Walking the Dog" (Rufus Thomas), "My Girl" (The Temptations) and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (Joe Zawinul). The debut single "Tunnel Tengoku (Tunnel Heaven)" is a Japanese garage punk classic. "Koi wa Mou Takusan (I'm Fed Up with Love" and exotic "Manatsu no Yoru no Doubutsuen (A Midsummer Night's Zoo)" are good GS numbers.
|The Folk Crusaders/Kigen Nisennen (The Year 2000) (1968)|
Their one and only official studio-recorded album released when the group consisted of three members: Kazuhiko Kato (vocals, guitar), Osamu Kitayama (vocals, bass) and Norihiko Hashida (vocals, guitar). Their smash hit, "Kaettekita Yopparai (The Return of the Dead Drunkard)" is a comical song with high-pitched vocals by fast-forwarding the tape, and it became the origin of the underground folk movement in Japan (around 1970). "Kanashikute Yarikirenai (Deadly Grief)" is a good song with beautiful, lyrical melody.
|The Tigers/The World is Waiting for Us (1968)|
The five-piece band of Kenji Sawada/Julie (vocals), Katsumi Kahashi/Toppo (guitar), Taro Morimoto (guitar), Osami Kishibe/Sally (bass) and Minoru Hitomi/Pea (drums). One of the most popular GS bands. Released as the soundtrack to their movie of the same title. Vocal rock/pop with sweet melodies. Includes singles: "My Mary", "Seaside Bound", "Mona Liza's Smile", "Love Only for You", "Romance in the Milky Way" and "Flower Necklace". The songs provided by Jun Hashimoto (writing the lyrics) and Kouichi Sugiyama (composition and arrangement).
|Jacks/Vacant World (1968)|
One of the roots of the Japanese underground rock. Featuring Yoshio Hayakawa (vocals and guitar). The sound is like Japanese folk music, Japanese 1960s pop/rock called GS, the Doors and the like. The first album. The lyrics are Japanese.
|Les Rallizes Dénudés/'67-'69 STUDIO et LIVE (1991/1968-1969)|
Les Rallizes Dénudés (called 'Hadaka no Rallizes' in Japanese) is a psychedelic rock band formed with Takashi Mizutani (vocals, guitar) in 1967. Known for their loud and noisy feedbacking guitar. Their earliest recording (1968-1969, in Kyoto). In those days they had collaborated with an amateur underground theater troupe 'Gendai-Gekijo' (also known as 'Modern Art Society'). An original member, Moriaki Wakabayashi (bass) participated in the hijacking of Japan Airlines Flight 351 by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction and defected to North Korea in 1970. The first track "Smokin' Cigarette Blues" is a loud noise instrumental piece and only recording by the original members. The other tracks are garage-rock style numbers and acid-folk style songs. Recommended to those who like the Velvet Underground and Jacks. There are only three albums officially released (on CD in 1991), this one, "Mizutani-Les Rallizes Dénudés" and "'77 LIVE" (2 CDs). Each one is a very limited edition and very hard to find in markets.
|Akiko Wada/Best Hits (1968-2001)|
The female singer and a Japanese show-biz mogul also famous as a TV personality. After leaving high school before graduation, she had sung in jazz cafe, and then debuted as a singer in 1968. A best-compilation album that covers all her hit singles (16 tracks in total). Her early songs (from the late 1960s to early 1970s) are the origins of Japanese-style R&B, mixing the melodies of Japanese traditional, lowbrow pop songs with powerful, bluesy vocals and soul/funk-style arrangement.
|Nobuyasu Okabayashi/Watashi wo Danzai seyo (Condemn Me) (1969)|
Folk singer, Nobuyasu Okabayashi's debut album. A Japanese folk classic influenced by early Bob Dylan. The first single "Sanya Blues" is a song about unhappiness of day workers living in Tokyo's Sanya Area. "Tegami (Letter)" is a song on the problem of discrimination against outcast people. Includes three covers with Japanese lyrics of American folk songs; Tom Paxton's "Ramblin' Boy", Eric Andersen's "Come to My Bedside", and Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War'. The guest musicians are Isato Nakagawa (guitar), the three members from Jacks; Hitoshi Tanino (bass), Hiro Tsunoda (drums) and Takasuke Kida (piano, organ), and others.
|Apryl Fool/Apryl Fool (1969)|
The only album of the band formed by three ex-Floral members: Chu Kosaka (vocals), Eiji Kikuchi (guitar), Hiro Yanagida (keyboards), and two ex-Burns members: Haruomi Hosono (bass) and Takashi Matsumoto (drums). The sound greatly influenced by the US/UK blues/psychedelic rock of the late 1960s. The lyrics are English and Japanese. A record of the dawn of Japanese rock music.
|Yoshio Hayakawa/Kakkoii-koto wa Nante Kakkowaruindarou (How Uncool is Cool Thing) (1969)|
His solo debut album released after his band Jacks disbanded. Simple, song-oriented sound with the accompaniment of acoustic guitar, piano and organ. Features a masterpiece "Salvia no Hana (The Flower of Salvia)".
|Mitsuko Horie/30th Anniversary Special Edition: Micchi 100% -Ashita ga Suki (I Like Tomorrow)- (1969-1991)|
Mitsuko Horie is a female singer called "the Queen of Anime Song", who has recorded over 800 songs, mainly theme songs for TV anime and Tokusatsu (Japanese special effects) TV series. The best compilation album released in the 30th anniversary of her debut as an anime singer. A set of 3 CDs that includes her major 75 recordings. Her pure and stretching voice is beautiful. "Sugata Sanshiro" (the opening theme for the TV anime "Sugata Sanshiro") is her debut anime song recorded when she was 12 years old. "Akubi Musume (Yawn Girl)" (the ending theme song for the TV anime "Hakushon Daimaoh") is a masterpiece in the 1960s Western pop style. "Susume! Goranger (Go! Goranger)" (the opening theme for the Tokusatsu TV series "Himitsu Sentai Goranger") is a duet with Isao Sasaki. "Tatakae! Ga Keen (Fight! Ga Keen)" (the opening theme for the TV anime "Magnetic Robot Ga Keen") is a duet with Ichiro Mizuki. "Candy Candy" (the opening theme for the TV anime "Candy Candy") is a smash hit that sold over a million copies in Japan. Also features many other famous/excellent songs such as "Voltes V no Uta (The Song of Voltes V)" (the opening theme for the TV anime "Voltes V") and "Hana no Ko LunLun" (the opening theme for the TV anime "Hana no Ko LunLun").
|Hiroshi Kamayatsu/Monsieur: Kamayatsu Hiroshi no Sekai (The World of Hiroshi Kamayatsu) (1970)|
The first full-scale solo album by Hiroshi Kamayatsu, a musician (singer/composer/guitarist) born in Tokyo in 1939, released in 1970 when he was a member of the Japanese GS (Group Sounds) band The Spiders. An experimental album with a languid mood, including songs in a variety of genres, such as acid folk, psychedelic rock like the Beatles in the later period, bossa nova, and GS, and created by his "one-man overdubbing" (rare worldwide at that time). He composed, sung (except songs with guest vocals) and produced all the tracks, and played all the instruments (guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and others). The lyrics are Japanese (partly English). 12 tracks in total, including 3 tracks ("Mr. Tax", "So Long Sachio" and "Monsieur & Taro") previously released in albums of the Spiders. "No No Boy" is a self cover of the songs of the Spiders. "Buta-Goroshi no Uta (Pig Killer's Song)" became a banned song in Japan for the problem of the lyrics, and there were reissued CDs without it (the 2016 reissue CD included it).
|Tokedashita Garasu Bako (Takashi Nishioka, Takasuke Kida, Tetsuo Saito)/Tokedashita Garasu Bako (Melting Glass Box) (1970)|
'Tokedashita Garasu Bako' (means 'Melting Glass Box') is a studio-recording project by Takashi Nishioka (frontman of the folk group 'Itsutsu no Akai Fusen/Five Red Balloons'. Vocals, guitar, percussions, words, music), Takasuke Kida (ex-Jacks. drums, flute, tenor sax, percussions, arrangement) and Tetsuo Saito (folk singer. Vocals, percussions). Their only album released on URC (Underground Record Club). A masterpiece of Japanese psych/acid folk. The sound with lots of effects. Called 'progressive folk' in those days. The guest musicians are Kazuhiko Kato (guitar), Kazuo Takeda (guitar), Haruomi Hosono (bass) and others. Loved by psych/garage rock fans outside Japan too. Cool.
|Maki Asakawa/Darkness I (1970-1990)|
A female singer who was a diva in the world of Japanese counterculture/underground culture of the late 1960s and early 1070s. Dark songs based on blues/folk/jazz and distinctive husky voice. The first of the compilation series 'Darkness' selected by herself. A set of 2 discs: the disc one, 'Early Works' compiled from the recordings of the 1970s, and disc two, 'Jazz Version' played with jazz musicians in the 1980s. 'Govinda' is a cover of the Indian folk song. Also includes a cover of the traditional song from New Orleans 'St. James Infirmary' with Japanese lyrics.
|(Various Artists)/Seishun Uta Nenkan: 70-Nendai Soshuhen (Youth Song Yearbook: The 1970s Digest) (1970-1979)|
The decennial digest edition (a set of 2 CDs, 36 tracks) of 'Seishun Uta Nenkan (the 1970s)', a compilation series that includes the 1970s smash hit songs per year, beyond the the bounds of record companies. Includes:
1. Osamu Minagawa/Kuro-neko no Tango (Black Cat Tango) (1970)
2. Saori Yuki/Tegami (Letter) (1970)
3. Hide & Rosanna/Ai wa Kizutsukiyasuku (Love is Fragile) (1970)
4. Kiyohiko Ozaki/Mata Au Hi made (Until We Meet Again) (1971)
5. Norihiko Hashida & Climax/Hanayome (Bride) (1971)
6. Masaaki Sakai/Saraba Koibito (Farewell My Lover) (1971)
7. Billy Banban/Sayonara wo Surutame ni (To Say Goodbye) (1972)
8. Takuro Yoshida/Tabi no Yado (Travel Lodging) (1972)
9. Takao Hirata & Sellstars/Akuma ga Nikui (I Hate the Devil) (1972)
10. Pedro & Capricious/Wakare no Asa (Farewell Morning) (1972)
11. Aoi Sankakujogi/Taiyo ga Kureta Kisetsu (The Season Given by the Sun) (1972)
12. Garo/Gakusei-gai no Kissaten (The Tearoom of the Students' Quarter) (1973)
13. Kaguya-hime/Kanda-gawa (The Kanda River) (1973)
14. Mari Amachi/Koi-suru Natsu no Hi (Summer Day in Love) (1973)
15. Miyoko Asada/Akai Fuusen (A Red Balloon) (1973)
16. Akiko Kosaka/Anata (You) (1974)
17. Masatoshi Nakamura/Fureai (Mutual Touch) (1974)
18. Finger5/Koi no Dial 6700 (Love's Dial 6700) (1974)
1. Akira Fuse/Cyclamen no Kaori (The Scent of Cyclamen) (1975)
2. Kyoko Kosaka/Omoide Makura (Memory Pillow) (1975)
3. Down Town Boogie Woogie Band/Minato no Yoko, Yokohama, Yokosuka (Yoko in the Harbor, Yokohama, Yokosuka) (1975)
4. Hiromi Iwasaki/Romance (1975)
5. Masato Shimon/Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun (Swim! Taiyaki-kun) (1976)
6. Hiromi Ohta/Momen no Handkerchief (A Cotton Handkerchief) (1976)
7. Teruhiko Aoi/Anata dake wo (Only You) (1976)
8. Momoe Yamaguchi/Yokosuka Story (1976)
9. Yumi Arai/Ano Hi ni Kaeritai (I Want to Back to that Day) (1976)
10. Koichi Morita & Topgalant/Seishun Jidai (Youth) (1977)
11. Naoko Ken/Abayo (Goodbye) (1976)
12. Hi-Fi Set/Feeling (1977)
13. Takao Horiuchi/Kimi no Hitomi wa Hyaku-man Volt (Your Eyes Have Megavolt) (1978)
14. Pink Lady/UFO (1977)
15. Candies/Hohoemi-gaeshi (Smile in Return) (1978)
16. Circus/Mr. Summertime (1978)
17. Judy Ongg/Miserarete (Enchanted) (1979)
18. Hideki Saijo/Young Man (1979)
|Kenji Endo/Manzoku Dekiru-kana (Can You be Satisfied) (1971)|
A folk singer like Neil Young. The second album featuring the hit song "Curry Rice (Curried Rice)".
|Happy End/Kaze Machi Roman (Windy City Roman) (1971)|
A pioneering band of rock with Japanese lyrics. The members are: Eiichi Otaki (vocals), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar), Haruomi Hosono (bass) and Takashi Matsumoto (drums). A hybrid of the US west coast rock (Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape and the like) and Japanese modern folk music. the 2nd album.
|Flower Travellin' Band/Satori (1971)|
A Hard rock band featuring vocalist Joe Yamanaka. The sound is like the British hard rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. 2nd album released also in the US ans Canada. Oriental melodies. The lyrics are English. They performed live in Canada with Canadian hard rock band the Lighthouse, and this album recorded no. 8 on the Canadian charts. Produced by Yuuya Uchida and Ikuzo Orita.
|Wataru Takada/Goaisatsu (A Greeting) (1971)|
One of the Japanese leading folk singers, along with Nobuyasu Okabayashi. His major-label debut album. Pastoral and simple folk songs influenced by American traditional folk such as Pete Seeger. Humorous and ironic style following Azenbo Soeda (1872-1944), a pioneering Soshi-enka (political street songs) singer in Showa era. There are several songs with poems written by Japanese contemporary poets such as Baku Yamanokuchi. Happy End members (Eiichi Otaki-guitar, Shigeru Suzuki-guitar, Haruomi Hosono-bass, Takashi Matsumoto-drums) joined in four tracks as the backing players. Arranged by Yoshio Hayakawa.
|Ryo Kagawa/Kyokun (Moral Lesson) (1971)|
A singer/songwriter who debuted as a solo artist after he worked in URC (Underground Record Club) and worked as a manager for folk singer Wataru Takada. His debut album featuring "Kyokun I (Moral Lesson I)" and three Japanese-translated covers of American folk songs. The sound is strongly influenced by the US country/blues (Mississippi John Hurt) and traditional folk (Ramblin' Jack Elliott). Wataru Takada, Yoshio Hayakawa (ex-Jacks), Happy End members (Eiichi Otaki, Shigeru Suzuki, Haruomi Hosono, Takashi Matsumoto), Morio Agata and Keiichi Suzuki joined. One of Japanese folk classics.
|Saori Minami/Golden Best: Sings Kyohei Tsutsumi (1971-1994)|
A female singer who was born in Okinawa under the US occupation. She came to the mainland Japan in 1971, and debuted as an idol singer. After that she released lots of hits with the Western-style songs composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi and the production by Masatoshi Sakai of CBS Sony Records. Her songs had a great influence on later Japanese idol/mainstream pop. A set of 2 CDs that covers all her A- and B-side single tracks composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi, including her debut song "Jyuunana-sai (Seventeen Years Old)".
|Kenji Sawada/Julie Special: Kenji Sawada A-side Collection (1971-1994)|
After the Tigers disbanded, he debuted as a solo singer in 1971, and became a popular singer with the GS-inspired pop songs. A set of 3 CDs that covers all his A-side single tracks released until 1985. Features lots of hits such as "Kiken na Futari (The Dangerous Two)" and "Katte ni Shiyagare (The Hell with It)". "TOKIO" is a techno-oriented song inspired by YMO's "Technopolis". In the early 1980s, he released several songs inspired by the UK new wave movement, such as "S.T.R.I.P.P.E.R" and "Roku-banme no Yuutsu (Sixth Depression)". "Hare Nochi Blue Boy (Sunny Then Blue Boy)" is a jungle-beat pop song just like Adam & the Ants.
The folk group. The trio of Kosetsu Minami (guitar, vocals), Shozo Ise (guitar, vocals) and Panda Yamada (bass, vocals). The best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that includes a smash hit folk song "Kanda-gawa (The Kanda River)" and other masterpieces such as "NijyuuNi-sai no Wakare (22-year-old's Farewell)" and "Nagori-yuki (Remaining Snow)".
|Eiichi Otaki/Eiichi Otaki (1972)|
The first solo album released when he was a member of Happy End. Other Happy End members, Haruomi Hosono (bass), Takashi Matsumoto (drums) and Shigeru Suzuki (guitar) participated in the recordings full part, but more pop-oriented sound than Happy End. The songs have a variety of styles, such as rock 'n' roll, folk/country rock, the Beach Boys-style and others. Lots of good songs, such as "Sore wa Boku janaiyo (It wasn't Me)", "Omoi (Feelings)" and "Yubikiri (Pinky Promise)". "Ikasuze! Kono Koi (This Groovy Love)" is based on Elvis Presley's "I Got Stung". "Uraraka" is based on the Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron" (produced by Phil Spector). The CD with 10 bonus tracks, including the third single "Soratobu Kujira (A Flying Whale)" (Beatlesque), was reiisued in 1995.
|Eiichi Otaki/A Long Vacation (1981)|
A first-rate pop album. Full of catchy melodies. A long seller album in Japan. He is a Japanese eminent songwriter/producer, who was influenced by American pops, such as Phil Spector and the Beach Boys. This work was released as the first audio CD in the world in 1982.
|Eiichi Otaki/Each Time (1984)|
A pop album with elaborate and massive sound, which developed the style of his previous album "A Long Vacation". #1 on the Japanese pop album charts. The songs in themselves are mellow and peaceful. Not so glamorous as "A Long Vacation". I recommend the 2004 reissued CD "Each Time 20th Anniversary Edition", for it has best quality of sound and it features two single tracks not included in the original LP, "Bachelor Girl", "Fjord no Shojo (A Girl in the Fjord)", and three bonus tracks. "Peppermint Blue" and "Bachelor Girl" are especially good.
|Yasumi no Kuni/Yasumi no Kuni (the 1972 version) (1972)|
The personal band of singer/songwriter Teruyuki Takahashi (vocals and guitar). From the late 1960s until the early 1970s, the members of Jacks in the late period (except Yoshio Hayakawa) -Hitoshi Tanino (bass), Hiro Tsunoda (drums) and Takasuke Kida (flute, vibraphone, saxophone, trumpet, keyboards)- had joined as the backing members. This album was released on URC in 1972, as one album that included seven tracks from their first album 'Yasumi no Kuni' (directed by Yoshio Hayakawa. Released in 1969 as a limited edition for URC club members only, coupled with " Nobuyasu Okabayashi Recital") and five tracks from their second album 'Fy Fan' (produced in 1972, but not released). Psych/acid folk rock full of sense of emptiness. Recommended to those who like Jacks.
|Takuro Yoshida/Genki desu. (I'm Fine.) (1972)|
In the early 1970s, the singer/songwriter Takuro Yoshida changed the Japanese folk songs from little-known underground music into popular one (called "New Music" in Japan in those days), and he had a great influence on later Japanese popular music. This album is his early masterpiece that topped the Japanese album charts for 13 weeks in a row. His style, which is based on folk, rock, country and blues, is pop-oriented and flexible. Includes the album version of "Tabi no Yado (Travel Lodging)".
|Sachiko Kanenobu/Misora (The Sky) (1972)|
A classical masterpiece by a Japanese female singer & songwriter. The debut album with total participation of Haruomi Hosono (bass, piano, guitar, arrangement and so on). Songs with acoustic guitar accompaniment. Simple and refreshing sound. Folkie and melodic style like Joni Mitchell.
|Masato Tomobe/Osaka e Yattekita (I came to Osaka) (1972)|
A folk singer who also had worked as a poet. His debut album released on URC. The sensitive and subtle sound greatly influenced by Bob Dylan. The title track is a song in the talking-blues style.
|Masato Tomobe/Ninjin (Carrot) (1973)|
His second album noted as the greatest work in his early days. Songs with simple sound (only vocals, guitar and harmonica) in the talking-blues/ballad style. The sound is in the direct line from Bob Dylan. The single track "Ipponmichi (Straight Road)" is a good song.
|Shigeru Izumiya/Shunkashuto (Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter) (1972)|
A folk singer who is also known as a character actor. His second album produced by Kazuhiko Kato. His early masterpiece. Strumming the guitar hard and singing roughly like crying.
|Kan Mikami/Hiraku Yume nado Arujyanashi (I Have Never Had a Dream that Opens) (1972)|
A folk singer who plays extreme music like later punk rock. The antithesis to the sophisticated and soft folk music. Includes the cover of female singer Keiko Fuji's hit song "Keiko no Yume wa Yoru Hiraku (Keiko's Dream Opens in the Night)" in the "Enka (grudge song)" style.
|Morio Agata/Otome no Roman (Maiden Romance) (1972)|
His debut album. Nostalgic folk music on street performance and romanticism of the Taisho Era (1912-1926). Greatly influenced by Yoshio Hayakawa. The hit song "Sekishoku Elegy (Red Elegy)" is based on the manga (graphic novel) by Seiichi Hayashi.
|Zunokeisatsu/Zunokeisatsu 1 (1972/1975/2001)|
Their debut album released when they are a duo of Panta (vocals, guitar) and Toshi (percussion). Recorded live in the Kyoto Prefectural Gymnastic Hall in 1972. Agitprop rock with sympathy for radical New Left. The record company stopped releasing this because of the problem of the lyrics, and then the limited version was released on an independent label in 1975. After that, officially re-released in 2001. Includes three songs called "Revolution Trilogy" ("Sekai Kakumei Sensou Sengen (World Revolutionary War Manifesto)" with Communist League Red Army's statement, "Sekigun Heishi no Uta (Red Army Soldier's Song)" with adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's poetry, and "Juu wo Tore (Take a Gun)"). "Sayounara Sekai-fujin yo (Goodbye, Mrs. World)", an adaptation of Hermann Hesse's poetry, is a good song with beautiful melody.
|Yosui Inoue/Golden Best (1972-1998)|
A singer/songwriter who has gained popularity for a long period with his melodic songs and skill as a singer. A best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that features his masterpieces such as "Kasa ga Nai (There is No Umbrella)", "Kori no Sekai (The Ice World)", "Yume no Naka e (Into the Dream)" and "Riverside Hotel".
|Yosui Inoue/Kori no Sekai (The Ice World) (1973)|
The first million-seller album in Japan. Includes "Kori no Sekai (The Ice World)", "Kokoro-moyou (Mental Patterns)" and "Kaerenai Futari (The Two Who Cannot Return)" (a collaboration with Kiyoshiro Imawano). "Jikoken-o (Self-loathing)" is not included in the re-released version (1996) (the record company Polydor cut off it because of the problem of the lyrics).
|Carol/The Best (1972-1975)|
The rock'n'roll quartet featuring Eikichi Yazawa (vocals, bass) and Johnny Ohkura (guitar, vocals). They did a debut with the single 'Louisianna' produced by Mickey Curtis in 1972. In the Japanese rock scene in the early 1970s, there was a division between the English-language faction (Yuuya Uchida) and the Japanese-language one (Happy End), but they broke through it by 'Funky Monkey Baby' and other smash hits in the style of pop-oriented rock with Japanese lyrics, and established the identity of Japanese domestic rock'n'roll for the general public. The best compilation album (25 tracks in total) that covers all the main songs, including five tracks unincluded in the original albums.
|Tulip/2000 Millennium Best (1972-1984)|
The folk rock/pop band led by Kazuo Zaitsu (guitar, vocals). Sweet melodies directly influenced by the Beatles/Paul McCartney and chorus harmonies like soft rock. Relatively Western-music oriented compared with other Japanese pop bands of the 1970s. A best compilation album that features 15 masterpieces released when they had been with Toshiba EMI Records, including a smash hit "Kokoro no Tabi/Journeys of the Heart".
|Pico/abc-Pico First (1972)|
The one and only solo album by Pico (real name: Yasuo Higuchi), who debuted as a member of vocal/chorus group Sing Out in 1969, and after that he has worked as a composer in various fields of music. Soft rock featuring brass section, like A&M sound. The music composition, arrangement, vocals and keyboards by Pico himself. Features his great song "I Love You", which became a revival hit around the club scene in the late 1990s, and this album reissued on CD in 2000 became a huge hit. The lyrics are Japanese. A gem of the Japanese 1970s pops.
|J. A. Seazer/J. A. Seazer Recital: Kokkyou Junreika (1973)|
A music composer who had joined Shuji Terayama's underground theater troupe "Tenjo Sajiki" and produced music, J. A. Seazer (J. A. Caesar)'s one and only original album. The live recording of recital performed by J.A. Seazer (electronic organ (Electone), guitar, Koto, Japanese drums) and his band "Akuma no Ie/Devil's House", at Nihon Seinenkan Hall, Tokyo, on February 3, 1973. Constructed and directed by Shuji Terayama. "Kokkyou Junreika" means "Songs of Pilgrimage Across National Borders". Tenjo Sajiki members sang in chorus and read poems. Heavy and psychedelic rock featuring melodies like Douyou (Japanese children's song) and Japanese folk songs, and filled with dark and indigenous pathos. The sound is influenced by Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. The track 1 "Echigo tsutsuishi oyashirazu", featuring J.A. Seazer's lead vocal, Takeshi Mori's guitar and female chorus, is one of his masterpieces, and something like a proterotype for his music.
|J. A. Seazer/Tenjo Sajiki Music Work Collection (2008/1970-1978)|
A 5-CD box set which includes music works J. A. Seazer (J.A. Caesar) composed for theater troupe Tenjo Sajiki in 1970-1978. Precious sound sources you can enjoy J. A. Seazer's early music leaning toward heavy psychedelic rock (like Black Sabbath), including his early masterpieces, such as "Echigo Tsutsuishi Oyashirazu", "Tokyo Junreika" and "Wasan". The disc 1 and 2 include the complete edition of "J. A. Seazer Recital: Kokkyou Junreika". The 1973 LP (about 54 minutes) has 9 tracks, but this complete edition (about 138 minutes) has 20 tracks including previously unreleased ones. (The complete edition was newly mixed, mastered and released as 2 CDs separately in 2013). The disc 3 include the music for the play "The Young Person's Guide to the Desert Island" (1971). The disc 4 includes music for "Run, Melos!" (performed in the 1972 Munich Olympic Arts Festival) and "Music of Fear" (1972. The performances for NHK Aomori Radio Station's broadcast). The disc 5 includes music for the play "Child-hunting" (1979. The subtitle: "A Rock Musical for Children"), which has pop-oriented, bouncy and unusual tracks. The general producer of this box is Makoto Inoue (ex-Hikashu).
|Haruomi Hosono/Hosono House (1973)|
The first solo album released after the band Happy End disbanded. Recorded by 16-track recorder in his own house in Sayama-City, Saitama Pref. Singer-songwriter-oriented sound based on folk, country and New Orleans R&B, like the Band and James Taylor. There are lots of melodic good songs, such as "Owari no Kisetsu (Season of the End)" (covered by Akiko Yano and Rei Harakami) and "Koi wa Momo-iro (Love is Pink)" (covered by Akiko Yano, Kazuyoshi Nakamura and Sunny Day Service). "Party" was covered by Pizzicato Five. Performed by Haruomi Hosono (bass, flat mandlin, flat vocal, melodion), Masataka Matsutoya (piano, Fender Rhodes, acordion), Shigeru Suzuki (electric guitar), Tasuo Hayashi (drums and percussion) and Hiroki Komazawa (steel guitar).
|Haruomi Hosono/Bon Voyage (1976)|
The 3rd album. New Orleans R&B, Okinawan folk music, calypso/Caribbean music... A masterpiece of exotic and tropical music.
|Haruomi Hosono and the Yellow Magic Band/Paraiso (1978)|
A solo album released just before YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra) formed, under the name of 'Haruomi Hosono and the Yellow Magic Band'. The last and greatest work of his 'tropical' trilogy, following the albums 'Tropical Dandy' (1975) and 'Bon Voyage' (1976). Oriental pop with funky rhythms. The guest musicians are Tatsuo Hayashi (drums), Ryuichi Sakamoto (synths), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums) and others. 'Japanese Rumba' is a cover of the song composed by Glenn Miller. 'Asadoya Yunta' is a famous Okinawan folk song. "Fujiyama Mama" is a cover of the rock'n'roll song written by Earl Burrows. "Shambala Tsushin (Shambala Communication)" is an instrumental number by using rhythm machine (Ace Tone) and gamelan gongs.
|Haruomi Hosono/Philharmony (1982)|
His sixth solo album released in 1982 from his own label YEN Label (Alfa Records), when he was a member of YMO. An introspective synthpop created almost by himself with use of E-mu Emulator I (sampler) and Roland MC-4 (sequencer) and recorded at his private studio "LDK". An experimental album with minimalistic sounds, but it includes three pop songs featuring Hosono's vocals. The lyrics are English and partly Japanese. "Funiculi Funicula" is a cover of the Italian popular song (Canzone Napoletana). "Luminescent/Hotaru" is a track in the Gamelan style. "Living-Dining-Kitchen" is a funky song like Sly & The Family Stone. The digitally-remastered CD was released in 2005.
|Haruomi Hosono/S-F-X (1984)|
A solo album (from the 'Non-Standard' label) released after YMO disbanded. Includes 6 tracks. Hip-hop/ambient techno by using the digital synth DX-7, Emulator and Linn Drum (rhythm machine). Advanced sounds that developed YMO's techno-pop. Includes 'Body Snatchers'.
|Haruomi Hosono/omni Sight Seeing (1989)|
His thirteenth solo album (Epic). A good album of electronica/synth pop in the world music style including the elements of Japanse folk song, Arabic pop (rai), Latin music and ambient music like Brian Eno. "Esashi" includes a quotation from the Japanese folk song "Esashi Oiwake". "Andadura" is an Arabic pop. "Caravan" is a cover of the exotic jazz standard number composed by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol. "Laugh-Gas" is a track in acid-techno style featuring Roland's rhytm machine TR-808. A Tunisian singer-songwriter, Amina Annabi sings with her arabic vocals in "Andadura" and "Laugh-Gas". The lyrics are Japanese, English, French and Arabic.
|Finger5/Golden Best (1973-1978)|
The teenage idol group comprised of the five Tamamoto Brothers from Okinawa. Western-music oriented sound greatly influenced by American pop, soul and soft rock. "Kojin Jugyo (Private Lesson)" (#1 on Japanese pop charts), "Koi no Dial 6700 (Love's Dial 6700)" (#1) and "Gakuen Tengoku (School Heaven)" (#2) are well-known hit songs. The songs composed by Shun'ichi Tokura, Tadao Inoue and others. The best compilation album that includes all their A-side sigle tracks (except the Christmas single) released since 1973 until 1978 on Philips and Polydor Records, with three karaoke tracks ("Kojin Jugyo", "Koi no Dial 6700" and "Gakuen Tengoku").
|Momoe Yamaguchi/Golden Best: Playback Momoe Part 2 (1973-1982/1994)|
The top idol singer in Japan in the 1970s. She debuted as a singer through a TV audition show in 1973. She had produced lots of hit songs, such as her early catchy pop songs on "adolescent sex", written by Kazuya Senke and composed by Shunichi Tokura ("Toshigoro (Adolescent)", "Aoi Kajitsu (Green Fruit)", "Kinjirareta Asobi (Forbidden Games)", "Hitonatsu no Keiken (Summer Experience)" and "Natsu Hiraku Seishun (Youth with Opening of Summer)"), folk-oriented songs composed by Shinji Tanimura, Masashi Sada and others ("Cosmos", "Ii Hi Tabidachi (Departure in a Good Day)"), and adult-oriented songs on "Women's Pathos", written by Yoko Aki and composed by Ryudo Uzaki ("Yokosuka Story", "Playback Part 2"). This set of 2 CDs is the reprinted edition of the set of 3 LPs "The Best: Playback Momoe", which is the best compilation album including all her A-side single tracks released from her debut until her retirement in 1980. "Shanikusai (Carnaval)" is not included in this CD, but the 1994 remade single vesion "Sekishun Dori (Sadly-passed-Spring Street)" added.
'Murahachibu' is a Japanese word that means 'ostracism'. A rock band led by guitarist Fujio Yamaguchi (ex-member of GS band The Dynamites) and vocailst Cha-bo/Kazushi Shibata (They had also played in psychedelic rock band Les Rallizes Denudes). A live-recording at the West Hall of Kyoto University. Their only album officially released. Bluesy rock & roll with sounds like garage punk.
|Hachimitsu-Pie (Honey-Pie)/Sentimental Dori (Sentimental Street) (1973)|
A pioneering band of rock with Japanese lyrics, taking rank with Happy End. Featuring Keiichi Suzuki (vocals). The predecessor band of later Moonriders. The only studio-recorded album. Melodic and acoustic-oriented sounds influenced by The Band and the like. A masterpiece.
|Minako Yoshida/Tobira no Fuyu (Winter of Door) (1973)|
Female singer & songwriter, Minako Yoshida's solo debut album. The sound is on the lines of Laura Nyro. The clear and stretching vocals. The backing players are the group 'Caramel Mama', the quartet of Masataka Matsutoya (keyboards), Tatsuo Hayashi (drums), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar) and Haruomi Hosono (bass).
|Yumi Arai/Hikouki-gumo (Contrail) (1973)|
Female singer & songwriter, Yumi Arai's debut album. Released when she was 19 years old and a student in Tama Art University. Unlike her later pop-oriented, downmarket works released under the name of Yumi Matsutoya, the sound is strongly influenced by European popular music, and it has jazzy and melancholic atmosphere. This album is an epoch-making work in the Japanese pop music history, because it opened the way to the new style of Japanese pop called "New Music" since the 1970s and called "J-Pop" later, which was different from Kayokyoku (lowbrow pop songs), Enka (schmaltzy traditional ballad) and folk. The backing players are the group 'Caramel Mama', the quartet of Masataka Matsutoya (keyboards), Tatsuo Hayashi (drums), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar) and Haruomi Hosono (bass). The digitally-remastered CD was released in 2000.
|Candies/Golden Best (1973-1978/1989/1998)|
The pop idol/chorus group of three girls: Ran Ito, Yoshiko Tanaka and Miki Fujimura. After debuting as singers in 1973, they produced lots of hit tunes with the good quality songs influenced by American/European pop music, bittersweet lyrics, refreshing and cheerful characters. A set of 2 CDs that covers all the singles ('My Younger Boyfriend', 'My Sweet Little Devil' and more) and other main songs. The music composed by Yusuke Hoguchi and others. 'Candies Beats (Extended Version)' is a medley from the house-remix album (produced by Masaya Matsuura) released under the name of 'Candy Pop Posse'.
|Off Course/Twin Best (1973-1982)|
When they made their debut in 1970, Off Course was a folk group led by Kazumasa Oda (vocals, keyboards) and Yasuhiro Suzuki (vocals, guitar), and then they formed their band, and became a nationally-popular band from the late 1970s through the 1980s. Refreshing sound featuring Kazumasa Oda's pure vocals with his high tone voice, and the chorus harmony like soft rock. A best compilation album that contains their smash hits, such as 'Sayonara (Goodbye)', 'Ai o Tomenaide (Don't Stop the Love)', 'Yes-No' and 'I Love You', and other masterpieces released until they stopped the band activities in 1982. A set of 2 CDs (30 tracks in total).
|Gedo/Best Gedo (1973-1980)|
The three-piece rock band led by Hideto Kanoh (Guitar, vocals). One of the pioneers of Japanese rock. A best compilation album that includes their early recordings, mainly consisted of the live recordings in 1974 and 1975. Rock'n'roll based on hard-rock and glam-rock, with simple and rhythmic guitar riffs. Variety of styles, such as blues-rock like Cream, prog-rock, pop songs and dance numbers. Includes 18 tracks (mainly live recordings) including their 1973 debut song "Nippon Sanka (Tribute to Japan)".
|Sadistic Mika Band/Kurofune (Black Ship) (1974)|
Catchy melodies and funky rhythms. Featuring Mika (vocals), Kazuhiko Kato (vocals and guitar), Masayoshi Takanaka (guitar), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums) and so on. 2nd album. The lyrics are Japanese. Produced by Chris Thomas. They made a live tour with Roxy Music in the UK in 1975.
|Yonin Bayashi/Isshoku Sokuhatsu (Explosive Situation) (1974)|
A masterpiece of Japanese progressive rock. The members are: Katsutoshi Morizono (guitar and vocals), Shinichi Nakamura (bass), Daiji Okai (drums) and Hidemi Sakashita (keyboards). Sensitive and lyrical sounds influenced by Pink Floyd. Masahide Sakuma (bass) joined after this album was released.
|Magical Power Mako/Magical Power (1974)|
Magical Power Mako (his real name is Makoto Kurita) produced this debut album when he was eighteen. Bizarre and avant-garde sound space in the contemporary-music style, by techniques of music concrete (multitrack tape recording). Cries of a cat, Shamisen (Japanese traditional three-stringed instrument), speech in a Japanese dialect, festival music, lyrical folk-style songs... and so on. One of the masterpieces of Japanese progressive rock. Japanese contemporary music composer, Toru Takemitsu described this as 'a beautiful stone which destroys seeming divisions of class in music'.
|Rabi Nakayama/HiraHira (1974)|
A female singer & songwriter who was greatly influenced by Bob Dylan. This second album is noted as her masterpiece. Folk-rock oriented sound with her plain, natural vocals and simple performance by the backing band.
|Junko Ohashi/Golden Best: Singles (1974-1982)|
A female singer known for her stretching and powerful vocals (influenced by Janis Joplin) and superb singing skills, Junko Ohashi's early single collection. Includes 19 A-side sigle tracks released in 1974-1982, and original karaoke track for "Silhouette Romance". In 1976-1980, she had worked with her back band "Minoya Central Station" featuring Ken Sato (keyboards) and Masami Tsuchiya (guitar). The debut single "Kagi wa Kaeshite! (Give Back My Key!)", "Paper Moon", "Simple Love" (#44 on the Japanese pop charts), "Tasogare My Love (Twilight My Love)" (#2), "Safari Night" (#20), "Silhouette Romance" (#7) and others. The songs composed by Ken Sato, Kyohei Tsutsumi and others.
|Hiromi Ohta/Golden Best: Complete Singles Collection (1974-2001)|
A female singer & songwriter who debuted with a song with the piano accompaniment, "Amadare (A Raindrop)" in 1974. In the early days, she had sung lots of folk-tinged pop songs written by Takashi Matsumoto and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi, but after that she also sung some songs in the techno-pop/new wave style in the early 1980s. A best compilation album that includes all her singles released until 2001 (a set of 2 CDs). Features her biggest hit tune, "Momen no Handkerchief (A Cotton Handkerchief)" and many other hits. "Saraba Siberia-Tetsudo (Farewell To Trans-Siberian Railway)" (composed by Eiichi Otaki) is a great masterpiece. "Koibito-tachi no Inori (Get Away)" is a collaboration with The Gospellers. "Kaze wo Atsumete (Gathering Winds)" is a cover of Happy End. "Candy" is a cover of Shinji Hadara.
|Ann Lewis/Womanism Complete Best (1974-1989)|
A female singer born in 1956 to a American father and a Japanese mother. Though she was an idol pop singer in the early 1970s, she released lots of hit songs in the 1980s in the catchy 'Kayo-Rock' style (like Kenji Sawada in the same time) influenced by Western rock, especially hard rock. A best compilation album which is a set of CD and DVD. The CD includes her 19 masterpieces such as "Goodbye My Love" (1974), "Onna wa Sore wo Gaman Dekinai (Women Cannot Endure It)" (1978), "Linda" (1980. Composed by Mariya Takeuchi), "Koi no Boogie-Woogie Train (Love's Boogie-Woogie Train)" (1980. Composed by Tatsuro Yamashita), "La Saison" (1982. Composed by Kenji Sawada), "Roppongi Shinju (Double Suicide in Roppongi)" (1984. Composed by Nobody), and "Ah, Mujou (Ah, Cruelty)" (1986. Composed by Nobody). The DVD includes music videos for 10 songs.
|Ukadan/Golden Best: Complete Best 1974-1997 (1974-1997)|
The acoustic blues band led by Kantaro Uchida (guitar) and Hidekatsu (Atsuki) Kimura (vocals and guitar). The best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that includes all their major 35 recordings released on the three labels (Trio Records/For Life Records/Warner Music), including their debut single "Osouji Obachan (An Old Cleaning-Lady)". "Summertime" is a cover of George Gershwin. "If I Didn't Love You" is a cover of Lil Green (composed by Joe McCoy). "All of Me" is a cover of the standard number composed by Gerald Marks in 1931. "Stealin'" is a cover of Gus Cannon. "Nagisa no Boardwalk" is a cover of the Drifters' hit song "Under the Boardwalk" (#1 on the US charts in 1964). "Uso wa Tsumi" is a cover of the standard number "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie", composed by Billy Mayhew in 1936. "Kokoro wa Itsumo Jotenki" is a cover of the standard number "Pennies from Heaven", composed by Arthur Johnston in 1936. "Slow Boat to China" is a cover of the standard number "On a Slow Boat to China", composed by Frank Loesser in 1948. "Kimi to Itsumademo (Stay with You Forever)" is a cover of Yuzo Kayama. "Funky Monkey Baby" is a cover of Carol.
|Sentimental City Romance/Sentimental City Romance (1975)|
The rock band formed with ex-Ranmado guitarist Nobutaka Tsugei (guitar, keyboards, vocals) as the leader in 1973. The debut album produced by Haruomi Hosono. Influenced deeply by American West Coast rock in the late 1960s and early 1970s, called 'country rock'. Lyrical and delicate sound, like Happy End and Hachimitsu-Pie. The lyrics are Japanese. The guitar playing, chorus work, melody and arrangement... Everything is excellent.
|Carmen Maki & OZ/Carmen Maki & OZ (1975)|
The debut album of the rock band formed by female singer Carmen Maki with Hirofumi Kasuga (guitar) and others. Soulful vocals influenced by Janis Joplin. Dramatic sounds like hard rock/prog rock. Well-established as the first full-scale female rock vocal album in Japan.
|Chu Kosaka/Horo (Wandering) (1975)|
A singer/songwriter who was a member of Floral and Apryl Fool. His greatest album. One of the pioneering works of Japanese R&B. Co-produced by Haruomi Hosono.
|Sugar Babe/Songs (1975)|
The one and only album of the legendary band featuring Tatsuro Yamashita (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Taeko Onuki (vocals, keyboards). Melodic sound strongly influenced by American pop. The chorus work is exquisite. Produced by Eiichi Otaki and Tatsuro Yamashita. Yamashita's compositions are excellent. Features the pop classic 'Down Town'.
|Shigeru Suzuki/Band Wagon (1975)|
Ex-Happy End guitarist, Shigeru Suzuki's solo debut album. Ex-Santana Band Doug Rauch (bass), Ex-Sly & the Familystone Greg Errico (drums), David Garibaldi (drums) from Tower of Power, Bill Payne (keyboards) from Little Feat, Richie Hayward (drums), Ken Gradney (bass) and Sam Clayton (congas) guest. Shigeru Suzuki plays the slide guitar and sings in Japanese with Bay-Area funk sound.
|Sonhouse/Uchoten (Ecstasy) (1975)|
A five-piece rock band led by Kiku/Toshiyuki Shibayama (vocals) and Makoto Ayukawa (guitar). 1st album. Bluesy, straight-forward rock and roll. Ayukawa's solid guitar work is cool. 'Lemon Tea' is a remake of the rock and roll standard, "The Train Kept A Rollin'" (Tiny Bradshaw's jump blues).
|Rouge/The Best of Rouge (1975)|
A five-piece rock and roll band led by Takuya Abe (vocals) and Masakazu Oshio (guitar), Influenced by the Rolling Stones. The only studio recording album produced by Kazuhiko Kato. Vulgar and flashy glam-rock sound like New York Dolls. Recommended to Dolls fans.
|Hako Yamasaki/To.Bi.Ma.Su (I'll Fly) (1975)|
A female singer/songwriter, Hako Yamasaki's debut album released when she was 18 years old. Songs with the accompaniment of acoustic guitar. She plays lots of folk songs in slow tempo, full of dark pathos, like Miyuki Nakajima, but her music has a subtle charm just a little bit different from Miyuki Nakajima. Features her masterpieces, "Bokyo (Homesickness)", "Sayonara no Kane (Farewell Bell)" and "Kibun wo Kaete (Changing the Mood)".
|Tin Pan Alley/Caramel Mama (1975)|
'Caramel Mama' is a producers/studio musicians' group formed in 1973 with Masataka Matsutoya (keyboards), Tatsuo Hayashi (drums), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar) and Haruomi Hosono (bass). They produced several albums such as Minako Yoshida's "Tobira no Fuyu (Winter of Door)" and Yuki Arai (Yumi Matsutoya) 's "Hikouki-gumo (Contrail)". They changed their name to 'Tin Pan Alley' in 1974, and produced/backed Yuki Arai, Izumi Yukimura, Ayumi Ishida and some other musicians. This is their first studio album. Funky fusion, oriental pop, Japanese lyrical rock and so on. The lyrics are Japanese and English. The guest misicians are Tsugutoshi Goto (bass), Yuu Imai (keyboards) and Masayoshi Takanaka (guitar) from Sadistic Mika Band, Tatsuro Yamashita (chorus) and Taeko Onuki (chorus) from Sugar Babe, Nobu Saito (percussion) and others.
|Makoto Kubota and the Sunset Gang/Hawaii Champroo (1975)|
An album recorded in Hawaii and released in 1975 by Makoto Kubota (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), a musician born in Kyoto in 1949, with his band, the Sunset Gang. Another masterpiece of exotic and tropical "Champroo" music compared with Haruomi Hosono's "tropical" trilogy of the same period, mixing the elements of Hula (Hawaiian dance and music), New Orleans R&B, Uchinaa pop (Okinawan contemporary popular music), Mariachi (Mexican band performance) and others. The lyrics are mainly Japanese, partly English and Okinawan (Uchinaaguchi). "Walk Right In" is a cover of a country blues song written by Gus Cannon. "Haisai Ojisan (Hey, Old Man)" is a cover of Shoukichi Kina and Champloose's early classic of Uchinaa pop. "San Francisco Bay Blues" is a cover of a folk song written by Jesse Fuller. "Shanghai Gaeri (Back from Shanghai)" is a cover of a single song by folk singer Masato Minami, with the Chinese style arrangement. "South of the Border" is a cover of a popular song written by Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr. Produced by Haruomi Hosono and Makoto Kubota.
|Makoto Kubota and Sunset Gang/Second Line (1979)|
Makoto Kubota and Sunset Gang's last album. The sound is based on New Orleans R&B and second-line funk. "Hey! Pocky A-way" is a cover of the Meters. "Dixie Chicken-Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is a cover of Little Feat. "Roochoo Gumbo-Hoodoo Chunko" is a song in the Okinawan folk style (written by Haruomi Hosono and Makoto Kubota). "China Boat Song" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of Chinese folk song. The original of "Iko Iko" is James "Sugar Boy" Crawford's "Jock-O-Mo" (Dr. John's cover is famous). The guest musicians are Haruomi Hosono, Tatsuo Hayashi, Steve Cropper, Levon Helm and others.
|Doji Morita/Bokutachi no Shippai (Our Failure): Doji Morita Best Collection (1975-1982)|
A female singer and songwriter born in Tokyo, who had worked from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. She sang lots of introspective songs filled with sense of loss after the defeat and end of the student movements of the early 1970s. Whispering vocals with feeble and delicate voice. 'Bokutachi no Shippai (Our Failure)' was used as the theme song for the TV drama 'Koko Kyoshi (High School Teacher)' and became a revival hit in 1993, and it caused a reevaluation of Doji Morita. A best compilation album (13 tracks in total) that includes her masterpieces such as 'Bokutachi no Shippai' and 'Sayonara Boku no Tomodachi (Good-bye My Friend)' (the live version).
|Hiromi Iwasaki/Best Selection (1975-1992)|
A female vocalist who had been a nationally popular singer in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. Stretching vocals and notable ability to sing. The music is in the style of typical Japanese pop songs called "Kayokyoku". Her early singles (lyrics by Yuu Aku, composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi) are catchy and recommended. The 2-CD compilation that includes her major singles until 1992, such as "Duet", "Romance", "Sentimental", "Fantasy", "Mirai (Future)", "Nettaigyo (Tropical Fish)", "Shisyuuki", "Hatachimae (Before Age 20)", "Cinderella Honeymoon", "Slow na Ai ga Iiwa (I Prefer Slow Love)", and "Madonna tachi no Lullaby (Madonnas' Lullaby)". "Ginga Densetsu (Galaxy Legend)" is the theme song for the anime movie "Be Forever Yamato". "Ai wo Plus One (Plus One Love)" is the opening theme for the TV anime "Mama wa Shogaku 4-nensei (Mama is a 4th Grader)".
|Hiroko Taniyama/Taniyama Hiroko Best: Siro to Kuro (Black and White) (1975-2003)|
A female singer & songwriter, who debuted in 1972 when she was fifteen years old, and then she has continued her activities for a long time. She has produced lots of simple and approachable songs with her clear voice. Her songs are mainly based on the piano accompaniment, and they have various styles like folk songs, nursery songs, and fantasy stories and dramas. Some songs are much like Akiko Yano's. A best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that includes 34 tracks selected by herself. The disc 1 (white) includes her major songs, like "Neko no Mori ni wa Kaerenai (Can't Go Back to the Forest of the Cats)", "Kawa no Hotori ni (By the River)", "Country Girl", "Kaze ni Nare -Midori no Tame ni- (Be a Wind -For Greenery-)", "Koisuru Niwatori (Chicken in Love)", and "Makkura Mori no Uta (The Song of the Pitch-dark Forest)". The disc 2 (black) includes mainly surreal and eccentric songs.
|Miyuki Nakajima/Singles (1975-1986)|
A female singer/songeriter who has gained popularity for a long time with her distinctive style of heavy, dark songs about something like "Japanese pathos", Miyuki Nakajima's 3-CD best compilation album which includes all the 40 single tracks (A/B sides) in her early days (1975-1986). The debut song "Azami Jo no Lullaby" (Thistle Girl's Lullaby), "Jidai" (Time Goes Around), "Wakareuta" (The Parting Song) (#1 on the Japanese pop charts), "Akujo" (Bad Girl) (#1 on the Japanese pop charts) and others.
|Miyuki Nakajima/Kansuigyo (Cold Water Fish) (1982)|
A female singer/songeriter who has gained popularity for a long time with her distinctive style of songs about something like "Japanese pathos". The best-selling music album in Japan in 1982. Features "Akujo (Wicked Woman)" (the album version).
|Pink Lady/Twin Best: Pink Lady (1976-1981/1993)|
A female pop duo of Mie (real name: Mitsuyo Nemoto) and Kei (real name: Keiko Masuda). They formed the duo through passing a TV audition program for singers. Their catchy songs with hooks (composed by Shun'ichi Tokura, written by Yuu Aku) and unique choreography (dances) became the craze all over Japan, and they became a national pop icon. A set of 2 CDs that covers all the single hits until disbanded in 1981 and other main songs. Also features the commercial song (for Japanese TV) medley. 'Kiss in the Dark', a disco-pop with English lyrics (written by Michael Lloyd), got #37 on the chart in Billboard, the US music magazine.
|Far East Family Band/Parallel World (1976)|
A progressive rock band led by Fumio Miyashita (vocals, guitar) and formed in 1974, Far East Family Band's second album. Mind-oriented, spacy prog-rock featuring mellotron, Moog synths and Hammond organ, influenced by Pink Floyd and Krautrock/German prog-rock, such as Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. Produced by Klaus Schulze. Recorded at the Virgin Records' Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, England. The remastered CD was released in 2009. After the group disbanded, the leader Fumio Miyashita worked as a music therapist and a 'healing music' artist, and keyboardist Masanori Takahashi changed his name to Kitaro, and enjoyed worldwide popularity in 'new age music' genre.
|RC Succession/Single Man (1976/1980)|
Formed as a folk group led by Kiyoshiro Imawano (vocals). When they released this third album, they started t show their distinctive style influenced by the 1970s soul/R&B. Kiyoshiro's "squeezing" style of vocals is unique. The US funk band, Tower of Power guest. This album didn't sell well, and it had been discontinued, but officially re-released in 1980. Features an impressive song "Slow Ballad".
|RC Succession/Rhapsody (1980)|
After the guitarist Reiichi Nakaido (ex-the folk duo Furuido) joined, they recreated themselves as a rock band and started to gain popularity in places with live music. The live-recording album (in the Kubo Auditorium, Tokyo) released in those days. Features "Ame-agari no Yozora ni (In the Night Sky After the Rain)".
|RC Succession/Rhapsody Naked (1980/2005)|
RC Succession's "Rhapsody" is a great live album in Japanese rock history, which included 9 songs from the live at Kubo Kodo, Tokyo, on April 5, 1980. This album "Rhapsody Naked" is a complete edition which all the original 18 songs performed on the day, without editing. A set of 2 CDs and a DVD (live images). Unique music based on soul/R&B/rock & roll with Japanese lyrics. Includes 4 songs performed with a female singer Mari Kaneko (like Janis Joplin). Features two masterpieces, "Slow Ballad" and "Ame-agari no Yozora ni (In the Night Sky After the Rain)". "Rhapsody" is a good song with a reggae rhythm. "Ue o Muite Aruko (Shall Walk Looking Up)" is a R&R cover of Kyu Sakamoto's worldwide hit song. "Ohaka (A Grave)" and "Yubiwa o Hametai (I Want to Put A Ring)" are old songs they had performed from the time they was a folk group.
|Tatsuro Yamashita/Greatest Hits! of Tatsuro Yamashita (1976-1982)|
The best compilation of singer & songwriter/composer/arranger/music producer, Tatsuro Yamashita, who debuted as a solo artist after Sugar Babe disbanded. Includes the songs in his early days when he was affiliated with the RCA/AIR label (1976-1982). All the tracks selected by Yamashita himself. Lots of good songs based on American pop music such as R&B, soul and funk. Features his first hit 'Ride on Time' (the original single version) and a great ballad 'The Whispering Sea'.
|Tatsuro Yamashita/Treasures (1983-1995)|
A best compilation album that mainly contains singles released from 1983 to 1995, since he transferred to the Moon Records. Features lots of good-quality songs, such as 'Get Back in Love' (the first top ten hit eight years after 'Ride on Time'), 'Christmas Eve' (a smash hit which became a standard song for Christmas in Japan), 'Kokiatsu Girl/Anticyclonic Girl', 'Sekai no Hate Made/To the World's End' and 'Sobo/Nameless People'. The chorus melody of the interlude of 'Christmas Eve' is a quote from Pachelbel's 'Canon'. 'Atom no Ko/Atom's Children' in the motif of 'Tetsuwan Atom/Astroboy' is a tribute song to the manga artist Osamu Tezuka.
|Godiego/Godiego Great Best Vol.1 Japanese Version (1976-1982)|
A pop-oriented rock band that had been nationally popular in Japan in the late 1970s. The members are three Japanese: Mickie Yoshino (keyboards and songwriting, ex-member of the Japanese GS band, the Golden Cups), Yukihide Takekawa (vocals and songwriting) and Takami Aasano (guitar), and two Americans: Steve Fox (bass) and Tommy Snyder (drums). Catchy melodies directly influenced by the Beatles/Paul McCartney. The original lyrics are all English (some singles were released as the Japanese versions too). There are lots of hits like commercial songs, themes for TV shows and movies. The best compilation album that includes the Japanese versions of their 16 masterpieces such as "Salad Girl" (the commercial song for Kanebo Cosmetics), "Monkey Magic" (the opening theme for the TV drama "Saiyuki"), "Gandhara" (the ending theme for "Saiyuki"), "Beautiful Name" (the campaign song for 1979 the International Year of the Child) and "Galaxy Express 999" (the theme song for the anime movie "Galaxy Express 999") ("Salad Girl" and "Monkey Magic" have only the English lyrics). There is also another compilation "Godiego Great Best Vol.2 English Version", wihch includes the original English versions of the 16 songs same as this album.
The rock guitarist, Char/Hisato Takenaka's solo debut album. The single "Navy Blue" is a pop song in the Enka (schmaltzy Japanese ballad) rock style, but other tracks are stylish and funky guitar rock in the fusion/jazz-rock style. "Smoky" is especially cool. The lyrics are Japanese and English. One of the greatest Japanese 1970s rock albums.
|Yoshiko Sai/Mikkou (Illegal Migration) (1976)|
A singer, songwriter and poet born in 1953 in Nara Prefecture, known for her dreamy songs with dark pathos, Yoshiko Sai's second album. Bluesy and acid folk-oriented sound featuring Yoshiko Sai's vocals, with guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboards, vibraphone, flute, cello, sitar, tabla and strings. A total album about a voyage to foreign lands, filled with oriental and exotic atmosphere. All the tracks written and composed by Yoshiko Sai. Arranged by Kuni Kawachi. Recommended to those who like Maki Asakawa or Yoshio Hayakawa (Jacks).
|Budoubatake/Slow Motion (1976)|
A rock band led by Kazuyoshi Aoki (mandolin, ukulele, gut guitar, vocals, chorus), Budoubatake's second album. The band name means "vineyard". Their debut album (1974) was tinged with the US country rock, but this album was a masterpiece of modern pop influenced by British pop/glam rock/art rock such as 10cc, Roxy Music, Deaf School and Sailor, and the US pop band Sparks. Music filled with cynical humor. The track No.10 "Kyoufu no Komawari-Kun: Monzetsu Version" (Horrible Komawari-Kun: Stun Version) is another version of the single song about Komawari-Kun, the leading character of Tatsuhiko Yamagami's popular comedy manga "Gakideka" (the lyrics written by Tatsuhiko Yamagami), which was based on 10cc's "Silly Love".
|Murasaki/Murasaki Forever + 2 (1976-1978)|
The rock band formed by the leader George Murasaki (keyboards) with Toshio Shiroma (bass), Masao Shiroma (vocals), Yukio Shimoji (guitar), Kiyomasa Higa (guitar) and Eiichi Miyanaga (drums) in Okinawa under the rule of the US forces in 1970. Authentic hard rock influenced by Deep Purple. The lyrics are English. A best compilation that includes 10 tracks in total. 'Lazy' is a cover of Deep Purple.
Japan's first full-fledged fusion band led by Akira Wada (guitar). The debut album released when Katsutoshi Morizono (guitar, ex-Yonin Bayashi) was a member. Instrumental music with bass, drums, two guitars and two keyboards. The technique of performance and the musical construction is excellent. A classical masterpiece of J-Fusion.
|Yumi Matsutoya/Neue Musik (1978-1998)|
The maven of Japanese pop called "New Music" since the 1970s. The best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that includes the songs selected by fans. Features "Mamotte Agetai (I Wanna Keep You Safe)" (the theme song for the movie "Nerawareta Gakuen/School in the Crosshairs"), "Blizzard", "Surf Tengoku, Ski Tengoku (Surfin' Heaven, Ski Heaven)", "Destiny", "Refrain ga Sakenderu (Refrain is Crying)", "Haru yo Koi (Spring, Come Here)" and "Cinderella Express".
|Southern All Stars/Umi no Yeah!! (Sea's Yeah!!) (1978-1998)|
The long-lived band led by Keisuke Kuwata (vocals, guitar, songwriting). They have produced lots of catchy, mass-appeal hit songs with their distinctive style that assimilated both Westarn/Japanese pops. The features of Kuwata's vocals are English-like Japanese pronunciation with rolling tongue and husky voice. The best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that covers all their main songs released since the 1998, such as "katte ni Sindbad", a ballad classic "Itoshi no Ellie (My Love Ellie)", "Niji-iro the Night Club (The Rainbow-Colored Night Club)", "Manatsu no Kajitsu (Midsummer Fruit)" and "Erotica Seven".
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Thousand Knives (1978)|
His solo debut album released just before YMO was formed. Instrumental techno sound influenced by contemporary music (Iannis Xenakis and so on). The dawn of Japanese techno.
|Ryuichi Sakamoto & the Kakutougi Session/Summer Nerves (1979)|
A fusion-style studio recording session with the members of Kylyn (a session group led by the jazz guitarist Kazumi Watanabe) and his other fellow musicians. Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, synths and vocals), Rei Ohara (bass), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar), Kenji Omura (guitar), Kazumi Watanabe (guitar), Pecker (percussion), Motoya Hamaguchi (percussion), Akiko Yano (vocals) and so on. Includes 'Theme for Kakutougi' (Kakutougi means martial art/combat sports) and 'Sleep on My Baby' (composed by Yano).
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/B-2 Unit (1980)|
An experimental solo album released when he was a member of YMO. Avant-garde and abstract sound in the dub style. Andy Partridge (guitar) from XTC joined. Engineered by Dennis Bovell and others.
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Left Handed Dream (1981)|
The third solo album released when he was a member of YMO. Distinctive sound fusing programmed synths with live performances. The drums and percussion like Asian/African ethnic music are effective. Simple and pop melodies. It comprises ten tracks in total, and features Sakamoto's vocals on the six tracks. Adrian Belew (guitar) guests. Co-produced by Robin Scott (M).
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Ongaku Zukan (Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia) (1984)|
The first solo work released after YMO disbanded. Pop and relaxing sounds, like easy listening music or fusion, by full use of Fairlight (sampler). Easy-to-listen and recommended for beginners. The UK version 'Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia' is an edited version including singles 'Fieldwork' (with Thomas Dolby) and 'Steppin' Into Asia', and differs from the original Japanese version in track.
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Field Work + Steppin' Into Asia + The Arrangement (1982/1985)|
A compilation album (11 tracks) that includes nine tracks from three 12-inch singles, "Field Work" (a collaboration with Thomas Dolby. "Field Work" Long London mix, "Field Work" long Tokyo mix and "Exhibition". 1985), "Steppin' Into Asia" ("Steppin' Into Asia" and "Steppin' Into Asia (urban mix)". 1985) and "The Arrangement" (a collaboration with Robin Scott. "The Arrangement", "The Left Bank", "Just About Enough" and "Once in a Lifetime". 1982) and two single versions of "Field Work" (London Mix and Tokyo Mix). "Field Work" is a synth pop featuring Thomas Dolby's vocals. "Exhibition" is a long instrumental track in ambient style. "Steppin' Into Asia" is a Asian-style hip-hop techno featuring Tomoko Asano's Thai rap and Akiko Yano's vocals. "The Left Bank", "Just About Enough" and "Once in a Lifetime" are remix versions (featuring Robin Scott's vocals) of the three tracks ("Venezia", "Relâché" and "Tell'em to Me") from the album "Left Handed Dream" (1981).
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Miraiha Yaro (Future Boy/Futurista) (1986)|
An avant-garde pop album in the motif of Italian Futurism (Marinetti, Lussolo). Almost all the sounds are made by the digital synth DX-7 and Fairlight (sampler). Aggressive and machinelike beat like The Art of Noise or industrial techno. The guest musicians are: Meceo Parker Jr. (alto sax), Bernard Fowler (vocals), Haruo Kubota (guitar) from Pearl Brothers, Minako Yoshida (vocals), Caoli Cano (vocals) and others.
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Neo Geo (1987)|
Electro ethnic sound combining Asian (Okinawan folk music, Indonesian Kecak) and Western music (classical, pop, funk). The musicians are Bootsy Collins (bass), Bill Laswell (bass), Sly Dunbar (drums), Iggy Pop (vocals), David Van Tieghem (percussion), Tony Williams (drums), Yoriko Ganeko (vocals), Misako Koja (vocals), Kazumi Tamaki (vocals) and others. Coproduced by Bill Laswell. "Free Trading" is a cover of Yuji Nomi's synth-pop band, Oshare TV's "Asia no Koi (Asian Love)". "Okinawan Song-Chin Nuku Juushii" is a cover of Okinawan girl folk chrus group, Four Sisters' 1968 hit song.
|Ryuichi Sakamoto/Beauty (1989)|
The eighth solo album released on Virgin Records. World music-oriented electro ethnic sound with a mixture of Western, Asian and African music elements, like the previous album "Neo Geo". "Asadoya Yunta" and "Chinsagu No Hana" are covers of Okinawan folk songs. "We Love You" is a cover of the Rolling Stones. "Romance" is a cover of Stephen Foster's "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" with Okinawan lyrics. "Adagio" is a cover of Samuel Barber. The musicians are Brian Wilson (ex-The Beach Boys/vocals), Robbie Robertson (ex-The Band/guitar), Robert Wyatt (ex-The Soft Machine/vocals), Youssou N'Dour (vocals), Arto Lindsay (vocals), Sly Dunber (drums) and others.
|Yoshitaka Minami/South of the Border (1978)|
A male singer/songwriter also known as a composer. The 3rd album. A masterpiece of Japanese 'urban pop' in the style of Latin-flavored resort music. Adult-oriented, urbanized and sophisticated sounds. Ryuichi Sakamoto joined in full scale (performance, arrangement and sound production).
|Moonriders/Nouvelles Vagues (1978)|
The third album by Moonriders, the rock band led by Keiichi Suzuki (vocals, guitar, keyboards) formed in 1975. A dreamy, modern and European style pop album based on fusion/adult contemporary style, and influenced by prog-rock and British pop, such as Sailor and Cafe Jacques among others. Regarded as a masterpiece of the early days before the band moved into the new wave style totally. "Itoko Doushi (Les Cousins)" is a pioneering song of the early days of techno, consisting of only Keiichi Suzuki's vocals, steal drums by Haruomi Hosono and synthesizer (Roland MC-8) programmed by Hideki Matsutake. "My Name is Jack" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of the song written by John Simon. "Travessia" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of the song by Milton Nascimento.
|Moonriders/Mania Maniera (1982/1984/1986)|
Recorded in 1981-82, but not released because the record company regarded it as avant-garde. Released on CD in 1982 (CD player was not yet widespread at the time), sold as a cassette book in 1984, and released on vinyl in 1986. An experimental work influenced by modernism, futurism, Russian Avant-Garde and so on. The techno sounds by using Roland TR-808 and MC-4 are cool.
|Moonriders/Aozora Hyakkei (100 Views of Blue Sky) (1982)|
The album released six months after suspending the release of 'Mania Maniera'. More pop-oriented and light-filled sound than 'Mania Maniera'. Established as a sophisticated modern pop album. Easy-to-listen and recommended for beginners.
|Haruo Chikada & Haruophone/Dengekiteki Tokyo (Electric Tokyo) (1978)|
The 3rd album that directly expressed the devotion of Haruo Chikada (keyboards, vocals) to Japanese lowbrow pop songs called 'Kayokyoku'. All the songs except the only original 'Koi no T.P.O. (Love's T.P.O.)' (the album version) are the covers of Kayokyoku (composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi, Shunichi Tokura, Kunihiko Kase and others) with glam-rock/punk style arrangement.
|Haruo Chikada/Natural Beauty (1979)|
The first solo album. A pop album in the Kayo-rock style, featuring Kayokyoku-like song melodies and rock/fusion/technopop arrangements. Haruo Chikada & Haruophone's "Dengekiteki Tokyo (Electric Tokyo)" (1978) was a cover album of Kayokyoku, but this album includes original songs. The songs composed by Haruo Chikada, Kyohei Tsutsumi, Kunihiko Kase and others. The lyrics written by Haruo Chikada, Kazuo Umezu (manga artist) and others. Yellow Magic Orchestra participated in arrangement and performance of four tracks. Includes Chikada's second single "Electric Love Story". The CD includes both A/B side songs of his third single "Ah, Lady Hurricane" as bonus tracks.
|Mariya Takeuchi/Best Pack (1978-1981)|
The best compilation that includes female singer Mariya Takeuchi's early works on the RCA label. Urbanized and sophisticated sound rooted in the 1960s Western (Euro-American) popular music. She was cast as a pop idol when she debuted, but since around the 1980, as a singer & songwriter, she became to write lots of songs for herself. Features lots of good songs such as 'Dream of You', 'September' and 'Fushigi na Peach Pie/Magical Peach Pie'.
|Mariya Takeuchi/Impressions (1984-1994)|
The best compilation that includes the early masterpieces by Mariya Takeuchi as a singer & songwriter. A blockbuster album that racked up sales of over three million and 500 thousand in Japan. Mainly consists of the tracks from the three albums released on Moon label from 1984 to 1992. Produced by Tatsuro Yamashita. Features lots of hits released as the theme songs for TV dramas, and several self-covers of the songs she wrote to other idol/pop singers.
|Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi/Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi 1978-1981 (1978-1981)|
A compilation (16 tracks) of early popular songs by Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, a singer-songwriter born in Kagoshima in 1956. Folk-song/Kayokyoku-oriented pop songs featuring acoustic guitar, harmonica and strings, influenced by the 1960s-1970s Japanese folk singers such as Takuro Yoshida. Includes "Junrenka" (1978), "Junko" (1980. #1 on the Japanese pop charts), "Kanpai (Cheers)" (1980) and others. The re-recorded, ballad single of "Kanpai" was released in 1988, reached #1 on the Japanese pop charts and became a standard numnber for wedding reception and graduation ceremony. The 1992 re-recorded single of "Junrenka" became a big hit (#1 on the Japanese pop charts).
|Shinji Harada/Feel Happy (1978)|
A singer-songwriter born in Hiroshima Pref. in 1958, Shinji Harada's debut album (#1 on the Japanese pop album charts). Released when he was 19 years old. Pop and melodic sound featuring piano, brass and strings, influenced by Western pop music, like Paul McCartney and Elton John. He composed and sung all the songs, played piano, keyboards, guitar and other instruments, arranged almost all the songs and produced the album with Takuro Yoshida. Includes the first two singles, "Teen's Blues" and "Candy". The guest musicians are Tatsuo Hayashi (drums), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar), Tsugutoshi Goto (bass) and others. The lyrics written by Takashi Matsumoto. The 2007 digitally-remastered reissue CD includes the third/fourth singles, "Shadow Boxer" and "Time Travel". His first three singles ranked top 20 in Japanese pop chart simultaneously. Ryuichi Sakamoto plays keyboards in "Shadow Boxer".
|Shonen Homeruns/Shonen Homeruns 16 (1978-1979/1987/2008)|
The predecessor of new wave band Halmens, Shonen Homeruns' 1979 demo tape recordings. Shonen Homeruns was formed by Kenzo Saeki (vocals), Takao Higae (guitar) and Tomohiro Ishihara (bass) in Chiba. After this recordings with the two members of new wave band 8 2/1, Koji Ueno (keyboards) and Toshiro Sensui (drums), they signed a contract with Vicor and released two albums under the name of Halmens. This recording is rougher and poorer in sound quality than Halmens, but Koji Ueno's gorgeous synths like early Roxy Music and artful arrangements are worth listening to. "Ore wa PeePee" and "Mellow Yarou in Tsudanuma Parco" are A/B sides of an independent single. "Yakisoba Roujin (Pan-fried Noodles Old Man)", "Watashi Yayo! (I Hate It!)", "Konchu-Gun (Swarm of Insects)", "Jungle Toshi (Jungle City)", "FunyaFunya Cyborg", "Android na Onna (Android Woman)", "Densha de Go (Go by Train)" are re-recorded in Halmens' albums too. Released as a LP in 1987, and released on CD in 1988, and reissued as a digitally-remastered CD (16 tracks in total, including 4 demo tracks recorded in 1978) in 2008.
|ARB/ARB the Best: Long, Long Way (2008/1978-2006)|
A rock band formed in 1977 led by Ryo Ishibashi (vocals), ARB's best compilation album. A set of 2 CDs (35 tracks) with a DVD (15 video clips). Straight-ahead rock 'n' roll featuring Ichiro Tanaka's sharp cutting guitar, pop songs with catchy melodies, and songs dealing with workers (called "work song"). Ryo Ishibashi is also known for his activities as an actor. Jean-Jacques Burnel (bass) from The Stranglers (an English punk band) had been a member for a short time in the mid 1980s. ARB' music had a great influence on younger rock bands in Japan, such as The Blue Hearts and Unicorn. Includes singles, such as "Norainu (A Stray Dog)", "Tamashii Kogashite (Searing Soul)", "Daddy's Shoes", "Saraba Aibou (Farewell, Brother)", "Troubled Kids", "Deep Inside" and "After '45", and other major songs. "Rock Over Japan" and other several songs were used (covered) in the TV anime series "Mawaru-Penguindrum" (2011) as inserted/ending theme songs.
|(Various Artists)/Seishun Uta Nenkan: 80-Nendai Soshuhen (Youth Song Yearbook: The 1980s Digest) (1979-1989)|
The decennial digest edition (a set of 2 CDs, 37 tracks) of 'Seishun Uta Nenkan (the 1980s)', a compilation series that includes the 1980s smash hit songs per year, beyond the the bounds of record companies. Includes:
1. Monta & Brothers/Dancing All-night (1980)
2. Saki Kubota/Ihojin (Alien) (1979)
3. Akira Terao/Ruby no Yubiwa (The Ruby Ring) (1981)
4. Crystal King/Daitokai (The Big City) (1979)
5. Masahiko Kondo/Sneaker Blues (1980)
6. Amin/Matsuwa (I'll Wait) (1982)
7. Chanels/Runaway (1980)
8. Imokin Trio/High School Lullaby (1981)
9. Chiharu Matsuyama/Nagai Yoru (A Long Night) (1981)
10. Hiromi Iwasaki/Madonna tachi no Lullaby (Madonnas' Lullaby) (1982)
11. Off Course/Sayonara (Goodbye) (1979)
12. Mayumi Itsuwa/Koibito yo (My Lover) (1980)
13. Toshihiko Tahara/Aishu Date (Melancholy Date) (1980)
14. Masatoshi Nakamura/Kokoro no Iro (Color of Heart) (1981)
15. Hirofumi Banba/Sachiko (1979)
16. Shinji Tanimura/Subaru (Sterope) (1980)
17. Gamu/Ai wa Kagerou (Love is Air Turbulence) (1980)
18. Jun Horie/Memory Glass (1981)
1. Warabe/Moshimo Ashita ga... (If Tomorrow Will be...) (1983)
2. Hikaru Genji/Paradise Ginga (Paradise Galaxy) (1988)
3. Hiroko Yakushimaru/Tantei Monogatari (The Detective Story) (1983)
4. Princess Princess/Diamonds (1989)
5. Anri/Cat's Eye (1983)
6. The Checkers/Julia ni Heartbreak (Heartbreak for Julia) (1984)
7. Seiko Matsuda/Sweet Memories (1983)
8. Anzen Chitai/Wine Red no Kokoro (Wine-Red Heart) (1983)
9. Akina Nakamori/Second Love (1982)
10. Wink/Ai ga Tomaranai (I Can't Stop My Love) (1988)
11. Otoko-Gumi/Daybreak (1988)
12. Shizuka Kudo/Koi Hito-yo (One Night Love) (1988)
13. Tomoyo Harada/Toki wo Kakeru Shojo (The Little Girl Who Conquered Time) (1983)
14. Akiko Kobayashi/Koi ni Ochite (Fall in Love) (1985)
15. Kozo Murashita/Hatsukoi (First Love) (1983)
16. Akemi Ishii/Cha-Cha-Cha (1986)
17. Asami Kobayashi/Amaoto wa Chopin no Shirabe (The Sound of Rain is Chopin's Tone) (1984)
18. ALFEE/Hoshizora no Distance (The Distance of the Starry Sky) (1984)
19. C-C-B/Romantic ga Tomaranai (I Can't Stop Romantic) (1985)
|Kazumi Watanabe/Kylyn Live (1979)|
Aggressive live performances by Kylyn, a fusion-oriented session group led by the jazz guitarist Kazumi Watanabe. Featuring Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards), Akiko Yano (vocals and keyboards) and other great session players. Artful and sharp performances with odd time signatures, polyrhythms and lots of ad-lib solos.
|Masayoshi Takanaka/Jolly Jive (1979)|
A rock/fusion guitarist who once had been a member of Sadistic Mika Band, Masayoshi Takanaka's 1979 solo album. Refreshing fusion sounds with a tropical atmosphere, featuring guitar instrumental pieces. Includes his masterpiece "Blue Lagoon". "Taj Mahal" is a cover of Brazilian musician, Jorge Ben's 1972 hit single. "Rainy Day Blue" is a good song with choking guitar like Santana.
|Shingetsu/New Moon (1979)|
A Japanese progressive rock band worked in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Shingetu's one and only officially-released album. Delicate symphonic prog rock with strong spiritualism and Japanese lyricism, having something in common with the English progressive rock band, Genesis. Includes a masterpiece "Oni". The CD/DVD box "The Whole Story of Shingetsu 1976-1982" (5 CDs and DVD) including a remastered version of this album was released in 2005. The remastered CD of this album was released individually in 2007.
|(Various Artists)/Tokyo Rockers (1979)|
A compilation album that includes 10 tracks by 5 Japanese punk bands who are based on S-Ken's studio in Roppongi, Tokyo. The artists are Friction, Mr.Kite, Lizard, Mirrors and S-Ken. Live recording in Shinjuku Loft.
|(Various Artists)/Tokyo New Wave '79 (1979)|
Includes live performances by 5 bands (Sex, Jisatsu, Pain, 8 2/1, Bolshie) in the 2nd generation of Japanese punk/new wave, who follow the 1st generation bands called 'Tokyo Rockers' (Friction, Mirrors, Lizard, S-Ken, Mr. Kite and so on).
|Aunt Sally/Aunt Sally (1979)|
One of the first pank bands in Japan. Featuring a female vocalist Phew. The band consisted of three females, Phew (vocals), Bikke (guitar), Mayu (keyboards), and the males, Yoshio Nakaoka (bass) and Takashi Maruyama (drums). Their first and last studio-recording album released on Vanity Records, an independent label of music magazine 'Rock Magazine'. Produced by Yuzuru Agi (the chief editor of 'Rock Magazine'). New wave sound using lots of inharmonic tones. Offhand way of singing and cool voice like Patti Smith.
|(Various Artists)/Pass No Past-EPs & Singles (1979-1981)|
A compilation album (2 CDs) that includes 22 pieces of music (6 artists) released on the Pass Records, which is a punk/new wave/post-punk-tinged independent label, as EPs and singles. The artists are Friction (a punk band like New York's No Wave. 4 tracks), Masatoshi Tsunematsu (ex-Friction guitarist. 5 tracks), Phew + Ryuichi Sakamoto (a female vocalist/ex-Aunt Sally. 2 tracks produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto), Boys Boys (a girls punk band. 2 tracks), Totsuzen Danball (post-rock/minimalistic. 7 tracks) and Gunjogacrayon (avant-garde improvisation like free jazz. 2 tracks).
|Yellow Magic Orchestra/Solid State Survivor (1979)|
YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra) was one of the originators of Japanese technopop/synth-pop. YMO was formed by three musicians, Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi and Ryuichi Sakamoto in 1978 (disbanded in 1983), under the influence of Kraftwerk. They made world tours (in Europe and the US) twice, in 1979 and 1980. This 2nd album was a smach hit of Japanese popular synth-disco-pop. Includes "Technopolis" and "Rydeen". "Day Tripper" is a cover of the Beatles.
|Yellow Magic Orchestra/Xoo Multiplies (1980)|
A mini-album produced by the collaboration with radio show "Snakeman Show" (Masato Eve, Katsuya Kobayashi and Moichi Kuwahara). There're several comedy skits by Snakeman Show between the musical tracks. "Nice Age" and "Citizens of Science" are new-wave electro pop featuring Yukihiro Takahashi's vocals. "Tighten Up (Japanese Gentlemen Stand Up Please!)" is a cover of the soul group, Archie Bell & the Drells' "Tighten Up". "Multiplies" is a ska-beat tune.
Heavy, dark, melancholic and art-oriented sound influenced by UK new wave and Brian Eno. The greatest work, I think. Advanced sound that foreruns later ambient techno, minimal techno and electronica. Recommended to serious techno listeners who like Kraftwerk and Eno.
Avant-garde techno-pop with funky rhythms by using sampler. Great. Highly recommended. Features "Taiso (Gymnastic Exercises)" and "Key".
|Y.M.O./Naughty Boys (1983)|
A bubblegum synth-pop album featuring simple vocal melodies, a bit like Buggles and New Musik. The lyrics are Jpaanese and English. A single song, "Kimi Ni Mune Kyun" (#2 on the Japanese pop charts) is a campaign song for Kanebo Cosmetics. Bill Nelson guests on guitar. There is also another instrumental edition, "Naughty Boys: Instrumental" with synth melodies added instead of vocals.
YMO's last studio recording album released before the band disbanded. Includes 7 tracks and 7 comedy skits by the theatrical troupe S.E.T. (Super Eccentric Theater) led by Yuji Miyake. "Ishin Denshin/You've Got to Help Yourself" is the theme song for 'International Communication Year'. Other 6 tracks are good synth-pop with the English lyrics and the sound like urban soul/adult-contemporary works such as Donald Fagen's 'The Nightfly' (1982). Features "Perspective" composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
|P-Model/In a Model Room (1979)|
The techno band led by Susumu Hirasawa. The predecessor band was Mandrake, a progressive rock band influenced by King Crimson. This debut album has punk-oriented techno pop sounds. They performed as an opening act for XTC's live in Japan (1979).
The 4th album with aggressive sounds by using reverberating drum effects. Elaborate sound processing. There is also another version entitled 'Perspective II' that includes another takes of all the tracks and 2 instrumental tracks not in the original.
The eighth studio album and the first after the band was "defrosted" (reunited) in 1992. The band had abandoned their early technopop and changed into new wave since the third album "Potpourri" (1981), but they returned to technopop on this album. An excellent technopop with heavy use of sequencer and electronic sounds. Featuring Asian melancholy vocal melodies and the lyrics about science technology and computers. The album was reissued on 2 in 1 CD "Golden Best" with the album "big body" (1993) in 2004.
Hovlakin is an indie rock band led by Taro Morishita (vocals) and Hosho Aoki (drums) and formed by their mahjong player companion in Shiga Prefecture in 1979. A compilation released as a CD by indepenent label Alchemy Records in 1991. A reprinted edition of three EPs, "Koppulakin" (1979), "King Hovla" (1980) and "Indo no Tragari (Tiger Hunting in India)" (1981), and a set of 2 flexi discs "Gosun no Isshou (The Life of Gosun)" (1983). Avant-garde new wave characterized by cheap synths and keyboards, lo-fi sound, and melodies like Japanese children's songs and TV show themes. Their unique features are musical poorness, return to childishness and indigeneity, and a kind of primitivism. Rough, but oddly nostalgic music. "Keihan Gyunyu (Keihan Milk)" is based on Keihan Gyunyu's commercial song. In "Piccolino", Aoki's younger brother (elementary school kid) sings, or just shouts the lyrics of TV anime "Piccolino no Bouken (Adventures of Pinocchio)" opening theme. "Gosun no Isshou" is a suite in the musical theater style consisting of narration, songs and lines, and it deals with Gosun the Great Satan, the enemy role of Tokusatsu TV series "Kaiketsu Lion-Maru".
|(Various Artists)/Yellow Magic Kayokyoku (1979-1988)|
A set of 3 CDs that includes 55 Japanese popular songs in the techno-pop style, which were composed, arranged or produced by YMO members: Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Compiled and commented by Yuji Tanaka (writer on music). This compilation is useful for overviewing artists in the pop field concerned with YMO, because it includes not only rare tracks for maniacs, but also well-known songs and the ones already released on other compilations. Features Akiko Yano/"Harusaki Kobeni" (campaign song for Kanebo Cosmetics), Imokin Trio/"High School Lullaby" (No.1 hit song from a TV show), Tsukasa Ito/"Koi wa RunRun", Syuko Sakai/"Computer Obaachan", Kumiko Yamashita/"Sekidokomachi Doki" (campaign song for Kanebo Cosmetics), Ago & Kinzo/"Aishu no Death Match Love (Yokokuhen)", Starbow/"Heartbreak Taiyozoku", Yoshie Kashiwabara/"Shiawase Ondo" (Japanese "Bon Festival Dance" song with Okinawan musical scale), Cosmic Invention/"Cosmic Surfin'" (a junior high school students' techno band covers YMO's instrumental piece with vocals), Jun Togawa/"Tamahime-sama", Narumi Yasuda/"Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa" (image song for the anime movie "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind"), Seiko Matsuda/"Pink no Mozart", Tomoyo Harada/"Lycéenne", Kaori Nakahara/"Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru" (image song for the anime movie "Night on the Galactic Railroad"), Miho Tsumiki/"Jidai yo Kaware" and many others.
|(Various Artists)/Techno Magic Kayokyoku (1979-1991)|
A set of 2 CDs that includes 37 Japanese techno-pop style popular songs mainly released in the 1980s, which were not related to YMO members (the YMO-related songs are included in 'Yellow Magic Kayokyoku'). Compiled and commented by Yuji Tanaka (writer on music). Features lots of treasurable tracks such as Ikue Sakakibara/"Robot", Fever/"Digita Love", Baracuda/"Arara Korara", Kaori Tsuchiya/"Aishuu no Orient Kyuko", Chika Takami/"Kuchibiru Nude" (campaign song for Shiseido Cosmetics), TPO/"Hoshimaru Ondo", and Miyuki Kousaka/"Nuance Shimasho" (campaign song for Shiseido Cosmetics).
|Chage & Aska/Very Best Roll Over 20th (1979-1999)|
The pop duo of two singers/songwriters, Chage (real name: Shuji Shibata) and Ryo Asuka/Aska (real name: Shigeaki Miyazaki). They debuted with the style of folk music tinged with Enka (schmaltzy Japanese ballad), but after that they changed into more pop-oriented and melodic style, and became a nationally-popular duo with the smash hits such as 'Say Yes' and 'Yah Yah Yah' in the early 1990s. The best-compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that includes their major songs released since 1979 until 1999, such as the debut song 'Hitorizaki', 'Banri no Kawa (The Great River)', 'Say Yes' (theme song for TV drama), 'Yah Yah Yah' (theme song for TV drama), 'On Your Mark' and 'Meguriai (Encounter)' (theme song for TV drama). 'On Your Mark' (directed by Hayao Miyazaki, produced by Studio Ghibli) is a short anime movie produced as the promotion film for Chage & Aska's song with the same title.
|Moonriders/Aozora Hyakkei (100 Views of Blue Sky) (1982)|
The album released six months after suspending the release of 'Mania Maniera'. More pop-oriented and light-filled sound than 'Mania Maniera'. Established as a sophisticated modern pop album. Easy-to-listen and recommended for beginners.
|Taeko Onuki/Romantique (1980)|
Her fourth solo album that includes the re-recording of "SHinkirou no Machi/The City of Mirage" released when she was a member of Sugar Babe. One of the works with European taste of those days. Arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Kazuhiko Kato. The several tracks YMO joined are arranged in the techno style.
|Taeko Onuki/Cliché (1982)|
The sixth solo album. Pop-oriented sound influenced by European music and chanson. A masterpiece of her early days. Recorded in Tokyo and Paris. Arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Jean Musy (a French film music composer/arranger). Includes "Kuro no Clair/Clair Noir" (the commercial song for Maxell's cassette tape) and "Peter Rabbit to Watashi/Peter Rabbit and Me".
|Akiko Yano/Gohan ga Dekita yo (Dinner is Ready) (1980)|
The female singer/songwriter Akiko Yano's sixth solo album released after she joined YMO's world tour (1979-1980) as a keyboardist. The features are high musicality and flexibility that assimilates the techno-pop sound by YMO, new wave, jazz piano and Japanese traditional folk songs. "Tong Poo" is a cover of YMO. "Aoi Sanmyaku (Blue Mountain Range)" is a cover of Ryoichi Hattori. Co-produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
|Akiko Yano/Tadaima. (I'm Home.) (1981)|
A singer/songwriter born in Tokyo in 1955, known for her participate in YMO's world tours (1979, 1980) and improvisational live performance with piano, Akiko Yano's fifth studio album. The sound is more synthpop/new wave-oriented, avant-garde and Ryuichi Sakamoto-tinged than previous album "Gohan ga Dekita yo". A single "Harusaki Kobeni (Spring Blossoming Tiny Red)" (used the commercial song for Kanebo Cosmetics spring campaign) is a song in the techno-pop style arranged by YMO, and her biggest hit (#5 on the Japanese pop charts). "Taiyou no Onara (Fart of the Sun)" is a song with piano and the lyrics from the poems children's poetry book (edited by Kenjiro Haitani). Produced and arranged by Akiko Yano and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
|Yukihiro Takahashi/Murdered by the Music (1980)|
The 2nd solo album released when he was a member of YMO. Features the other two members of YMO, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono. The melodies in the 1960s pop style. A good quality techno pop album. The live drums by Takahashi are cool. Includes lots of good tracks, like 'School of Thought' (composed by Sakamoto) and 'Blue Colour Worker' (composed by Hosono). 'Bijin-Kyoshi at the Swimming School' (A Good Looking Teacher at the Swimming School) is the self-cover of an offering to The Ventures. 'Stop in the Name of Love' is a cover of The Supremes.
|Yukihiro Takahashi/Neuromantic (1981)|
The 3rd solo album released when he was a member of YMO. The guest musicians are the other two members of YMO, Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards) and Haruomi Hosono (keyboards), Kenji Omura (guitar), Roxy Music's Andy Mackay (guitar) and Phil Manzanera (sax), and Tony Mansfield (keyboards, vocals). The sound is like YMO's album "BGM", released around the same time. A masterpiece of lyrical and romantic techno-pop, with subtle beauty in European style.
|Yukihiro Takahashi/What, Me Worry? (1982)|
The 4th solo album released by 'YEN Label' (preside by Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi) when he was a member of YMO. A masterpiece along with his previous album "Neuromantic". The sound is techno pop with Profit-5 (synth), but features melodic songs by his clear and strong vocals. The sound of Linn Drum (rhythm machine) is cool. "It's Gonna Work Out", "Disposable Love" and "Flashback" (composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto) are good tunes. "It's All Too Much" is a cover of the Beatles (composed by George Harrison). The guest musicians are: Bill Nelson (guitar), Zaine Griff (bass, vocals), Tony Mansfield (vocals), Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards), Haruomi Hosono (bass), and Kenji Omura (guitar).
|Sandii/Eating Pleasure (1980)|
A female singer who was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1952 as half-Spanish and half-Japanese, and raised in Hawaii. Her solo debut album released in Japan and the United Kingdom is a masterpiece of oriental and ethnic techno-pop/new wave. The lyrics are English. Produced and arranged by Haruomi Hosono (bass, Keyboards, vocals) with full support by YMO. The musicians are Yukihiro Takahashi (drums), Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards), Makoto Kubota (guitar, vocals), Kenji Omura (guitar), Hideki Matsutake (computer programming) and others. "Drip Dry Eyes" (composed by Yukihiro Takahashi) is a good song in the dub style. "Hey Rock-a Lala" is a cover of Ronnie Barron, a soul singer from New Orleans. "Jimmy Mack" is a cover of Martha & the Vandellas' 1967 Motown hit.
|The Roosters/The Roosters (1980)|
The rock band featuring Shinya Ohe (vocals) and Hiroyuki Hanada (guitar). The debut album. Punkish and straight-forward rock and roll based on the 1960s British blues rock. Includes the covers of Champs' "Tequila", Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody" and Bo Diddley's "Mona (I Need You Baby)". The debut single "Rosie" is a ska-beat tune.
|Motoharu Sano/No Damage (1980-1983)|
A compilation of the early songs by singer/songwriter Motoharu Sano. Orthodox rock'n'roll like Bruce Springsteen and catchy song writing. Sophisticated sound. He established a style of Japanese rock music by his original singing style of Japanese lyrics mixed with English phrases. 'Angelina', 'The Glass Generation' and 'Someday' are fine pop songs. Also includes the two tracks taken from the album 'Niagara Triangle Vol.2' (1982) by the trio of Motoharu Sano, Masamichi Sugi and Eiichi Otaki.
|Yokohama Ginbae/The Crazy Rider Yokohama Ginbae Rolling Special (1980-1983)|
Simple rock'n'roll based on the American oldies of the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Humorous lyrics on motorcycle gangs, bad boys and high school students left behind. A best compilation album that includes 18 tracks, such as "Bucchigiri Rock'n Roll (Off the Charts Rock'n Roll)" and "Tsuppari High School Rock'n Roll: Toukou-hen (Bad Boys High School Rock'n Roll: Going to School Edition)".
|Kozo Murashita/Apple & Lemon: Kozo Murashita Best Selection (1980-1994)|
A singer-songwriter born in Kumamoto Pref. in 1953 (died suddenly in 1999 at age 46), Kozo Murashita's best compilation album. Known for his Showa Kayo-like beautiful melodies, sensitive songs like folk songs and lyrical lyrics (in only Japanese) about faint love or tragic love. 16 tracks in total. Mainly consists of his single tracks, such as 'Harusame (Spring Rain)', 'Yuko', 'Hatsukoi (First Love)' (#3 on Japanese pop charts. His biggest hit), 'Odoriko (A Little Dancer)', 'Shojo (A Girl)', 'Yume no Tsuzuki (Sequel to a Dream)', 'Kazaguruma (A Pinwheel)', 'Hidamari (A Sunny Spot)' (Opening theme for TV anime 'Maison Ikkoku'), 'Sonnet' and 'Akina'.
|Shokichi Kina & Champloose/Blood Line (1980)|
A fusion of rock and Okinawan folk music. (Okinawa is an island at the southwestern end of Japan.) Ry Cooder and Haruomi Hosono joined. Includes the original track of "Flowers for Your Heart" (well-known in Asian countries).
|Plastics/Welcome Plastics (1980)|
A typical sound of Japanese light technopop by use of rhythm-box. 1st album featuring Toshio Nakanishi (vocals, guitar), Chika Sato (vocals), Hajime Tachibana (guitar) and Masahide Sakuma (synths). The lyrics are mainly English. Their 1st single "Copy/Robot" was released in the UK in 1979, and they made live tours in Europe and the US from 1980 to 1981.
|Plastics/Origato Plastico (1980)|
This 2nd album is better in quality of music-writing than ths 1st. Toshio Nakanishi's vocals are cool.
A techno-pop/new wave band featuring Koichi Makigami's theatrical vocals. The debut album that includes "PuyoPuyo" and a cover of Kraftwerk's "The Model" with Japanese lyrics.
A Tokyo-based punk band by the trio of Reck (bass and vocals. Ex-member of Teenage Jesus & the Jerks), Chiko Hige (the first drummer of the Contortions) and Masatoshi Tsunematsu (guitar). The sound is like New York Punks or No Wave. The debut album co-produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
A new wave/post-punk band formed in 1979, Gunjogacrayon's debut mini (12-inch. 5 tracks in total) album. Released on the independent label Pass Records. Avant-garde post-punk featuring free iprovisation (viscous rhythms of bass and drums, sharp guitar, saxophone, keyboards, synths, and voice) and dub sound effects. The dub mix of the fourth track "35" by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The guitarist Tadashi Kumihara participated in the recording of Sakamoto's album "B-2 Unit" (1980). The digitally-remastered reissue CD (including three previously unreleased live tracks) was released in 2005. Recommended for those who like No Wave, Friction, noise music, and free improvisation such as Derek Bailey.
|Seiko Matsuda/Seiko Box (1980-1985)|
The leading idol singer who had sung quality pop songs composed by some prominent singer/songwriters and artists. The No. 1 pop icon of the 1980s of Japan with a pure and refreshing image and clear candy voice. A box-set of 4 CDs that covers all the main tracks recorded in the early 1980s.
|Seiko Matsuda/Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) (1981)|
The fourth album. The A-side five tracks, which are composed, arranged and produced by Eiichi Otaki, have a symmetrical relationship to the five tracks composed by Otaki in 'Niagara Triangle Vol.2' (1982). Recommended to those who like Otaki's "A Long Vacation" and his Niagara sound. Features two single tracks, 'Shiroi Parasol (A White Parasol)' and 'Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)' (the commercial song for Ezaki Glico's 'Pocky').
|Ippu-Do/Lunatic Menu (1980-1982)|
The new wave band led by Masami Tsuchiya (guitar, vocals). A best compilation. Pop-oriented songs with catchy melodies. "Sumire September Love (Violet September Love)" is a smash hit song. "Futari no Season" is a cover of the Zombies' hit song "Time of the Season".
|Cinema/Golden Best (1980-1981/2006)|
A compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that includes almost all the recordings of Cinema, the new wave pop band featuring Kiyonori Matsuo (lead vocals, songwriting) and Saeko Suzuki (drums, chorus). Includes all the 10 tracks from their one and only album 'Motion Picture' (1981) produced by Keiichi Suzuki (Moonriders), single tracks 'Ame no Chinatown (Rainy Chinatown)/Okashina Lady Killer (Funny Lady Killer)', 'Koi no Birthday (Love Birthday)' (an unreleased commercial song for Kose Cosmetics' 'Esprique'), and other rare tracks such as unreleased ones and demo recordings. Lots of good pop songs inspired by the 1960s/1970s British pop.
A new wave/techno pop band led by Chuji Akagi (vocals, guitar), Films's only official album. Released when Nobuo Nakahara (bass. He joined Portable Rock and Yapoos) and Takumi Iwasaki (synths, keyboards) were the members. Futuristic techno pop like Buggles, featuring Akagi's catchy pop songs and Kanji Honma's elaborate programmings of Roland MC-8. Includes the 1st single "TV Phone Age". All the songs written, composed and arranged by Chuji Akagi. The lyrics are mainly Japanese and partly English. The 2009 reissue CD (digitally-remastered by Akagi) includes 4 bonus tracks (2nd single "Girl" and 3 live recordings).
|(Various Artists)/Techno Kayo: Toshiba EMI edition/Digita Love (1980-1986)|
Features Fever/"Digita Love", Paul Hardcastle/"19" (the Japanese version featuring Japanese announcer Kango Kobayashi), Ryuichi Sakamoto/"Photo Musik" (the theme for NHK-FM's radio show "Sound Street") and many other rare techno pop songs.
|(Various Artists)/Techno Kayo: Alfa edition/Shinkuu Kiss (1999/1980-1985)|
A compilation (16 tracks, P-VINE) which includes techno pop and new wave tracks released from the Alfa Records in the early 1980s, centering around the works of YMO family. Y.M.O.'s "Kimi Ni Mune Kyun" is a hit song (#2 on the Japanese Oricon). Apogee & Perigee's two tracks (vocals: Jun Togawa), "Getsusekai Ryoko (Trip to the Moon)" and "Shinkuu Kiss (Vacuum Kiss)" from YEN Label's all-star album "Chojiku Korodasutan Ryokoki", are good songs of nostalgic and peaceful techno pop. Danceable "Ma Ticarica" in the breakbeat style is a collaboration between Hajime Tachibara and Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. Ex-Plastics vocalist Toshio Nakanishi's new wave band, Melon's single "P.J." is a commercial song for Shiseido's brand "Parky Jean". Snakeman Show's "Sakisaka to Momonai no Gokigen Ikaga 1, 2, 3 (Sakisaka and Momonai's What Cheer 1, 2, 3)" is a pioneering track of Japanese rap, composed and arranged by Haruomi Hosono. "Boshi Jusei (Mother-Child Fertilization)" is the B-side of Jun Togawa's single of the two covers of Halmens (A-side is "Radar Man"). Jim O'Rourke contributed liner notes to this album.
|(Various Artists)/Techno Kayo: Polydor edition/Heartbreak Taiyozoku (1978-1989)|
Features Starbow/"Heartbreak Taiyozoku", Kiyoshiro Imawano+Ryuichi Sakamoto/"I.Ke.Na.I. Rouge Magic", Virgin VS/"Hoshizora Cycling" (the ending theme for the TV anime "Urusei Yatsura") and many other rare techno pop songs.
|(Various Artists)/Techno Kayo: Teichiku edition/Lovely Singin' Circuit (1982-1987)|
Features Shi-Shonen/"Kiss Kiss Kiss", James Brown & F.O.E.(Friends of Earth)/"Sex Machine", Miharu Koshi/"Hashire Usagi (Rabbit, Run)", Kaori Nakahara/"Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru" (image song for the anime movie "Night on the Galactic Railroad"), F.O.E.(Friends of Earth)/"Return of Body Snatchers" (Exterminated mix), Yapoos/"Barbara Sexaroid", Urban Dance/"Ceramic Love", Mikado/"Carnaval" and many other rare techno pop songs.
|Halmens/Halmens no Kindai Taiso (Halmens' Modern Gymnastic Exercises) (1980)|
The new wave band formed by the ex-members of 8 2/1 and Shonen Homeruns. The members are Kenzo Saeki (vocals), Koji Ueno (synths, keyboards) and others. The debut album produced by Keiichi Suzuki (Moonriders).
|Halmens/Halmens no Nijyu-sseiki (Halmens' 20 Century) (1981)|
The second album featuring an excelent song "Oyako-Jusei". Jun Togawa (vocals) and Maki Nomiya (vocals) guest. Produced by Keiichi Suzuki (Moonriders).
|The Stalin/Stalinism (1980-1984)|
The punk band led by the vocalist Michiro Endo. A compilation album that includes the early ten tracks not released in albums: two tracks from the phonosheet "Dendo Kokeshi/Niku (Vibrator/Flesh)" (1980), all the five tracks from the EP "Stalinism" (1981) ("Buta ni Shinju (Pearls Before Swine)", "Saru (Monkey)", "Kolkhoz no Tamanegi-Batake (The Onion Field in Kolkhoz)", "Ryoki Hunter (Bizarre Hunter)" and "Artist"), "Chicken Farm Chicken" from "Welcome to 1984" (omnibus LP released in the US in 1984), and two tracks from the phonosheet "Vacuum/Kaibo-Shitsu (Dissection Room)" (appendix to the 1984 album "Fish Inn").
|The Stalin/Mushi (Worm) (1983)|
The punk band led by the vocalist Michiro Endo. The sound of this album is like hardcore punk, such as Dead Kennedys and Discharge. Includes "Suigin (Quicksilver)", "Azarashi (Seal)" and "Mushi (Worm)".
|The Mods/Fight or Flight (1981)|
The four-piece rock band led by Tatsuya Moriyama (vocals, guitar), from Hakata. The debut album. Melodic and straightforward rock sound influenced by the 1960s British rock and the late 1970s punk such as the Clash. 'Furyo Shonen no Uta/Song for Bad Boys (Song for John Simon Ritchie and Us)', 'Watch Your Step' and 'Kuzureochiru mae ni (Before Tumbling Down)' (first single) are cool songs. 'Two Punks' is a reggae-style tune.
|Akira Terao/Reflections (1981)|
The debut album of Akira Terao, a musician and actor. A successful work of Japanese 'adult contemporary' style rock. All the songs composed by himself. The highlight is the arrangement in the fusion-music style by arranger/keyboardist Akita Inoue. The best-selling album in Japan during the 1980s (sales of 1 million and 646 thousand). Features the hits, "Ruby no Yubiwa (The Ruby Ring)", "Shadow City" and "Sasurai (Wandering)".
|The Beatniks/Exitentialism (1981)|
The unit of Yukihiro Takahashi (YMO) and Keiichi Suzuki (Moonriders). The 1st album released between YMO's 'BGM' and 'Technodelic'. Avant-garde and dark techno-pop sound like YMO at the time, but melodic. The lyrics are English mixed with French phrases. There is also the remix version 'Another High Exit' by Something Wonderful, Aphex Twin, Bill Raswell and others.
|Jagatara/Best of Jagatara (1981-1989)|
An afro funk band which had been active during the 1980s. Formed in 1979 with Akemo Edo (vocals) as the frontman. In the early days, the band was strongly influenced by punk and known for its extreme live performance, but since around 1981, after the gutarist OTO joined, the distinctive rich musicality, based on punk/funk/afro/reggae/folk/rock, had been deepened. A best compilation of 2 CDs that covers their major 15 tracks, including debut single "Last Tango in Juku/Hey Say!" (unincluded in the original albums).
|Ankoku Tairiku Jagatara/Nanban Torai (1981-1982)|
Jagatara's debut album released from an independent label under the name of "Ankoku Tairiku Jagatara" (Dark Continent Jagatara). The album title "Nanban Torai" is a Japanese old phrase that means "imported from southern barbarian ". Funk/afro-oriented sounds with horn section (sax, trombone) and chorus. A masterpiece of Japanese underground acid funk. Features several great tunes such as "Demo, Demo, Demo", "Baby", "Tango" and "Kuninamashe". Also features two bonus tracks from the tape recording for demonstration of those days.
|Inu/Meshi Kuuna! (Don't Eat Rice!) (1981)|
The punk band led by Machizo Machida (vocals) and Masahiro Kitada (guitar and percussion). 'Inu' means 'a dog'. The major-label debut album and the only studio-recording. A good quality rock album featuring Kitada's artful guitar playing in a progressive rock style and Machida's vocal style of garrulous tongue. Machida is also famous as the writer who won the Akutagawa Prize (Japan's literary award).
The new wave band led by Bun Itakura (guitar, songwriting) and Mishio Ogawa (female vocal). The second album produced by Haruomi Hosono (YMO) and assisted by Hideki Matsutake (the sound programmer of YMO in those days). Oriental and experimental sounds involving elements of Japanese folk songs and children's songs, ethnic music, prog rock, contemporary music, ambient music and so on. One of the masterpieces of Japanese new wave/techno of the 1980s. The bonus track 'Ohayo Minasan/Good Morning Everyone' (previously unreleased) is a punk and avant-garde piece.
|Totsuzen Danball/Can I? (1981)|
The rock band led by the Tsutaki Brothers, Eiichi Tsutaki (vocals) and Shunji Tsutaki (guitar). The debut album released on the Pass label of Trio Records (with six bonus tracks added). Unconventional and uncategorizable music based on extemporization. Simple and minimalistic sound in the new wave/post-rock style. The second track is a cover of "The Girl from Ipanema", a bossa nova classic composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. This album was highly valued outside Japan too, and then they collaborated with Fred Frith (ex-Henry Cow guitarist) and saxophonist Lol Coxhill.
A female vocalist (ex-pank band Aunt Sally member), Phew's solo debut album. Released on an independent label Pass Records. A collaboration with the members of Krautrock band Can (Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit), a famous Krautrock producer Conny Plank and Yoshitaka Goto (the Pass Records organizer). Avant-garde electro pop without rock/pop standard forms. The sound is like DAF and Cluster produced by Conny Plank. Recorded at mixed at Conny's Studio and Czukay's Editing Laboratory in Germany. Reissued on CD in 2005 with "Kodomo (Children)" unreleased in the original album and the original mixed versions of "Dream" and "Aqua".
|Snakeman Show/Snakeman Show (1981)|
Snakeman Show, a trio of Moichi Kuwahara (producer), Katsuya Kobayashi (DJ) and Masato Eve (actor), is a radio DJ/comedy skit group who had worked in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. They became known for joining Yellow Magic Orchestra's smash hit album "Xoo Multiplies" (1980). Like "Xoo Multiplies", this first album "Snakeman Show" includes their comedy skits between the musical tracks. "Jiseiki: Hirake Kokoro" is an original tune by Yellow Magic Orchestra. "Lemon Tea" is a famous single song by Sheena & the Rokkets. "All turu the Nite" is a song by New York-based, English rockabilly band the Rockats. "Stop the New Wave" is a collaboration between Masato Eve (vocals) and the Spoil (new wave jazz band led by Tadamasa Yokoyama (alto sax)). Sandii's "Jimmy Mack" is a song included in her album "Eating Pleasure" (1980), and a cover of Martha & the Vandellas' 1967 Motown hit. "Ougon no Crap Heads (Golden Crap Heads)" is a track by Yellow Magic Orchestra and the Plastics members with Katsuya Kobayashi (vocals). "Me Que Me Que" (a cover of a French chanson) is a track by Kazuhiko Kato (vocals) and the Moonriders members. "Cold Song" is a song by Klaus Nomi. "Sakisaka to Momonai no Gokigen Ikaga 1, 2, 3 (Sakisaka and Momonai's What Cheer 1, 2, 3)", is a pioneering track of Japanese rap, featuring Kobayashi (MC) and Eve (MC), composed and arranged by Haruomi Hosono.
|Akina Nakamori/Singles 27: 1982-1991 (1982-1991)|
An idol pop singer who had gained popularity in Japan the 1980s, along with Seiko Matsuda. A best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that covers all her A-side singles released on Warner Japan during the 9 years. The songs in the 'bad-girl' style like Momoe Yamaguchi, orthodox ballads, adult-oriented pop songs and so on. Features "Slow Motion", "Shojo A (Girl A)", "Ni-bun-no-ichi no Shinwa (The Myth of 1/2)", "Kinku (Forbidden Area)", "Kita Wing (North Wing)", "Jukkai 1984 (The Ten Commandments 1984)", "Kazari janai noyo Namida wa (The tears are not the Ornaments)", "Desire" and "Nanpa-sen (Shipwreck)".
|Kyoko Koizumi/Kyon3: Koizumi the Great 51 (1982-2002)|
An actress who had once been a unique idol pop singer. After the first orthodox idol-pop line and the second "cute and vigorous" line, since the end of the 1980s she had begun her musical activities in earnest with cutting-edge musicians such as Haruo Chikada and Yasuharu Konishi. The best compilation (a set of 3 CDs) that consists of 2 discs which features all her singles released until 1999, and one disc which includes her hidden masterpieces. Features "Watashi no Jyuuroku-sai (16-Year-Old Me)" (debut song. A cover of Madoka Mori's "Nee, Nee, Nee"), "Suteki na Lovely Boy (A Nice Lovely Boy)" (a cover of Hiroko Hayashi), "Makka na Onnanoko (A Crimson Girl)", "Nagisa no Haikara Ningyo (A Smart Mermaid on the Beach)", "Nantettatte Idol (Particularly Idol)", "Kaitou Ruby (Ruby the Thief)" (composed by Eiichi Otaki. The theme song for her movie), "Gakuen Tengoku (School Heaven)" (a cover of Finger5. TV drama's theme) and "Anata ni Aete Yokatta (It was Good to be Able to Meet You)" (composed by Takeshi Kobayashi. TV drama's theme).
|Casiopea/Mint Jams (1982)|
One of the best fusion bands in Japan. Noted for highly skilled technique of performance and pop musicality. The seventh album produced by the studio work on the sound sources of their main pieces of early days, played with new arrangements and recorded live. All compositions and arrangements by Issei Noro (guitar). Incredibly accurate performances, just like a machine. An established masterpiece of Japanese fusion.
A progressive rock band led by Kunio Suma (guitar, vocals), Bikyoran's debut album. Guitar-centered percussive and aggressive sound just like King Crimson in the early 1970s, such as "Larks' Tongues in Aspic". The dark and tension-filled atmosphere is cool. A good Japanese prog-rock album in the King Crimson style.
|Hiroshi Sato/awakening (1982)|
Hiroshi Sato is a singer/songwriter, keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer who had joined Shigeru Suzuki's band Huckleback and Tin Pan Alley in the mid 1970s, and produced lots of music for TV commercials and TV show themes since the 1980s. His fourth solo album. A stylish pop album in the adult-contemporary style, produced by overdubbing his own vocals, guitar, piano, synths, Linn Drum (rhythm machine) and other instruments. The guest musicians are Wendy Matthews (vocals), Tatsuro Yamashita (guitar) and others. The lyrics are English. "From Me to You" is a cover of the Beatles. "Love and Peace" is a cover of Arthur Adams.
|Niagara Triangle (Motoharu Sano/Masamichi Sugi/Eiichi Otaki)/Niagara Triangle Vol.2 (1982)|
A good-quality pop album produced by the composer/singer & songwriter/producer Eiichi Otaki with two young singers & songwriters of those days, Motoharu Sano and Masamichi Sugi. Features melody-oriented works influenced by Phil Spector and the Beatles. The five tracks composed by Otaki are excellent pop songs in the style just like his album "A Long Vacation" (1981), and have a symmetrical relationship to the A-side five tracks of Seiko Matsuda's album 'Kaze Tachinu' (1981), which were composed, arranged and produced by Otaki. Features 'A-Men de Koi wo Shite (Being in Love on the A-Side)' and 'Heart-jikake no Orange (Heartwork Orange)'.
|Hajime Tachibana/H (1982)|
His solo debut album released by 'YEN Label' (preside by Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi) after Plastics disbanded. Avant-garde instrumental pop with bizarre melodies featuring Hajime Tachibana's alto sax. The musicians are: Saeko Suzuki (drums), Robin Tompson (soprano sax, bass clarinet), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums), Haruomi Hosono (bass), Ryuichi Sakamoto (drums, piano) and others. They had also played in Ryuichi Sakamoto's live band "B-2 Units" in those days. The sound is kinda acoustic-oriented (Ryuichi Sakamoto played drums). 'H (Theme from Clubfoot)' is a cover of Club Foot Orchestra. Produced byYukihiro Takahashi.
|Masami Tsuchiya/Rice Music (1982)|
Ex-member of the Japanese new wave pop band Ippo-Do (vocals and guitar). 1st solo album. Percussive techno sound by using samplers. Steve Jansen (drums), Mick Karn (bass), Bill Nelson (guitar), Ryuichi Sakamoto joined. The lyrics are mainly English. Recommended to fans of Japan, the UK synth-pop band.
|Guernica/Kaizo eno Yakudou (Throbbing to the Alteration) (1982)|
The trio of Koji Ueno (music composition and synths), Jun Togawa (vocals), an actress, and Keiichi Ota (lyric writing and art), an illustrator. Techno/new wave sounds influenced by pre World War II modernism, avant-garde arts like futurism, contemporary music of the 20th century, and Japanese pre-war popular songs. The 1st album produced by Haruomi Hosono of YMO.
|Guernica/Shinseiki eno Unga (Canal to the New Century) (1988)|
The 2nd album released when they reformed the band. The performance by big orchestra is cool.
|Koichi Makigami/Minzoku no Saiten (Festival of Nations) (1982)|
A musician and voice performer who is also the leader of Hikashu, a band (formed in 1978) known for their non-category music including the elements of new wave, techno pop and free improvisation, Koichi Makigami's first solo album. Mainly consists of covers of old popular songs and Japanese songs for children with Hikashu's band performance and new wave style arrangement. Unique song selecion and Koichi Makigami's dramatic vocals with vibrato are impressive. "Mori no Kobito (Dwarfs in the Wood)" (1947) and "Akai Kutsu (Red Shoes)" (1922) are Japanese songs for children. "Kokkyo no Machi (Border Town)" ia Taro Shoji's hit song (1934). "San Francisco no Chinatown (Chinatown in San Francisco)" is Hamako Watanabe's hit song (1950). "Alternative Sun" is a self cover of the song from Hikashu's album "Natsu (Summer)". "Watashi no Aozora (My Blue Heaven)", sung by Masamichi Mitama (the old name of Freeman Mita, the guitarist of Hikashu), is a cover of the American popular song (published in 1927) with Japanese lyrics. "Iyomante no Yoru (Iomante Night)" is Hisao Ito's exotic pop song (1949) on an Ainu ceremony. "O Vreneli", a duet with Jun Togawa from Guernica, is a cover of the swiss folk song "O Meiteli, liebs Meiteli" with Japanese lyrics. "Mavo no Uta (Song of Mavo)" is a restoration of a strange song sung by the members of "Mavo", a Japanese avant-garde (dadaist/constructivist) art group (1923-1925) formed by Tomoyoshi Murayama and others. "Fumetsu no Style (Eternal Style)" is an original song for this album.
|Melon/Do You Like Japan? (1982)|
The new wave band formed by Toshio Nakanishi (vocals, guitar) and Chika Sato (vocals) after Plastics disbanded. The debut album. The sound is like Plastics in the last days and Talking Heads. The lyrics are English. The guest musicians are Masami Tsuchiya (guitar, technical direction) from Ippu-Do, Yukihiro Takahashi (drums) and Haruomi Hosono (bass) from YMO, Percy Jones (fretless bass), Bernie Worrell (keyboards) from Funkadelic/Parliament and others. Produced by Toshio Nakanishi and Moichi Kuwahara (from Snakeman Show). Includes 'Honey Dew'. A danceable pop tune 'I Will Call You (& Other Famous Last Words)' is cool.
|Miki Hirayama/Onigashima (Island of Ogres) (1982)|
A pop singer who had became popular in the 1970s with her distinctive husky voice and hit songs composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi, Miki Hirayama's 1982 album. Known as a unique new wave Kayo album produced by Haruo Chikada, and all the tracks composed and performed by Vibra-Tones (Chikada's rock band). Funky and ethnic new wave including irregular rhythms, African beat, the elements of techno pop, reggae, dub and folk music. All the tracks written by Haruo Chikada, composed by Haruo Chikada, Yutaka Fukuoka and Yosuke Okada, and arranged by Haruo Kubota.
|Anzen Chitai/Complete Best (1982-1993)|
A five-piece vocal rock/pop band led by Koji Tamaki (vocals). After working as the backing band for singer/songwriter Yosui Inoue, they debuted in 1982, and broke through as a pop star with the hit song "Wine Red no Kokoro (Wine-Red Heart)" (the commercial song for Suntory's wine) in 1983. They have played many urbanized, adult-oriented love songs. A set of 2 CDs (30 tracks in total) that features all the original sources of their hit single tracks released since 1982 until 1993: "Wine Red no Kokoro", "Koi no Yokan (Premonition of Love)", "Netsushisen (Hot Stares)", "Kanashimi ni Sayonara (Goodbye to Sadness)", "Aoi Hitomi no Ellis (Ellis with Blue Eyes)", "Natsu no Owari no Harmony (Harmony of the End of Summer)" (a collaboration with Yosui Inoue), "Friend", "Sukisa (Love You)" (the opening theme song of the TV anime 'Maison Ikkoku'), "I Love You kara Hajimeyou (Let's Start from I Love You)", "Hohoemi ni Kanpai (A Toast to Smile)", "Itsumo Kimi no Soba ni (Always around You)", and "Ano Koro e (To Those Days)".
|Takako Okamura/Do My Best (1982-2002)|
A female singer/songwriter born in Aichi Prefecture in 1962, Takako Okamura's digital-remastered best compilation album (2 CDs, 29 tracks). Selected and directed by herself. She debuted in 1982 as the pop/folk duo "Aming" with Haruko Kato, and their debut single "Matsuwa (I'll be Waiting)" became a million seller (#1 on the Japanese charts). After her solo debut in 1985, she became popular especially among young women, with her clear voice, simle and catchy melodies, and lyrics describing women's feelings, and called "a guru of female office workers" in the early 1990s. Includes her masterpieces, such as her solo debut single "Kaze wa Umi kara (Wind from the Sea)", "Pierrot", "Yume wo Akiramenaide (Don't Give Up on Your Dream)" (a longtime seller which became a standard supporting number), "Niji wo Oikakete (Chasing Rainbows)", "Good-Day -Omoide ni Kawarunaraba- (Good-Day -If It will Change a Memory-)" (#9), "Mistral -Kisetsu-fuu- (Mistral -Monsoon-)" (#12), "Forever Romance" (#13), and others. However, the 1988 hit "Believe" is not included. Also features two songs released under the name of Aming, "Matsuwa" and "Kohaku-iro no Omoide (Amber Memories)" (#9), and a new song "Appare na Aozora (A Laudable Blue Sky)" featuring Haruko Kato on chorus. All the songs written and composed by Takako Okamura, except "Haguresouna Tenshi (An Angel Likely to Get Separated)" composed by Takao Kisugi.
|Hijokaidan/Zouroku no Kibyo (Zouroku's Strange Disease) (1982)|
Hijokaidan is a noise band led by Jojo Hiroshige (guitar, vocals) and formed in Kyoto in 1979. A pioneering group of Japanese noise music, along with Merzbow (Masami Akita). The word "Hijokaidan" literally means "Emergency Staircase". This first album was originally released as LP on independent label Unbalance Records (Osaka) in 1982. The first CD released in 1990 on Jojo Hiroshige's Alchemy Records (Osaka). Remastered CD had released since 1999. A compilation of live tracks in 1980-1981. The first track is the sound of vomiting, and others are noise music in loud psych rock and free improvisation style, including feedback noise guitar, electronic sounds, saxophone like free jazz, and scream. One of long-selling masterpieces of Japanese indie music. The cover illustration of Hideshi Hino's horror manga "Zouroku no Kibyo" is used as the album cover. The Recommended to those who like loud psych rock, free improvisation, industrial music such as Throbbing Gristle, and noise rock such as Sonic Youth.
|Yutaka Ozaki/Seventeen's Map (1983)|
Singer & songwriter, Yutaka Ozaki's debut album released when he was in high school. Melodic and driving sounds influenced by Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and Japanese singer & songwriter Shogo Hamada. The lyrics on frustrations and oppressive feelings during adolescence. After releasing this album, he gained the overwhelming support of the teenagers and became a charismatic artist. Includes three single tracks: "The Night", "Seventeen's Map", "Can't Sing Even the Beginning", and two ballad songs: "I Love You", "Oh My Little Girl" and others.
|Salon Music/My Girl Friday (1983)|
The duo of Zin Yoshida (vocals, keyboards and guitar) and Hitomi Takenaka (vocals and keyboards). The debut album. Pop and acoustic-oriented sounds with programmed rhythms, like the Vaselines. The lyrics are English. Features their debut single "Hunting on Paris" (released in the UK in 1981), "Muscle Daughter", "Wrapped up in Duet" (the album version of the track used as the image song for Honda's CR-X) and "Spending Silent Night" (used for Honda's Ballad CR-X).
|Mari Iijima/Rosé (1983)|
After joining the TV anime series "Super Dimensional Fortress Macross" as the voice actress for the heroine singer Lynn Minmay, she debuted as a singer songwriter with this debut album, when she was a student at the piano course of the Kunitachi College of Music. The sound is like Akiko Yano, but more girlish and dreamful. Produced and arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
|EP-4/Lingua Franca-1 (1983)|
A funk band formed with Kaoru Sato (voice) in Kyoto in 1980, EP-4's one and only full-length album. Underground electro funk with heavy beat and processed voice by using effectors. Recommended to those who like the Pop Group, A Certain Ratio and trip hop.
An all-girl-quartet new wave band led by Sachiho Kojima (bass) and Sayoko Takahashi (vocals), Zelda's second album. A classic of the 1980s Japanese new wave. Produced by Ryomei Shirai from Moonriders. "Are You Lucky?" is a coproduction (songwriting) with Keiichi Suzuki from Moonriders.
|Zelda/Sorairo Boshi no Hi (The Day of Sky-blue Hat) (1985)|
An all-girl-quartet new wave band led by Sachiho Kojima (bass) and Sayoko Takahashi (vocals). This 3rd album is pretty good. Acoustic-oriented sounds. Ideality and literary taste like drama club of high school. Produced by Ryomei Shirai of Moonriders.
|Keiichi Ohta/Ohta Keiichi no Jingaidaimakyo (1983)|
An illustrator and lyricist who had participated in the music unit "Guernica" as a lyricist and art director, Keiichi Ohta's only solo album. Released on YEN Label (Alfa Records). The title means "Keiichi Ohta Presents Untouched Terrifying Places". A concept album that consists of 15 songs, inspired by Mushitaro Oguri's novel "Jingai Makyo" series (1939-1941). The planning and production by Keiichi Ohta. The music direction by Koji Ueno (Guernica). All the lyrics written by Keiichi Ohta. All the songs composed and arranged by Koji Ueno. Featuring Koichi Makigami (Hikashu), Haruomi Hosono (YMO), Keiichi Suzuki (Moonriders), Tamao Koike (a singer and actress), Hibari Children Chorus and others as guest vocalists. The lyrics are themed on the story of Sargasso Sea as a sea of mystery, the deep jungle, cavern and the world under the ground, man-eating ants Marabunta, curse of the pharaohs, far north regions, aquatic human, deep sea, submarine volcano and so on. Just like Guernica's debut album, this album has lots of good songs influenced by prewar avant-garde music and popular music, and performed by symphonic synthesizers and acoustic piano. The exective producers are two YMO members, Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi. Released on CD in 1990. Recommended to those who like Guernica's debut album.
Earthshaker is one of the Japanese major hard rock/heavy metal bands in the 1980s, along with Loudness and 44 Magnum. A four-piece band led by the vocalist Masafumi "Marcy" Nishida and guitarist Shinichiro "Shara" Ishihara. Their music has a melodic and song-oriented style. The second album featuring a hit song "More". The lyrics are Japanese. Produced by Masa Itoh (a music critic).
|Rebecca/The Best of Dreams (1984-1989)|
One of the central bands in the band-boom of the late 1980s in Japan, along with BOØWY. Featuring female vocalist Nokko's powerful, emotional vocals and catchy pop songs written by keyboardist Akio Dobashi, influenced by US/UK mainstream pop music. A best compilation album that covers main songs in the early days, mainly singles, such as 'Virginity', 'Friends', 'Raspberry Dream' and 'Moon'. 'Love is Cash' is just like Madonna's 'Material Girl'.
|Barbee Boys/Barbee Boys (1984-1990)|
One of the bands that became part of band-boom of the late 1980s in Japan. Featuring male and female husky-voiced vocalists, Atsushi Kondo (vocals, sax) and Kyoko (vocals). Tomotaka Imamichi (guitar, songwriting)'s cutting-guitar is sharp and cool. Catchy melodies. Their early 2 tracks had been used in the movie 'Typhoon Club' (directed by Shinji Somai). 2 discs that cover their main tracks.
|Jun Togawa/Tamahime-Sama (Princess Tamahime) (1984)|
A female vocalist and actress, Jun Togawa's solo debut album released when she became a cult heroine with her unique personality and skill as a singer, after she joined Guernica. Acoustic-oriented new-wave sound. 'Teinen Pushiganga' is a cover of Andean folk song. 'Tamahime-Sama' is composed by ex-YMO Haruomi Hosono. 'Konchu-Gun' is a cover of the new wave band Halmens. The original of 'Mushi no Onna' is Pachelbel's 'Canon'.
|After Dinner/Glass Tube (1984)|
A group led by Haco (vocals, words and music) and formed in Kobe in 1981, After Dinner's debut album. Released on the independent label Kang-Gung Records. Avant-garde pop mixing the elements of new wave, electronic music, and folk music (including Japanese traditional music). Elaborate sound processing using tape manipulation. Engineered by Yasushi Utsunomiya. The original domestic edition includes eight tracks. The LP "After Dinner" (Recommended Records, UK, 1984) includes seven tracks from "Glass Tube" and two tracks from the single "After Dinner/Cymbals at Dawn" (1982. The German national radio placed this single on their permanent playlist). The CD "After Dinner / Live Editions" (ReR Megacorp, UK, 1991) includes all the tracks of the LP "After Dinner", five tracks from "Souvenir Cassette" (tape edition of live recordings, 1988), and four additional live tracks (1986-1990). The CD + mini CD set "Glass Tube + Single" (Arcàngelo (Disk Union), Japan, 2005) is a digitally-remastered edition which includes all the tracks of "Glass Tube", two tracks from the single "After Dinner/Cymbals at Dawn", and a bonus track "The Room of Hair-mobile" (originally released in 1985 on the US compilation LP "Welcome to Dreamland" produced by Fred Frith).
|(Various Artists)/Selections from Excommunicated Monument (1984)|
A compilation album that includes 8 pieces of music performed by 4 Japanese bands influenced by the UK post-punk/goth rock (called "positive punk" by NME), Auto-Mod, G-schmitt, Madame Edwarda and Sadie Sads. They had appeared in a series of live performances (in 1983-1984) organized by Genet, the vocalist of Auto-Mod. Auto-Mod is a theatrical group led by vocalist Genet, and the two members of BOØWY, Tomoyasu Hotei (guitar) and Makoto Takahashi (drums) had played in the band. G-schmitt is an aesthetic and literary band featuring the female vocalist Syoko. Madame Edwarda is sort of like the original of Japanese 'Visual-kei' bands (boy's bands wearing heavy make-up), and they have played catchy music like dark psychedelia. Sadie Sads has hard and rhythm-oriented sound with metal percussion, like Einstürzende Neubauten.
|The Genbaku Onanies/Essential (1984-1987)|
A compilation album that includes the early songs (released on the independent label Alchemy Records) by the Genbaku Onanies, the punk band formed in Nagoya in 1982. Simple and straightforward sound inspired by the late 1970s original punk, such as the Ramones and the Damned, and hardcore punk. Includes "Hakkyo Mezamashi KuruKuru Bakudan (Insanity, Wake-up, KuruKuru Bomb)", "Go Go Kareha-Sakusen (Go Go Defoliating)" and others. 23 tracks in total (5 tracks are previously unreleased). "Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio?" is a cover of the Ramones.
|Gontiti/Gontiti Recommends Gontiti (1985-1999)|
The duo of Gonzalez Mikami (guitar) and Titi Matsumura (guitar). Instrumental sound in the bossa nova/easy-listening style featuring two acoustic guitars. Their music described as 'The Most Comfortable Music on Earth' is world famous and has been released as albums in North America, Germany, Southeast Asia and so on. This is a best compilation album (set of 2 disks), including 43 tracks selected by Gontiti themselves, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the formation. Extra-special resort music with entirely comfortable sounds.
|Kome Kome Club/Kome -Best of Best- (1985-2005)|
A pop group featuring James Onoda (lead vocals), Karlsmokey Ishii (vocals), Joplin Enou (guitar, keyboards) and Bon (bass). An entertainment/live-oriented big band with the horn section and dance team. Pop-oriented music based on funk. A best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that includes 25 major songs requested by fans and 5 rare tracks (30 tracks in total). Features "Kome Kome War", "Funk Fujiyama", "Roman Hikou (Romance Flight)" (the commercial song for JAL) and "Kimi ga Iru dakede (Just with You)" (the theme song for TV drama "Sugao no Mama de").
|Misato Watanabe/Eyes (1985)|
A female rock singer who became the craze by the single hit 'My Revolution' in 1986. The debut album. Positive and powerful sound with catchy songs composed by famous song writers.
|Loudness/Thunder in the East (1985)|
The hard rock/heavy metal band featuring the guitarist Akira Takasaki. This fifth album was released by Atlantic Records in the US and got #74 on the US album charts. The lyrics are English. Produced by Max Norman (Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne, etc).
|Aburadako/Aburadako (1st) (1985)|
The punk band led by Hirotomo Hasegawa (vocals). The major-label debut album released from Tokuma Japan when the virtuoso drummer Tatsuya Yoshida was a member. Complex tune composition with lots of odd time signatures and rhythm changes. Esoteric lyrics by full use of literary vocabulary. Characteristic music out of the 'hard-core punk' context.
|Gastunk/Dead Song (1985)|
The four-piece rock band. The members are Baby (bass), Baki (vocals), Matsumura (drums) and Tatsu (guitar). Their debut album released on the independent label Dogma. Thrash/speed metal-oriented hardcore punk. The last track "Dead Song" is a good melodic song.
|The Willard/Good Evening Wonderful Fiend (1985)|
A popular band called 'big three of the indies' with Laughin' Nose and Uchoten in the mid 1980s, the Willard's debut album. Released in the independent label Captain Records. Pop-oriented punk influenced by the Damned. A hit album that sold over ten thousand copies.
|Ill Bone/Shisha (Dead) (1985)|
A new wave band led by the vocalist Nakada Jun. Formed under the name of 'Zouhan-Igaku (Rebellion-Medicine)' in 1979. The band changed the name to 'Ill Bone' (double meaning of 'Ilbon', the word which means 'Japan' or 'Japanese' in Korean, and 'Ill Bone' in English) in 1983. A 4-track EP released on the independent label Trans Records in 1985. Gloomy dark psychedelia, like the 1980s British new wave bands and the Japanese rock band Jacks. Political lyrics filled with lyricism. Produced by Masashi Kitamura (YBO2). Reissued on CD with a bonus track 'Numberless Land' in 1992. Nakada Jun has turned into a sports/non-fiction writer.
|Sekiri/Sekiri Shoki Ongenshu+2 (Sekiri Early Recordings+2) (2015/1985-1989)|
A compilation (25 tracks) which includes the early recordings in the late 1980s by the rock band Sekiri (means "dysentery" in Japanese), the pioneer of the Japanese all-female punk bands, led by Miyu (vocals) and formed in Kyoto in 1983, who had an influence on following bands such as Lolita No.18. Released by Alchemy Records in 2015 as a reissue of the remastered "Sekiri Shoki Ongenshu" (released by Youth Inc. in 2013), adding two tracks from a cassette source. The music is based on dark and aggressive hardcore punk, but it also features pop songs with languorous feeling. "Ring-Ring" is a nihilistic hardcore punk tune covering Finger5's idol pop "Koi no Dial 6700 (Love's Dial 6700)".
|Onyanko Club/Onyanko Club Best (1985-1987)|
An idol group of amateur high-school girls, which was derived from Fuji-TV's variety show 'Yuyake Nyan Nyan', against the backdrop of the Japanese economic boom (called 'bubble economy') of the 1980s and the trends of amateurism and sex liberation. The producer was Yasushi Akimoto, the broadcasting writer and lyricist. The girls enrolled in the group were over 50 in sum total. Supported by high school and junior high boys of those days with the feeling like talent show in school festival of club activities after school. Some members had acted as solo singers or subunits, and some talents such as Shizuka Kudo, Minayo Watanabe and Marina Watanabe were derived from the group. A best compilation (16 tracks in total) that covers all the singles and other main songs, such as 'Sailor-Fuku wo Nugasanaide (Don't Take Off My Sailor Suit)', 'Oyoshininattene Teacher (Don't Do It Teacher)' and 'Otto Chikan! (Oops Molester!)'.
|Laughin' Nose/Laughin' Complete VAP Tracks (1985-1986/2005)|
A punk band formed with the frontman Charmy (vocals) in Osaka in 1981. A compilation album (2 CDs) which covers all the recordings on the major label VAP, including all the tracks of two original albums, "Laughin' Nose" (1985) and "Laughin' Roll" (1986). They had been a hardcore punk band in the early 1980s when they called 'big three of the indies' with The Willard and Uchoten, but they played simple rock 'n' roll with pop and catchy melodies in those days. The lyrics are mainly Japanese and partly English. "Fallin' Fallin' into Your Heart" with English lyrics is a good pop song.
|The Blue Hearts/Super Best (1985-1989)|
A quartet band led by Hiroto Koumoto (vocals) and Masatoshi Mashima (guitar and vocals). simple, straight and song/melody-oriented sound with speedy punk beat. A best compilation album that covers main tunes on indie label and Meldac (Crown Records). 17 tracks in all (7 tracks are not included in the original albums). 'Linda Linda', 'Hammer', 'Chain Gang', 'Train Train' and others.
|BOØWY/Just A Hero (1986)|
A beat-rock band that had huge influence on the band-boom of the late 1980s in Japan. Featuring Kyosuke Himuro (vocals) and Tomoyasu Hotei (guitar). Eight-beat rhythm and melodic tunes. The 4th album.
|Miki Imai/Imai, Miki from 1986 (1986-1997)|
A best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) of Miki Imai, the actress and singer. The refreshing sound in a relaxed atmosphere featuring her unpretentious and natural vocals. Includes all her singles released since 1986 until 1997, such as 'Kanojyo to Tip on Duo (Tip on Duo with Her)', 'Hitomi ga Hohoemukara (Because the Eyes Smile)', 'Piece of My Wish', 'Miss You' and 'Pride', and several excellent songs not included in the self-chosen best compilation albums 'Ivory' and 'Ivory II'.
|Rosa Luxemburg/Puri Puri (1986)|
A four-piece rock band featuring the vocalist Takashi Kudomi (nicknamed 'Dont') from Kyoto. Unique musicality with mixing of miscellaneous elements such as new wave, soul, funk, US roots music and Japanese pop songs. The debut album. "Harajuku Everyday -Bluelight Yokohama-" is a good funky tune.
|The Street Sliders/Tenshitachi (Angels) (1986)|
A four-piece rock band, the Street Sliders' 5th album. The members are Harry (vocals, guitar), Ranmaru (guitar), James (bass) and ZuZu (drums). Full-fledged rock 'n' roll strongly influenced by the Rolling Stones, but this album produced by Masahide Sakuma and the single "Boys Jump the Midnight" became major hits. Recommended to those who like the Stones and Murahachibu.
A new wave band that lead the indies band boom in Japan in the early 1980s with other bands such as Laughin' Nose and The Willard. Formed with the leader Kera (vocals) in 1982. The major-label debut album. Pop-oriented sounds influenced by techno pop with cynical and nonsense lyrics. Features the major-debut single 'Bye-Bye' (the album version). In the 1980s, Kera had released the works of the indies band such as Bachikaburi (featuring Tomorowo Taguchi), Kinniku Shojotai, Zin-Säy! (later Denki Groove) and Tama, as the president/producer of his indies label 'Nagomu Records'. Kera is also famous as a playwright/theater director.
|Zin-Säy!/Nagomu Collection (2006/1986-1989)|
Zin-Säy! is a new wave band formed in Shizuoka in 1985, and led by Takkyu Ishino (vocals, programming, keyboards) until before he formed the techno group Denki Groove in 1989. Pierre Taki was also a member of the band. A compilation of the band's sound sources from flexi discs and records released from the independent label Nagomu Records and others (cassettes and lives) (27 tracks). Zin-Säy! was started as Ishino's home recording, but they had a band form with guitar, bass and drums in the latter period. Comical and perverted new wave/electro pop influenced by synth pop such as Depeche Mode, Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) such as Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Liaisons Dangereuses and Der Plan, The Residents, and Japanese indie rock band Hovlakin. Features cheap synths, bawdy lyrics with lots of blue jokes, and quirky performances by members in white makeup or cosplay. "Karan-Koron no Uta (A Song of Karan-Koron)" is a cover of TV anime "GeGeGe no Kitaro" ending theme. "Ai wo Komete Motto Motto (More and Yet More with Love)" is a cover of the song by Go-Bang's.
|Dead End/Dead Line (1986)|
Dead End was a charismatic rock band in the 1980s Japanese heavy metal scene, and they later had a great influence on Japanese visual-kei rock bands too, such as Luna Sea, Kuroyume and L'Arc-en-Ciel. The debut album "Dead Line" was released on the independent label Night Gallery, and racked up exceptional sales of over ten thousand copies in that time. The sound is based on beauty of hard rock form, but also features hardcore-punkish speed, melodic elements and dark atmosphere. The remastered CD with two bonus tracks (from phonosheet/EP) was released in 2009, and the first limited edition features a DVD (live at Osaka Mainichi Hall on January 11, 1987).
|Vow Wow/III (1986)|
A five-piece hard rock band formed in 1984 by the three members of the predecessor band Bow Wow with Genki Hitomi (vocals) and Rei Atsumi (keyboards), Vow Wow's third album. Pop-oriented heavy metal featuring keyboards (synths), influenced by British hard rock, such as Deep Purple and Rainbow. Lyrical sound featuring with Kyoji Yamamoto's shredding guitar and Genki Hitomi's emotional shouting vocals. The lyrics are English. Regarded as one of the Japanese hard rock/heavy metal classic in Japan. Produced by Tony Platt (known for his work with AC/DC and Cheap Trick) and Vow Wow. The digital remastered CD was released in 2006.
|Gauze/Equalizing Distort (1986)|
The hardcore punk band formed in 1981, Gauze's second album. Released in the independent label Selfish. The sound is like Discharge and Chaos UK. The 1980s Japanese hardcore punk classic. This album has 10 tracks and only 17 minutes and 48 seconds in total because the tracks are very short.
The debut album released from Trans Records, a Japanese independent label. By the trio of Masashi Kitamura (bass and vocals), Tatsuya Yoshida (drums) and K.K.Null (Guitar). A mixture of noise, industrial, psych, goth, hardcore punk and Japanese-style melodies. Ultra-noisy, dark and ferocious sounds by using mellotron and metal percussion. A monument of Japanese underground rock.
|High Rise/High Rise II (1986/1993)|
A rock band led by Asahito Nanjo (vocals, bass guitar) and Munehiro Narita (guitar) and formed in 1982 as "Psychedelic Speed Freaks". They released their first album in 1984 and changed the band name to "High Rise" after J. G. Ballard's novel at the same time. "II" is the first album released in 1986 under the name of "High Rise". A masterpiece of Japanese psychedelic heavy rock/noise rock, includeing the noisy distorted guitar of psychedelic garage rock, speedy feeling of punk, heaviness of hard rock/heavy metal, and guitar improvisation like blues rock. The lyrics are English and Japanese (but the vocals are buried in its noisy sounds and are hard to hear). The digitally remastered and remixed CD was released in 1993 with two previously unreleased bonus tracks. Recommended to those who like Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Hawkwind, Sonic Youth and Grunge bands.
|Cockc'Nell/Boys Tree (1986)|
The new wave band formed with ex-Mentanpin member Yoichiro Ikeda (guitar) and female vocalist Setsu Nogata in Tokyo in 1980. The only studio-recorded album released on the independent label Balcony Records. Acoustic-oriented sound in the folk/jazz style featuring Tori Kudo on piano. Reissued on CD in 2002. Digitally-remastered by Yoichiro Ikeda. Includes the original six tracks (the order of the tracks is different from the priginal LP) and a bomus track 'Kono Hikari no Naka (In this Light)', which is the remix version of 'High on Life'.
|Toshinobu Kubota (Toshi Kubota)/The Baddest (1986-1989)|
Toshinobu Kubota (he calls himself 'Toshi Kubota' in the US) is a singer/songwriter who introduced American contemporary soul and R&B into Japanese mainstream music scene, and popularized them with his mild, sophisticated style and Stevie Wonder-like vocals. The first of his best compilation 'The Baddest' series. Includes his early popular songs (in the late 1980s) such as 'Time Shower ni Utarete (Shot with Time Shower)', 'Ryuusei no Saddle (Saddle of the Shooting Star)', 'Missing', 'You were Mine' (theme song for TV drama) and 'Cry on Your Smile'. All the 12 tracks are remixed at Paisley Park Studio in Minneapolis with engineer Susan Rogers.
|Hideaki Tokunaga/Single Collection (1986-1991) (1986-1991)|
A male singer/songwriter who had created lots of hits with his husky, clear and high voice in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Well-known for his ballads with catchy melodies. A compilation album which includes all the 13 single tracks released until 1991. "Kagayakinagara... (Shining...)" (#4 on the Japanese pop charts), "Yume wo Shinjite (Believe in Dreams)" (#3. The ending theme for the TV anime "Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior"), "Kowarekake no Radio (A Dilapidated Radio)" (#5), "Wednesday Moon" (#1) and others.
A compilation that includes all the tracks from the first and second mini albums, "Zabadak-I" (5 tracks, 1986) and "Gin no Sankaku/Crescent Moon" (6 tracks, 1987), by Zabadak, a musical group led by Tomohiko Kira (vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards) and formed in 1985. The 1987 album "Water Garden" also includes all the tracks of these two mini albums, but its track order is different from the originals. Lyrical and melodic music influenced by Kate Bush and Celtic music, featuring Yoko Ueno's transparent voice, Tomohiko Kira's acoustic guitar, and programmed sound inspired by Kate Bush's album "The Dreaming" (1982) with full use of Fairlight CMI and Synclavier. The instrumental piece in the folk music style "Poland" is used as the commercial song for Saison Card. "Shouldn't Have To Be Like That" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of Fra Lippo Lippi's song.
|(Various Artists)/Tetsuya Komuro The Greatest Hits: S (2006/1986-1999)|
A musician, composer and music producer who had produced lots of dance-oriented J-pop hits for his own groups, such as TM Network and globe, and other artists in techno/eurodance/house/jungle/hip hop/R&B styles from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, Tetsuya Komuro' composition works (Sony Music Direct). A set of 2 CDs (26 tracks). Released simultaneously with "The Greatest Hits: A" (Avex Trax). Includes Misato Watanabe/"My Revolution" (#1 on Japanese Oricon Weekly), Miho Nakayama/"50/50" (#2), Tetsuya Komuro/"Running To Horizon" (#1. Komuro's Solo debut song. The opening theme of TV anime "City Hunter 3"), TMN/"Love Train" (#1), "Nights of the Knife" (#1), Denki Groove/"Rhythm Red Beat Black (Version 300000000000)" (a rap cover of TMN/"Rhythm Red Beat Black". The major-label debut of Denki Groove), Arisa Mizuki/"Too Shy Shy Boy!" (#4), Namie Amuro/"Body Feels Exit" (#3), "Sweet 19 Blues" (#1), TRF/"Crazy Gonna Crazy" (#1), H Jungle with t/"Wow Wow Tonight" (#1. A collaboration of Masatoshi Hamada from comedian duo Downtown and Tetsuya Komuro), globe/"Can't Stop Fallin' in Love" (#1), "Face" (#1), Tomomi Kahara/"I'm Proud" (#2), "Love is All Music" (#1) and others.
|T-Square/"Single" Collection (1987-1996)|
A representative fusion/pop instrumental band, which takes rank with Casiopea. Formed with the central figure Masahiro Ando (guitar) in 1976. The band started with the name 'The Square', but changed it to 'T-Square' in 1989. They have melodic and refreshing sound featuring sax and EWI (Electric Wind Instrument. One of the wind synths). The compilation album that includes all the single tracks released since 1987 until 1996, when Masato Honda (sax, EWI) was a member. Features 'Truth' (a smash hit. The theme for the live TV broadcast 'F1 Grand Prix'), 'Chaser' (the theme for the live TV broadcast '1992 Tour de France'), 'Faces', 'Asu e no Tobira (The Door into Tomorrow)', 'Twilight in Upper West' (the theme for the TV drama 'Bakumatsu Kokosei'. A collaboration with Munich Symphony Orchestra) and 'Victory' (the theme for the TV show 'Wide! Scramble').
A technical new-wave band formed by Yutaka Fukuoka (vocals), Atsunobu Yakabe (drums) and Hoppy Kamiyama (keyboards), after the activities of Haruo Chikada's funk band Vibra-tones and session band O-Pink Kyodai. Hybrid music based on prog-rock and funk, with the elements of ethnic music and Japanese popular songs. Haruo Kubota (guitar), Minako Yoshida (voices) and Bun Itakura (guitar) guest. The third album that includes the single "Keep Your View" (the commercial song for Maxell cassette tape).
|TM Network/Humansystem (1987)|
The fifth album by the trio of Tetsuya Komuro (keyboards), Takashi Utsunomiya (vocals) and Naoto Kine (guitar). Recorded in Los Angeles. Catchy synth-pop with dance beats, introducing the elements of hard rock, prog-rock and Eurodance. Warren Cuccurullo (ex-the Missing Persons) on guitar, and Steve Ferrone (ex-the Average White Band) on drums. Features "Resistance", and "Human System" with the quotation of Mozart's "Turkish March".
|Princess Princess/Singles 1987-1992 (1987-1992)|
The girl's rock/pop band that had enormous popularity in Japan in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. A quintet led by Kaori Okui (vocals). Catchy tunes and the band sound like power pop. The single-compilation album that includes the nationally-popular hit 'Diamonds' and other smash hits. Also Includes the great ballad 'M'.
|Unicorn/The Very Best of Unicorn (1987-1993)|
The rock band formed in 1986 with the leader Koichi Nishikawa (a.k.a. Kawanishi) (drums). The band had been just a punky rock band (called "Beat Rock" in Japan) in the early days, but they developed their distinctive, pop-oriented musicality since around 1989, after Yoshiharu Abe (keyboards) joined the band officially and they released the album 'Hattori'. Includes remarkable pop tunes written and composed by Tamio Okuda (vocals), such as 'Hattori', 'Dai-Meiwaku (Undue Inconvenience)' and 'Subarashii Hibi (Wonderful Days)'.
|Pizzicato Five/Couples (1987)|
The pop band led by Yasuharu Konishi (songwriting, arrangement, production, keyboards, vocals and bass), Pizzicato Five's debut album. Featuring the first vocalist, Mamiko Sasaki. The stylish and fashionable sound influenced by A&M's American pop and soft rock, such as Burt Bacharach and Harpers Bizarre.
|Pizzicato Five/Bellissima! (1988)|
The second album featuring Takao Tajima as the vocalist. The sophisticated sound in the soul/jazz style with high musicality.
|Pizzicato Five/This Year's Girl (1991)|
Featuring Maki Nomiya (vocals). The sound is like a sound-collage in a house/club style.
|Yapoos/Yapoos Keikaku (Yapoos Project) (1987)|
See the entries about Jun Togawa and Guernica. Jun Togawa's personal band formed with the backing members for her solo performance in 1987. The debut album featuring 'Barbara Sexaroid'. Theatrical new-wave sound with eroticism and physicality as themes.
|The Collectors/Boku wa Collector (I'm a Collector) (1987)|
A rock band led by Hisashi Kato (vocals, songwriting). Debuted in the 'Neo GS' movement and mod revival in the late 1980s. The major-label debut album. The melodic and pop-oriented sound influenced by the 1960s British rock like the Who and the Kinks.
|The Phantomgift/The World of the Phantomgift (1987)|
One of the leading bands of 'Neo GS' movement in Tokyo in the late 1980s. Their one and only official studio-recorded album. The sound is greatly influenced by the late-1960s rock, such as Japanese GS bands, Jacks and US/UK psych/garage bands. Features the single "OK in Your Heart!". "Jenny", "The Legend of Belladonna" and "Gone My Cinderella" are the re-recorded versions of the songs previously released on indie label. "I'm a Man" is an instrumental cover version of the Spencer Davis Group. "My Love, My Love" is a cover of the Youngers (Japanese GS band). "Shakin' My Soul" is a cover of the Voltage (Japanese GS band). "With Me, In the Morning" is a cover of the Blue Impulse (Japanese GS band). Yasuharu Konishi from Pizzicato Five joined (arrangement).
|Rinken Band/Arigato (Thank You) (1987/1990)|
One of the bands that sparked the Okinawan music boom of the 1990s in Japan, like Nenes. Featuring Rinken Teruya (sanshin=Okinawan strings, cheren=electric sanshin) and Tomoko Uehara (vocals). Good-quality pop music based on Okinawan language and traditional performing arts. The 1st album released on cassette from Okinawa's Maruteru Records in 1987, and released on CD in Japan in 1990.
|Mamiko Takai/Itoguchi (A Clue) (1987)|
The solo debut album of Mamiko Takai, who was a member of Onyanko Club, the idol group of amateur high-school girls in the late 1980s. She debuted as a solo through the activities on the duo 'Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi' with Yukiko Iwai. Unlike the other Onyanko-related songs featuring lowbrow popularity and cuteness, there are lots of melodic and old-fashioned songs in ballad style. Features a good ballad, 'A Message to Cinderellas'.
|Shizuka Kudo/gradation (1987-1988)|
Singer and actress (ex-member of Onyanko Club). A compilation album that includes all the 10 tracks (A/B sides) from her first 5 singles and a christmas song "X'mas ga Ippai (Full of Xmas)". A smash hit album featuring "Kindan no Telepathy (Forbidden Telepathy)" (#1 on Japanese pop charts), "Again" (#3), "Daite kuretara iinoni (I Wish I Got Laid)" (#3), "Fu-Ji-Tsu (Faithless)" (#1) and "Mugon...Iroppoi (Wordless...Sexy)" (#1. A commercial song for Kanebo Cosmetics). All the songs composed and arranged by Tsugutoshi Goto.
|Noriko Sakai/Best Selection (1987-1998)|
Debuted as an idol singer in 1987 with the single "Otokonoko ni Naritai (I Wanna be a Boy)". Nicknamed "Nori-P". Since the 1990s, she has acted both as a singer and an actress in TV dramas, movies and stages. The best compilation album that includes 18 tracks in totall, featuring "Otokonoko ni Naritai", "Yume Bouken (Dream Adventure)" (the theme song for NHK's "Anime Sanjushi" and the march for National Invitational High School Baseball Tournament), "Lover Letter", "Aoi Usagi (Blue Rabbit)" (the theme song for the TV drama "Hoshi no Kinka". A smash hit), "Namida Iro (Tear Color)", and "Yokogao (Side Face)".
|Chisato Moritaka/The Best Selection of First Moritaka 1987-1993 (1987-1993)|
A set of 2 CDs that includes the female idol pop singer, Chisato Moritaka's 20 single tracks in her early days. Almost all the lyrics are written by herself. The songs composed by Hideo Saito and others. Features "The Stress", "Seishun (Youth)", "Fight!!", "Watashi ga Oba-san ni Nattemo (Even If I Become an Old Lady)" (theme song for TV drama), "Watarase-bashi (Watarase Bridge)" and others. A smash hit "Jyuunana-sai (Seventeen Years Old)" is a cover of Saori Minami.
|Mute Beat/Lover's Rock (1988)|
The dub band led by trumpeter Kazufumi Kodama. The second album that established Japanese full-scale dub sound. Reggae beat and Japanese-style melancholy melodies. Instrumental sound by trumpet, trombone, keyboards, bass, drums and percussion. The mixing engineer is Izumi 'Dub Master X' Miyazaki.
A duo of female vocalist Chaka and male musicmaker Masaya Matsuura (keyboards, guitar, music composition and arrangement). Elaborate electro/acoustic sounds by using Fairlight (sampler). Chaka's boyish, non-vibrato singing style. A hit album that includes 'Angel Night' (the opening theme song of the TV anime 'City Hunter 2').
|Go-Bang's/Go-Bang's Best (1988-1991)|
A three-piece girl's band featuring Kaori Moriwaka (vocals). Pop, cute and vigorous sounds. A best compilation album that covers all the hits. 'Boy Hunt' is a cover of Connie Francis' 'Where the Boys Are' (composed by Neil Sedaka).
|Kinniku Shoujo-Tai (King Show)/KinShou no Daisharin (KinShou's Great Wheel) (1988-1992)|
The rock band featuring vocalist Kenji Otsuki. Their music has the concepts like Japanese bizarre literature (Rampo Edogawa) and underground theater. Extremely skillful at playing in the punk/prog/hard rock style. A best compilation album that includes 'Dai-Shaka (The Big Buddha)' (re-recording of 'Shaka'), 'San Francisco', 'Ganso Takagi Buu Densetsu (The Original Buu Takagi Legend)' and 'Odoru Dame-Ningen (Dancing Dead Pigeon)'.
|Tomoyasu Hotei/Guitarhythm (1988)|
The guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei's solo debut album released after his band BOØWY disbanded. Straightforward rock & roll guitar with digital beats programmed. The album concept is something like cyberpunk. 'Materials' had been used as the ending theme in the movie 'Tetsuo II: Body Hammer' (directed by Shinya Tsukamoto).
|Lä-ppisch/Wonder Book (1988)|
Punk beats and ska, funk, reggae... The sound is like early Fishbone. They performed as an opening act for Fishbone's live in Japan (1986). The songs are catchy and good. Their following album 'Karakuri House' (1989) was produced by Todd Rundgren.
|Hiroshi Takano/Aikawarazusa: Best Songs 1988-2004 (1988-2004)|
A musician who was born in 1964, influenced by the Beatles, YMO and Todd Rundgren, and working as a singer-songwriter, guitarist, arranger and producer, Hiroshi Takano's best compilation album. The selection and supervision by himself. Includes lots of good acoustic-oriented pop songs with flowing melodies and elaborate sound productions, such as his debut single "See You Again" (pruduced by Yukihiro Takahashi), "Niji no Miyako e (To the Capital of Rainbow)" (pruduced by Todd Rundgren. #2 on the Japanese pop charts), "Besten Dank" (pruduced by Todd Rundgren. #3), "Yume no Naka de Aeru-deshou (We Will Meet in a Dream)" (pruduced by Ryuichi Sakamoto) and others. Recommended for those who like Todd Rundgren.
|Miho Nakayama/Your Selection 1 (1988-1999)|
Miho Nakayama is a popular actress and singer, who debuted in 1985. Her best compilation album "Your Selection" series include the tracks selected in internet fan balloting. The "1" is a collection of the songs on the A-sides of her singles. She has a distinctive, kinda nasal, sweet voice. Features lots of megahits such as "You're My Only Shinin' Star" (composed by Toshiki Kadomatsu), "Tooi Machi no Dokoka de... (Somewhere in a Distant Town)" (composed by Hideya Nakazaki), "Sekaijuu no Dare yori Kitto (Definitely More than Anyone in the World)" released under the name of "Miho Nakayama & WANDS" (composed by Tetsuro Oda), and "Tada Nakitaku Naruno (I Just Feel Like Crying)" (composed by Masaki Iwamoto). "Mirai e no Present (A Present for the Future)" (composed by Mayo Okamoto) is a song released under the name of "Miho Nakayama with MAYO". A CD-extra disc that includes the live video of "You're My Only Shinin' Star". There are also the "2" (songs selected from the B-sides of her singles), "3" and "4" (songs selected from her albums).
|Fairchild/Fairchild Best (1988-1993)|
The unit formed by Seiji Toda (bass, guitar, keyboards, computer and vox), ex-leader of techno-oriented pop band Shi-Shonen, with female vocalist YOU and Hirokazu Kawaguchi (guitar). YOU's cute and natural vocals and catchy music by Toda are good. Electro/acoustic sounds elaborately crafted. A compilation album including 17 main tunes.
|Wink/Wink Memories 1988-1996 (1988-1996)|
The female idol pop duo of Shoko Aida (vocals) and Sachiko Suzuki (vocals). They had played many covers of Western pop like Eurodance with Japanese lyrics. A best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that covers all their singles such as 'Sugar Baby Love' (a cover of the Rubettes' 1974 #1 hit on the UK charts), 'Ai ga Tomaranai (I Can't Stop My Love)' (a cover of Kylie Minogue's 'Turn It into Love'), and 'Sabishii Nettaigyo (Lonely Tropical Fish)'.
|Minayo Watanabe/The Heart of Love (1989)|
A singer/entertainer who debuted as a memnber of all-girl idol group Onyanko Club, Minayo Watanabe's fifth album. Almost all the songs composed and arranged by Keiichi Suzuki (the central figure of the rock band Moonriders) and Jugo Nagisa (musician/producer). Famous as a remarkable pop album in the old-fashioned style of American pop in the 1950s and 1960s, featuring elaborate sounds with computer programming, acoustic guitar and female chorus. Includes singles, "Daite-ageru (I'll Hold You)" (both 'Remix Love Version' and 'Acoustic Moonriver Version') and "Ii-janai (It's OK)" (Remix Farewell Version).
The unit formed by ex-BOØWY guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei (guitar) and rock singer/actor Koji Kikkawa (vocals). Pop-oriented rock with catchy melodies, featuring Hotei's sharp guitar playing, Kikkawa's vocals with rolled tongue, synths and digital beats programmed. A best compilation album that includes 13 tracks from their 2 albums, "Complex" and "Romantic 1990", and 2 tracks not included in the albums, "Just Another Day" and "Be My Baby (Montserrat Mix)". Includes their debut song "Be My Baby" (No.1 hit on the Japanese pop charts), "Pretty Doll", "Koi wo Tomenaide (Don't Stop My Love)", "1990" (the album version of the No.1 hit on the Japanese pop charts), "Rambling Man" and others.
|Bo Gumbos/Bo & Gumbo (1989)|
The rock band formed by ex-Rosa Luxemburg, Takashi Kudomi/Dont (vocals and guitar). The debut album recorded in New Orleans. The earthy sound based on New Orleans R&B and second-line funk. Bo Diddley, Cyril Neville from the Neville Brothers and Alfred "Uganda" Roberts guested.
|Seiko Ito/Mess/Age (1989)|
A maspterpiece in the earliest days of Japanese hip hop, by Seiko Ito (rap, vocals), a creator (actor/editor/novelist/rapper/TV personality) born in Tokyo in 1961. Musical arrangement and mix by Yann Tomita. Trackmaking by Yann Tomita (computer programming, tape, radio, turntable and instruments) and Izumi "Dub Master X" Miyazaki (vinyl beat of two turntables and vocals). Unique sound featuring Ito's Japanese rap with lots of rhymes, and Tomita's backtracks samping jazz and calypso. The sumpling sources are: Sun Ra, Donald Byrd, Armando Trovajoli, Pharoah Sanders, Gary Bartz, Kool & the Gang, Jimmy McGriff, and Mighty Sparrow. Ito's musical style had a great influence on later Japanese hip-hop musicians, such as MCU, Kohei Japan, You the Rock, Scha Dara Parr and Utamaru. The original CD had sold as a limited release of 5,000 copies on File Records in 1989. Reissued in 1995 with another jacket.
|Flipper's Guitar/Three Cheers for Our Side (1989)|
Guitar pop band. 1st album. If you like acoustic-oriented guitar pop, such as Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and the Monochrome Set, this album is a must have for you. Pop and catchy. The lyrics are English (in Japanese-style pronunciation). Excellent!
|Flipper's Guitar/Camera Talk (1990)|
From this 2nd album they became a duo of Keigo Oyamada (vocals and guitar) and Kenji Ozawa (guitar and vocals). The melody lines are excellent, like the 1st album. The lyrics are Japanese.
|Flipper's Guitar/Doctor Head's World Tower (1991)|
The 3rd album by full use of sampling. Includes 'Groove Tube'. The sampling sources are: Beach Boys, Ventures, Velvet Underground, Buffalo Springfield and so on.
|The Boom/Singles+ (1989-1996)|
The four-piece rock band led by Kazufumi Miyazawa (vocals, guitar). Melodic songs with a variety of musical styles such as punk, ska, acoustic/folk, Okinawan folk music, latin music (samba, bossa nova) and gamelan. A set of 2 discs: 'Single Tracks' including 'Shimauta/Island Song -original Japanese version-' and other singles released in 1989-96, and 'Bonus Tracks' including collaborations with Akiko Yano, 'Shimauta -Okinawan language version-' and others. 'Shimauta' is a smash hit song based on Okinawan folk music, and there are lots of the cover versions in the world.
|X (X Japan)/Blue Blood (1989)|
A five-piece rock band led by Yoshiki (drums and piano) and Toshi (vocals). A pioneer of boy's bands wearing heavy make-up, called 'Visual-kei', in the late 1990s of Japan. The major-label debut album. Melodic and aesthetic sounds by fusion of hi-speed heavy metal (like thrash) and classical orchestra performance. Includes a ballad hit 'Endless Rain'.
|CoCo/CoCo Ichiban! (CoCo the No.1!) (1989-1991)|
The girls' idol group of Maki Miyamae, Erika Haneda, Rieko Miura, Mikiyo Ono adn Azusa Senou. The best compilation album that features 'Equal Romance' (the ending theme song for the TV anime 'Ranma 1/2') and 'Omoide ga Ippai (Lots of Memories)' (the opening theme song for the TV anime 'Ranma 1/2 Nettou-hen').
|Mimori Yusa/Harmoniodeon (1989)|
Female singer & songwriter, Mimori Yusa's third album. Dream pop of superior quality, like Irish Celtic music, English emotional prog-rock and kate Bush. Clear and pure vocals with lots of falsetto. The world of songs like dreamy fairy tales. The songs composed and puroduced by Takafumi Sotoma and others. Features an excellent single 'Kureteyuku Sora wa (The Darkening Sky is)'.
|Mimori Yusa/Hope (1990)|
Female singer & songwriter, Mimori Yusa's fourth album. Acoustic-oriented pop of superior quality, like Kate Bush. A conceptual world of songs with narrativity and lyricism. The previous album 'Harmoniodeon' is good too, but this album is more excellent in song quality. More down-to-earth than 'Harmoniodeon'. The songs composed and puroduced by Takafumi Sotoma and others. Ex-Split Enz (pop band from New Zealand) member Philip Judd (guitar) joined. Includes three single tracks: 'Natsukusa no Senro (Railroad with Summer Grass)', 'No no Hana (Wildflower)' and 'Yume wo Mita (I Had a Dream)'.
|Jitterin' Jinn/8-9-10! Jitterin' Jinn Best (1989-1998)|
The pop band led by Jinta Hashi (guitar) and Reiko Harukawa (vocals), Jitterin' Jinn's best compilation album released in the 10th anniversary of the debut. Lots of good pop songs with catchy melodies and simple sound based on ska/punk/rockabilly. Features 'Everyday', 'Present' (the album version), 'Nichiyoubi (Sunday)' (the album version of the No.1 hit on the Japanese pop charts), and 'Natumatsuri (Summer Festival)'. 20 tracks in total.
|Fushitsusha/Fushitsusha (1st) (1989)|
An underground rock band led by Keiji Haino (guitar, vocals), Fushitsusha's debut album. They have worked as a live band since around 1978, but this is a live recording in 1987-1988. Featuring Maki Miura (guitar, ex-Les Rallizes Dénudés). Guitar-centered, drone-based avant-garde psychedelic rock on the sound concept of 'reverb junkie'. Released as 2 LPs on P.S.F. Records in 1989. Also released as 2 CDs in 1997.
|B'z/B'z The Best "Pleasure" (1990-1998)|
The duo of Takahiro Matsumoto (guitar and music composition) and Koushi Inaba (vocals and lyric writing). Eurodance-style dance beat, hard rock/heavy metal-style guitar play and catchy melodies. They were at the top of the CD sales in Japan during the 1990s. The volume one of their best compilation albums.
|B'z/B'z The Best "Treasure" (1990-1998)|
The second best compilation album that features the top 14 songs selected in fan balloting from the past tracks except ones included in the best compilation album "B'z The Best Pleasure". "Blowin'", "Koi-Gokoro (Amorous Attention)", "Liar! Liar!", "Invisible One", a ballad "Mou Ichido Kiss shitakatta (I Wanted to Kiss You Again)", a hard-rock number with English lyrics 'Real Thing Shakes" and others.
|Buck-Tick/Aku no Hana (The Flowers of Evil) (1990)|
A five-piece-band featuring Hisashi Imai (guitar) and Atsushi Sakurai (vocals). 'Buck-Tick' is a Japanese word that means 'firecracker'. This album has pop, dark and aesthetic psychedelia sounds influenced by UK new wave bands.
|Yasuyuki Okamura/Katei Kyoshi (A Tutor) (1990)|
After working as a songwriter, he debuted as a solo artist in 1986. He is a pop music craftsman with multiple talents, who does production, arrangement, songwriting and performance by himself. This album released in 1990 is a masterpiece with funky, erotic and narcissistic style influenced by Prince.
|Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra/SkaPara Toujou (SkaPara Has Come!) (1990)|
The big ska band featuring the horn section. The major debut album released when percussionist Asa-Chang (originally Koichi Asakura) was the leader (he left the band in 1993). Dirty and exotic sounds with the combination between the melodies of popular songs and ska beat. Includes the single 'Monster Rock', 'Baby Elephant Walk' (a cover of Henry Mancini), 'Tin Tin Deo' (a cover of the Afro-Cuban jazz tune composed by Chano Pozo/Gill Fuller), 'Nigai Namida' (a cover of The Three Degrees' disco hit in Japan), and 'Hit the Road Jack' (a cover of Ray Charles' hit composed by Percy Mayfield).
|Orquesta de La Luz/De La Luz (1990)|
A Japanese salsa band led by Gen Ogimi (vocals, percussion), Carlos Kanno (vocals, percussion) and female vocalist Nora. (Salsa is a Latin dance music created by New York-based Puerto Ricans based on an Afro-Cuban musical form called Son.) The Spanish band name 'Orquesta de La Luz' means 'Orchestra of Light'. The lyrics are Spanish. The debut album that got #1 on the US Billboard Latin chart.
A theatrical pop band that plays weird music like nursery songs. Led by the two songwriters, Toshiaki Chiku (vocals, mandolin) and Yoichiro Yanagihara (vocals, keyboards). The acoustic sound with accordion and mandolin. The major-label debut album that features a hit song 'Sayonara Jinrui (Good-Bye Human Beings)' (the album version).
|Denki Groove/662 BPM By DG (1990)|
A mini album including 7 tracks, released from the independent label SSE before their major debut. Rap/hip-hop-oriented sounds. Features the original tracks of 'Denki Biribiri' and 'We Are' in the album 'Flash Papa', and 'Less Than Zero', the original of 'N.O.' in the album 'Vitamin'. Extreme lyrics with lots of dirty words. The sampling sources are: Public Enemy, Pop Will Eat Itself, Napalm Death, PIL, Kraftwerk, YMO, Depeche Mode, Bruce Lee, Frank Chickens, the movie 'Violent Cop', the anime 'Ashita no Joe', the jingle for McDonald's Japan and many others. Recommended to those who like Denki Groove in the early days.
|Denki Groove/Flash Papa (1991)|
Techno band led by Takkyu Ishino (vocals, synths and sampling). The major-label debut album recorded in Manchester. Produced and engineered by Tim Oliver, Tony Martin and others. Techno-house sounds and Japanese rap with comic lyrics. The sound concept is like Pop Will Eat Itself's 'Box Frenzy'.
|Denki Groove/Vitamin (1993)|
The 4th album released when Yoshinori Sunahara/Marin (synths) was a member. Pure techno sounds. Includes a masterpiece 'N.O.' and the cover of Gershon Kingsley's 'Popcorn'.
|Denki Groove/A (Ace) (1997)|
An album that opened the new frontiers by pop and aggressive dance-music with elaborate and gorgeous sounds. 'Shangri-La' is a big hit using Bebu Silvetti's old disco/salsoul classic 'Spring Rain' as a breakbeat.
|Scanch/Sweets: Scanch Best Collection (1990-1994)|
The rock band led by Rolly Teranishi (guitar, vocals), Scanch's first best compilation album. Includes 14 tracks (mainly singles). Pop and catchy sound strongly influenced by the 1970s power pop, hard rock and glam rock, such as Queen and Cheap Trick. The songs composition of high quality. Features lots of good pop tunes such as "Koi no T.K.O. (Love's T.K.O.)", "Koi no Shock Ryoho (Love's Shock Treatment)", "Koi no 1,000,000$ Man (Love's 1,000,000$ Man)", "Koi no Romantic Boogie (Love's Romantic Boogie)", "Koi no Magic Portion (Love's Magic Portion)", "Koi no Miracle Summer (Love's Miracle Summer)". "Mr. Tambourine Man" is not the original, but the "strings version".
|Noriyuki Makihara/Completely Recorded (1990-2004)|
A popular male singer/songwriter noted for his brilliant melody lines. Nicknamed "Macky". His single "Donnatokimo (Always)" became a million seller in 1991, and after that he produced lots of hit songs. In 1999, he was arrested for possessing drugs and stopped his musical activities, but he was back in action in 2000. The best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that includes all his 31 singles released on the three labels (Warner Music Japan/Sony Music Entertainment/Toshiba EMI), from his 1990 debut "NG" until his 2004 song "Yasashii Uta ga Utaenai (I Can't Sing Gentle Songs)". Lots of melodic songs with impressive key modulations. Features "Donnatokimo (Always)" (the theme song for the movie "Shushoku Sensen Ijonashi/It's not Hard Jobhunting" and the commercial song for Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan), "Mou Koi nante Shinai (I Will Never Fall in Love)" (theme song for TV drama), "No.1" (the commercial song for Japan's telephone company, KDD's international call "No.001"), and "Spy" (theme song for TV drama).
|TUBE/TUBEst II (1990-1996)|
The four-piece band led by Nobuteru Maeda (vocals) and Michiya Haruhata (guitar). They play refreshing and tropical-flavored music, which has Japanese-style melodies with some elements inspired by Latin/Hawaiian music. They play lots of songs about summer and sea, and since around the late 1980s they have worked as a band only during summer season. The vocalist Maeda has a powerful and stretching voice. The second best-compilation album that features the singles released from 1990 to 1995.
|Begin/Single Daizenshu (Complete Singles) (1990-2004)|
The acoustic pop trio by three males from Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Eisho Higa (vocals), Masaru Shimabukuro (guitar) and Hitoshi Uechi (keyboards). Melodic and song-oriented style based on roots music such as blues and Okinawan traditional folk songs (Shimauta). A compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that includes all their 28 single tracks released until 2004. Features their debut song 'Koishikute/Missing You' (the image song for Nissan Motor commercial film), 'Koe no Omamori Kudasai/Give Me a Lucky Charm of the Voice' (the commercial song for PHS company Astel Tokyo), 'Sora ni Hoshi ga Aru youni/As There are Stars in the Sky' (the them song for the movie 'Watashitachi ga Suki datta Koto'), 'Uchi e Kaerou/Let's Go Home' (the commercial song for National's air conditioner 'Eolia'), and 'Namida SouSou/Tears Flowing'. Also fertures 'Ojii Jiman no Orion Beer (Eisa Version)/Grandfather's Specialty Orion Beer' (the commercial song for Orion Beer), which was released only in Okinawa.
|Ningen Isu/Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human) (1990)|
A Japanese-style doom metal band descended in a direct line from Black Sabbath. Led by Shinji Wajima (guitar, vocals) and Ken'ichi Suzuki (bass, vocals). The band name 'Ningen Isu' (means 'Human Chair') comes from Rampo Edogawa's short story. Their major-label debut album released on Meldac. The sound is based on the 1970s hard rock/progressive rock, but it features Japanese musical scale, melodies like Japanese folk music, Tsugaru Shamisen-like phrases, and lyrics inspired by Japanese literature such as Osamu Dazai. Wajima's guitar-playing technique is great. The second track 'Hari no Yama (The Mountain of Needles)' is a cover of Budgie's 'Breadfan' with Japanese lyrics.
|S.O.B./What's the Truth? (1990)|
A Japanese rock band who is known as one of the pioneers of grindcore and thrashcore, and influenced the UK/US grindcore bands such as Napalm Death and Brutal Truth. The second album released on the independent label Selfish Records (the English version is released on Rise Above Records). Their music was in the hardcore punk style in their early days after the band formed in 1985, but this album has grindcore/death metal-oriented sound. The lyrics are English. The CD (released on Toy's Factory) Also features 6 bonus tracks, including 4 tracks from split EP with Napalm Death (1989).
A rock band led by Koji Shishido (vocals, guitar) and formed in Nagoya in 1983, Katsurei's third studio-recording album (second on the major label Victor). A masterpiece of psychedelic rock characterized by feedback noise guitar and folk-oriented songs with Japanese lyrics at slow tempos. Deep and profound sound also featuring synths and cello. The guitar of the title track "Flaring" is like Television (American rock band). Recommended for those who like Japanese rock band Jacks.
|Scha Dara Parr/Scha Dara Daisakusen (1990)|
A hip-hop group formed in 1988, Scha Dara Parr's debut album. Released on the independent label Major Force. The trio of Bose (MC), Ani (MC) and Shinco (DJ). Light hip-hop influenced by A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, featuring Bose's humorous Japanese rap, Shinco's exquisite samplings and rhythmic beats. Includes a single-cut track "N.I.C.E GUY". The sampling sources are Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive", TV anime theme songs such as "Heidi, Girl of the Alps", "Sazae-san" and "Shin Obake no Q-taro" and others. One of the Japanese hip-hop classics. Produced by Kan Takagi and S.D.P.
|Scha Dara Parr/Wild Fancy Alliance (1993)|
A Japanese-speaking rap/hip-hop group. The trio of Bose (MC), Ani (MC) and Shinco (DJ). This 3rd album is pretty good. Recommended to those who like Jungle Brothers, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.
|Vibrastone/Entropy Productions (1991)|
The Japanese-rap/hip hop group led by Haruo Chikada (mic). The major-label debut album released after the release of live album 'Vibra is Back' (a one-shot recording on DAT, released in 1989 under the name of Haruo Chikada & Vibrastone). Man-powered hip hop with live performances by 12 musicians (rap, band and horn section), without turntable and sampler. Funky and powerful. One of the masterpieces of Japanese hip hop. The members are Dr. Tommy (mic), OTO (guitar, ex-Jagatara), Yuji Okiyama (bass, ex-Juicy Fruits) and others. Kyoko Koizumi joined as a guest rapper on the 5 tracks.
|Soft Ballet/Love and Peace (1991)|
The trio of Ryoichi Endo (vocals), Ken Morioka (vocals, programming and synths) and Maki Fujii (vocals, programming and synths). The third album. Aesthetic pop sounds based on UK electro-pop, New Romantics, industrial/electronic body music and so on. Especially influenced by Depeche Mode and New Romantics. Inorganic digital beats and narcissistic bass vocals. #8 on the Japan's album chart. Includes 'Ego Dance (the Extended Version)', 'Final' and 'Virtual War'.
|Nenes/Ikawu (I'm Going) (1991)|
The chorus group of the four female vocalists: Misako Koja (vocals and sanshin=Okinawan strings), Yasuko Yoshida (vocals and sanshin), Namiko Miyazato (vocals and sanshin) and Yukino Hiyane (vocals and sanshin). Pop-oriented sound based on Okinawan folk music. The chorus in unison is harmonic and beautiful. The pioneers who established the new genre of 'Okinawan pop', along with Rinken Band. The debut album released from the independent label Disk Akabana. The songs provided and produced by Sadao China. Misako Koja was once a member of the chorus group Okinawa Chans, and she had participated in Ryuichi Sakamoto's recordings and tours.
|Shang Shang Typhoon/Shang Shang Typhoon 2 (1991)|
Anything-goes pop music introducing Okinawan/Asian folk music, Japanese traditional folk song and so on. The seven-piece band featuring Koryu (banjo, vocals) and 2 female vocalists, Satoko Nishikawa and Emi Shiarasaki. The second album featuring the cover of the Beatles' "Let It Be" arranged in a Japanese folk music style.
|Shang Shang Typhoon/Shang Shang Typhoon 3 (1992)|
The second album was basically oriented towards the style of Japanese folk music, but this third album is more popular and nearer to the Japananese modern pop songs than the second. An excellent album. All the tracks are great. Features "Like a Flower, Like a Bird", "Sanma Song", "The Blue Sea in Your Eyes" and others.
|SMAP/Smap Vest (1991-2000)|
The nationally-popular male idol group. The members are: Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura, Goro Inagaki, Katsuyuki Mori, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori (Katsuyuki Mori left in 1995). 2 discs that cover all the singles in 1991-2000. There were some quality pop songs in the late 1990s. Also includes the opening theme song of the TV anime 'Akazukin ChaCha'.
|Zard/Golden Best -15th Anniversary- (1991-2006)|
A pop group featuring female vocalist Izumi Sakai (vocals and lyric writing), Zard's best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs. 27 songs in total). Zard created lots of hits with Izumi Sakai's unpretentious vocals and catchy songs composed by Tetsuro Oda, Seiichiro Kuribayashi and others, and established a record for the largest total single-CD sales as female vocals in Japan in the 1990s. Includes the debut single "Good-bye My Loneliness", "Makenaide (Don't Give Up)" (#1 on the Japanese pop charts), "Kimi ga Inai (You're Not Here)" (#2), "Yureru Omoi (Wavering Thoughts)" (#1), "Mou Sukoshi Ato Sukoshi... (A Little More, Just a Little More...)" (#2), "Kitto Wasurenai (Forget You Not)" (#1), "Kono Ai ni Oyogi Tsukarete mo (Tired of Swimming in This Love)" (#1), "Konna ni Soba ni Iru no ni (Even Though You're at My Side Like This)" (#1), "Anata o Kanjiteitai (I Want to Feel You)" (#2), "Ai ga Mienai (I Can't See Love)" (#2), "Sayonara wa Ima mo Kono Mune ni Imasu (Goodbyes are Still in My Heart Now)" (#1), "My Friend" (#1. The ending theme for TV anime 'Slam Dunk'), "Kokoro o Hiraite (Open Your Heart)" (#1), "Don't You See!" (#1), "Eien (Eternity)" (#1), "Unmei no Roulette Mawashite (Turn the Roulette of Destiny)" (#1. The opening theme for TV anime 'Detective Conan') and others.
|Zard/Yureru Omoi (Wavering Thoughts) (1993)|
A one-man unit by female vocalist Izumi Sakai (vocals and lyric writing). The music composition by Tetsuro Oda and other pop music composers. Refreshing sounds with catchy melodies. The 4th album that racked up CD sales of over two million and two hundred thousand in Japan.
|Venus Peter/Delux Edition (The Best of V.P) (1991-1996/2006)|
A rock band led by Shuntaro Okino (vocals) and formed in 1990, Venus Peter's best compilation album. Totally Western music-oriented sound greatly influenced by U.K. rock, especially British indie rock of the same period (in the late 1980s and early 1990s), such as psych/jangly guitar pop, Madchester and shoegaze. The lyrics are English. The first track 'Every Planets Son' was used as the opening theme for the TV program 'Fashion Tsushin'. 'Delux Edition' (released on Polystar in 2006) is a digitally-remastered reissue of 'The Best of Venus Peter' (released on Trattoria in 1996). It consists of disc-1 (15 tracks) and disc-2 (3 rare tracks). The disc-1 doesn't include 'Feels Like Fire' and 'Sunset Bell' (they were included in 'The Best of Venus Peter'), but it includes 'Doo Bee Free', 'Lemon' and 'Splendid Ocean Blue', instead. Recommended to those who like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and Flipper's Guitar.
|B-Flower/Penny Arcade no Toshi (The Year of the Penny Arcade) (1991)|
An acoustic-oriented guitar pop band led by Hideshi Hachino (vocals, guitar), B-Flower's debut album. Released on the independent label 'Por supuesto!'. Naive, sensitive and beautiful sound influenced by English/Scottish indie guitar pop such as the Smiths.
|L-R/Lefty in the Right (1992)|
A three-piece pop band by the Kurosawa Brothers (Kenichi Kurosawa (vocals, guitar), Hideki Kurosawa (guitar, chorus)) and Hiroharu Kinoshita (bass), L-R's first full-length album. Takako Minekawa (keyboards, chorus) was a member in those days. A first-rate pop album with sound strongly influenced by the 1960s western pop such as the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Beautiful melodies and chorus harmony. Includes singles "Lazy Girl" and "Bye Bye Popsicle". Produced by Daiji Okai (ex-Yonin Bayashi leader/drummer).
|Original Love/Soul Liveration (1992)|
Formed with Takao Tajima (vocals, guitar) as leader in 1987. The second album on major label. Highbrow and stylish sound by mixing the essence of jazz, soul and the 1960s pop. Includes the single tracks: "Let's Go to the Darkside of the Moon" (album version) and "The Venus".
|Dreams Come True/The Swinging Star (1992)|
The trio of Miwa Yoshida (vocals), Masato Nakamura (bass, vocals) and Takahiro Nishikawa (keyboards, vocals). They play the music based on the 1970s urban soul like Philadelphia soul. This 5th album is the first music disc that sold over three million copies in Japan. Features 'Haretara Iine (I Hope the Weather Clears Up)' (the theme song for HNK's TV drama) and 'Kessen wa Kinyoubi (Decisive Friday)'.
|Mr.Children/Mr.Children 1992-1995 (1992-1995)|
The quartet band led by Kazutoshi Sakurai (vocals and guitar). Pop melodies by Sakurai and acoustic band sound. Produced by Takeshi Kobayashi. The best compilation album including early 9 hit singles: 'Cross Road', 'Innocent World', 'Seesaw Game' (much like Elvis Costello in tune and style of singing) and so on.
|Boredoms/Pop Tatari (1992)|
An experimental noise-rock band featuring Eye Yamatsuka (voices). The 3rd and major-label debut album released from Reprise, the US. Delightful sounds that break down the conventional music construction.
|Shonen Knife/Let's Knife (1992)|
A punk-pop guitar rock band by a girl trio. "Shonen" means "a boy" in Japanese. Simple sounds and catchy melodies, like Ramones. They have performed live with Sonic Youth and Nirvana, and their albums have been released in the US and UK.
|Tokyo Performance Doll/Catch Your Beat!! Cha-Dance Party Vol.5 (1992)|
The girls idol/dance group featuring Ryoko Shinohara, Yuri Ichii, Yuuko Anai and others. Pop-oriented and cutting-edge club sound in the techno/dance music style. The fifth album. The fourth single 'Catch!!' is a hard track like death techno. Also features 'Jyuu-dai ni Tsumi wa Nai (The Teens Are Not Guilty)' (Guilty Beat Mix) composed by Tetsuya Komuro.
|Kohmi Hirose/The Best: Love Winters (1992-1998)|
A female singer & songwriter who also works as a music producer and composer. After training under Seth Riggs (a voice trainer of Michael Jackson and others), debuted as a soro artist. Powerful voice with wide range. A best compilation album that covers her hit songs until 1998, including seven winter commercial songs for the sporting-goods store Alpen (famous as fixed tunes in ski season). Also includes 'Groovy!', the ending theme of the TV anime 'Card Captor Sakura'.
|Sharan Q/Single Best 10 Omake Tsuki (with a Bonus) (1992-1996)|
The pop band from Osaka, led by Tsunku (vocals) and Hatake (guitar). Catchy melodies like Japanese traditional pop/ballad songs. A collection of early single tracks, including several big hits such as 'Single Bed' (the ending theme of the TV anime 'D.N.A 2').
|Spitz/Recycle: Greatest Hits of Spitz (1993-1998)|
The four-piece band led by Masamune Kusano (vocals, guitar and songwriting). Acoustic-oriented sounds with lyrical and beautiful melodies. A compilation that includes hits in 1993-98.
|Blankey Jet City/C.B.Jim (1993)|
A loud and punk rockn' roll band based on rockabilly. The 3rd album produced by Masami Tsuchiya.
|Kenji Ozawa/The Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On (1993)|
His solo debut album released after Flipper's Guitar disbanded. Melodic, acoustic and soul-oriented sound influenced by Stevie Wonder. Simple and plain performance (guitar, bass, drums and keyboards) with groove. Spiritual style completely opposite to Flipper's Guitar. This one proves his great ability as a melody-maker. Includes 'Tenki-Yomi' (Weather Forecast) and 'Tenshitachi no Scene' (The Scene of Angels). The album title has been changed to just 'dogs' when it was reissued.
|Kenji Ozawa/Life (1994)|
Ex-Flipper's Guitar, Kenji Ozawa's second album. More cheerful and pop-oriented than 1st. A hit album that includes the single 'Lovely', and 'Boogie Back' (a collaboration with the rap group Scha Dara Parr).
|Luna Sea/Singles (1993-1996)|
One of the popular bands of the early so-called "Visual-kei" rock scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s, along with X Japan. Knwon for their aesthetic songs with catchy melodies, featuring Ryuichi, later Ryuichi Kawamura's high tone vocals. A best compilation album (2 CDs) that includes the single tracks released from their 1993 debut on major-label to 1996 suspension of activities. A smash hit album which became a million seller in Japan. Features "Rosier" (#3 on the Japanese pop charts), "True Blue" (#1), "Desire" (#1), "End of Sorrow" (#1) and "In Silence" (#2).
A hip hop group formed in 1991, Kimidori's debut album (mini album including eight tracks). "Kimidori" means "Yellow-Green". The trio of Takeshi Kubota (MC, DJ), Keita Ishiguro/Kuro-Ovi (MC) and Makoto Aoki (DJ). Released on an independent label File Records. Rock/punk-oriented hip hop featuring dark and aggressive character. The sound is generally like Scha Dara Parr. Includes "Shiroi Yami no Naka (In White Darkness)" covered by Shakkazombie, "Jikoken'o (Self-Loathing)" was covered by Yakenohara, two versions of "Tsurumi no Tou (The Tower of Hanging-Out)": "Original Edit Version from Check Your Mike" and "Elecxtric Boogaloo Mix by Hiroshi Kawanabe" (mix by Hiroshi Kawanabe from Tokyo No.1 Soul Set), "Say What" featuring ECD, Yotsukaido NATURE and others. An underground classic in the earliest days of Japanese hip hop.
|Violent Onsen Geisha/Otis (1993/1996)|
Violent Onsen Geisha (1990-1997) is a one-man noise music act by Masaya Nakahara, a musician/film critic/novelist born in Tokyo in 1970. VOG had opened for Sonic Youth, Beck and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's concerts in Japan, and also performed live outside Japan many times, including a tour in the United States in 1995. The original of "Otis" was released on an independent label Endorphine Factory in 1993. This is a remixed edition released on the major label Toshiba EMI in 1996. Not a pure noise music, but a sound collage based on noise/industrial/hip-hop, with lots of samples of records and movie soundtracks. Humorous and chaotic sounds, for example, singing the theme song of a tokusatsu hero TV series "Mirrorman" in karaoke, and playing the melody of Paul Mauriat's "Love is blue". Recommended to those who like Boredoms, Pizzicato Five and Cornelius.
|Carnation/Edo River (1994)|
A rock band led by Masataro Naoe (vocals, guitar), Carnation's 5th album. Pop sound in the urban soul style, with funky rhythm section, horns and strings. Includes lots of good songs such as "Super Duper Dynamite" (new wave style, like Moonriders in the early 1980s), "Summer Daze" and "Around the Globe in a Day". The title track "Edo River" and "Around the Globe in a Day" were aired in Japanese FM radio stations in heavy rotation. The guest musicians are Yumiko Ohno (moog, chorus) from Buffalo Daughter and others. The remastered 'Deluxe Edition' with a bonus disc (includes mainly demo recordings) was released in 2009.
|Towa Tei/Future Listening! (1994)|
A Korean from Japan, Towa Tei's solo debut album. He had once joined the New York based club/dance music trio Deee-Lite as 'Jungle DJ Towa Towa'. His real name (Korean pronunciation) is Chung Dong Wha. Easy-listening sound based on techno/electronic dance music, bossa nova, Brazilian pop, Indian raga music and so on. Extremely sophisticated and quality work. The collaborators are Ryuichi Sakamoto (piano/electric piano), Arto Lindsay (vocals), Maki Nomiya (vocals) from Pizzicato Five and others. 'Batucada' is a cover of the bossa nova masterpiece written by Marcos Valle.
|(Various Artists)/Kyoto Jazz Massive (1994)|
Kyoto Jazz Massive is a DJ group formed by the Okino Brothers, Shuya and Yoshihiro Okino in their hometown Kyoto in 1991. Their debut album is a club jazz compilation featuring lots of artists such as Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso), Monday Michiru, DJ Krush and others. Sophisticated and stylish club jazz based on acid jazz and house. Includes Mondo Grosso's "Souffles H (King St.Club Mix)" remixed by Masters At Work and "City Folklore", the rimix of the main theme for the movie "Waga Jinsei Saiaku no Toki/The Most Terrible Time in My Life".
|Judy and Mary/The Great Escape (1994-2000)|
The guitar pop band that became popular in the late 1990s for cute singing voice of the female vocalist Yuki and catchy songs composed by Yoshihito Onda (bass) and Takuya (guitar). The best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that includes the most popular 30 tracks selected from all their songs by a fan vote. Features the hit songs: 'Over Drive', 'Sobakasu (Freckles)' (the opening theme song for the TV anime 'Rurouni Kenshin') and 'Kujira 12-go (Whale No.12)'.
|Koenji Hyakkei/Hundred Sights of Koenji (1994/2007)|
One of the bands led by Tatsuya Yoshida, a musician/composer who has been active as a virtuoso odd-signature drummer in the Japanese indie/alternative music scene since the early 1980s. The debut album. The sound is under the strong influence of a French prog-rock band Magma. A fusion of high-speed, odd-signature hardcore prog-rock (drums, keyboards, bass and guitar) and Carl Orff-like, operatic mixed chorus. The lyrics are in their constructed language, like Magma's Kobaïan. The original Japanese edition was released on God Mountain Records in 1994. The 2007 remixed version (with re-recorded drums) was released on God Mountain Records (Japan) and Skin Graft Records (US).
|Miki Sakai/Yukidoke (Melting Snow) (1994)|
An actress working in TV drama, movies and commercial films with her acting skills, Miki Sakai's debut album released when she was 16 years old. A masterpiece of Japanese straight-ahead, melodic idol pop. The music composed by Tetsuji Hayashi ans others. Includes her first three single tracks. A CD with a 8cm single CD that includes the commercial song for 'Panasonic Headphone Stereo S95'. A limited edition rarely-offered in markets.
|The Pillows/Fool on the Planet (1994-2001)|
The three-piece rock band led by Sawao Yamanaka (vocals, guitar). Simple and straight-ahead guitar pop with the emphasis on vocal melody. A best compilation album that includes the songs from the singles and albums released from 1994 to 2001, after transferring to King Records. 16 tracks in all. Includes 'Hybrid Rainbow', 'Instant Music', 'Little Bustrers', 'Ride on Shooting Star' (the ending theme song for the Original Animation Video 'FLCL/Fooly Cooly') and 'I think I can'.
|L'Arc-en-Ciel/Clicked Singles Best 13 (1994-2001)|
The four-piece rock band formed in Osaka, Japan in 1991 with Tetsu (bass) as the leader. They had been a part of the "Visual-kei" band boom in the mid-1990s in Japan along with X (X Japan), LUNA SEA and GLAY. The best compilation album that includes 12 tracks selected in internet fan balloting in eight Asian regions (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan) from their major-label singles since 1994, and a new song "Anemone". The highlights are the pop and flowing melodies and Hyde's sensual vocals. Features "Blurry Eyes' (the opening theme for the TV anime "D.N.A 2"), 'Niji/Rainbow' (the opening theme for the anime movie "Rurouni Kenshin"), "Driver's High" (the opening theme for the TV anime "GTO") and many other songs for TV shows and commercial films. There is also the South-Korean version "Clicked Singles Best 13+2" with two extra tracks selected by South-Korean fans: "Naatsu No Yuutsu (Time To Say Good-Bye)" and "Snow Drop".
|Ground-Zero/Revolutionary Pekinese Opera Ver.1.28 (1995/1996)|
A free-improvisation/noise-rock band during the 1990s led by guitarist/turntablist/composer Yoshihide Otomo, Ground-Zero's third album. An avant-garde sound collage work re-sampling Heiner Goebbels and Alfred 23 Harth's 1984 work "Peking Oper" (sampling a Peking opera from China in the 1960s), sampling many other materials, such as voices, narrations, commercials, political speeches (including Mao Zedong and Ronald Reagan) and telephone conversations, and featuring band performances of free improvisation/noise rock and various noises. Originally released on the Japanese independent label Trigram in 1995, and the remix version (ver.1.28) was released on the ReR UK in 1996.
|My Little Lover/evergreen (1995)|
The trio of female vocalist Akko, Kenji Fujii (guitar) and Takeshi Kobayashi (keyboards, songwriting and production). Good works by the producer Takeshi Kobayashi's craftsmanship as pop music maker. The 1st album that includes a hit 'Hello, Again'.
|Soul Flower Union/Ghost Hits 95-99 (2001/1995-1999)|
A rock band led by ex-Newest Model member Takeshi Nakagawa (vocals, guitar, sanshin=Okinawan strings), Soul Flower Union's second best compilation album (on Ki/oon Records, Sony). Two bands, Newest Model and Mescaline Drive disbanded at the same time and merged into this band in 1993. A mixed sound with fusion of rock, Asian (Japanese/Ainu/Okinawan/Korean) folk songs, Japanese old pop songs, Ching-Dong (Japanese old street music), Irish trad. music and others. The music of festival and liberation. "Umiyukaba Yamayukaba Odorukabane (Go To the Sea, Go To the Mountains, the Dead Bodies are Dancing)" (2001 remix), "Horizon March" (2001 remix), "Blue Monday Parade" (2001 remix), "Eejyanaika (Nevermind)", "Mangetsu no Yube (A Full Moon Evening)" (1997 alternate mix), "Cosmic Futen Swing" and others. Also features two songs by their alias project Soul Flower Mononoke Summit, "The Internationale" (a cover with Japanese lyrics of the revolutionary song composed by Pierre Degeyter) and "Fukko-Bushi (Recovery Song)" (a cover with Japanese lyrics of Chinese folk song). "Each Little Thing" is a cover of Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon's song (comopsed by Steve Cooney).
|Ken Ishii/Jelly Tones (1995)|
Imaginative instrumental techno sounds. His debut album released from R&S Records, the techno label in Belgium. His 2 mini-albums, "Garden on the Palm" and "RS92025" (includes "Pneuma" and "Deep Sleep") had recorded no. 1 on techno chart of New Musical Express, the british music paper, in 1993.
|Yoshinori Sunahara/Crossover (1995)|
The solo debut album released when he was a member of the techno unit Denki Groove. Elegant and exotic techno/dance sound in the easy-listening/lounge/mondo music style. Also released from the Bungalow label (Germany) in 1998. Includes 'MFRFM (Music for Robot for Music)'. 'Clouds Across The Moon' is a cover of Rah Band.
|Love Tambourines/Alive (1995)|
A sophisticated soul style band featuring female soulful vocalist Ellie. The lyrics are English. This 1st album was released from the independent label Crue-L Records and racked up sales of one hundred thousand in Japan.
|Two-Mix/Super Best Files 1995-1998 (1995-1998)|
The duo of Shiina Nagano (lyric writing and keyboards) and Minami Takayama (music composition and vocals). Minami Takayama is also known as a voice actress of some animes. Catchy melodies in the style of J-pop mainstream and Eurodance-style dancebeats programmed. Includes 2 opening theme songs of the TV anime 'Gundam Wing' ('Just Communication' and 'Rhythm Emotion'), 'True Navigation' and other hits (15 tracks in total).
|Two∞Mix/BPM Cube (2000)|
Two∞Mix is Two-Mix's alias project for dancefloor. A set of 2 CDs: Disc 1 (international version with English lyrics) and disc 2 (domestic version with original Japanese lyrics). Includes re-recorded versions (high-speed Eurodance style) of their masterpieces: 'Just Communication', 'Rhythm Emotion', 'True Navigation', 'Truth -A Great Detective of Love-' (the theme song of the TV anime "Detective Conan") and others.
|Mayumi Kojima/Blues de Cecile (1995)|
A female singer songwriter based on the pop and nostalgic musical style of blues, jazz, chanson, children's song, Japanese old pop songs and so on. The debut album featuring "Kekkon Soudanjo" (Marriage Agency).
|DJ Honda/DJ Honda (1995)|
A Japanese hip-hop DJ living in New York. He won the second place at the 'DJ Battle for World Supremacy' in the US in 1992. The debut album featuring Biz Markie, Guru and DJ Premier (Gang Starr), Afrika Bambaataa and other US rappers. Released in the US in 1996. His original fashion brand 'h' is famous too.
|King Giddra/Sora kara no Chikara (The Power from the Sky) (1995)|
A Japanese hip hop group formed in 1993 by K-Dub Shine (MC), Zeebra (MC) and DJ Oasis (DJ), King Giddra's debut album. Released on the indie label P-Vine Records. The group name comes from the 3-headed monster of Toho's movie "Godzilla" series. A classic with a reputation for establishing the basic style of Japanese rap, which makes great use of rhyming word by word. This album had a great influence on the following Japanese hip hop scene, for its rap style, social/political messages, and dark sound influenced by the U.S. hardcore hip hop, such as Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy. Features famous tracks also released as 12-inch singles, "Yukuefumei (Disappearance)", "Shinjitsu no Dangan (Bullet of Truth)", and "Oosouji (The General Cleaning)".
|Ken Hirai/10th Anniversary Complete Single Collection '95-'05 "Uta-Baka" (1995-2005)|
The compilation album that includes male R&B singer/songwriter, Ken Hirai's all 22 single tracks released during the decade from his debut in 1995 until 2005. Remarkable in his sensitive voice like Curtis Mayfield and unique style using falsetto voice with a good range. Includes his debut song "Precious Junk", "Rakuen (Paradise)" (A first smash hit in 2000. #7 on Japanese pop charts), "Ookina Furudokei" (a cover of American popular song "Grandfather's Clock", composed by Henry Clay Work in 1876, with Japanese-translated lyrics. #1 on Japanese pop charts), "Hitomi wo Tojite" (theme song for the movie "Sekai no Chushin de, Ai wo Sakebu/Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World". #2) and "Pop Star" (theme song for the TV drama "Kiken na Aneki/Dangerous Sister". #1).
|Bonnie Pink/Every Single Day -Complete Bonnie Pink (1995-2006)- (1995-2006)|
A female singer/songwriter from Kyoto, born in 1973 (real name: Kaori Asada). Melodic vocal music influenced by Western mainstream rock/pop. She goes through many different styles such as rock, pop, ballad and R&B, with her voice like Chrissy Hynde or Suzanne Vega. The lyrics are Japanese and English. The best compilation album (2 CDs) that features 28 tracks including her 21 singles released on Pony Canyon and Warner Music Japan until 2006. "Heaven's Kitchen" (a hit song produced by Tore Johhansen), "It's gonna rain!" (the ending theme for the TV anime 'Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X'), "Daisy" (produced by ex-The Rentals Tom Grimley), "You are Blue, So Am I" (produced by Mitchell Froom), "Last Kiss" (the ending theme for the TV anime 'GANTZ -the first stage-'), "Love is Bubble" (the theme song for the movie 'Kiraware Matsuko no Issho/Memories of Matsuko'), "A Perfect Sky" (the commercial song for Shiseido Cosmetics 'Anessa') and others.
|Masayoshi Yamazaki/Blue Period: Complete SOUND+VISION PACKAGE -Limited Edition (2008/1995-2006)|
A singer/songwriter known for his acoustic guitar-centric melodic songs based on blues and folk, Masayoshi Yamazaki's best compilation album. "Blue Period" is originally a digitally remastered 2-CD single A-side collection released in 2005, and this 2008 renewal edition is a set of 4 discs, 2 SHM-CDs (includes additional 4 single tracks after the release of the original) and 2 DVDs (includes 21 music videos). Icludes "Celery" (covered by SMAP), "One More Time, One More Chance" (#18 on the Japanese pop charts. The theme song for the movie starring himself, "Tsuki to Kyabetsu/One More Time, One More Chance". Also used in Makoto Shinkai's anime film "5 Centimeters Per Second"), "Boku wa Koko ni Iru (I'm Here)" (#3), "Passage" (#6), "Ashita no Kaze (Tomorrow's Wind)" (#6), "Zenbu, Kimi Datta (You were All)" (#3), "Mikansei (Unfinished)" (#3), "Bokura wa Shizuka ni Kieteiku (We Go Away Quietly)" (#6), "Christmas in August" (#6. The theme song for the movie of the same title, starring himself) and others.
|Cascade/Viva Nice Best (1995-2002)|
A four-piece rock band debuted on major label in 1995, Cascade's best compilation (2 CDs, 40 tracks). Includes all the 14 singles released in 1995-2001, and major songs from albums. Lots of pop-oriented and catchy songs strongly influenced by the early 1980s post punk/new wave, techno pop and Showa Kayo, such as "Kill Me Stop", "Analog Shonen (Analog Boy)", "Viva Nice Taste", "Yellow Yellow Fire", "S.O.S. Romantic", "Flowers of Romance" (#5 on the Japanese pop charts), "Cuckoo", "Memories", "Azayaka na Kiseki (A Brilliant Miracle)", "Dance Capriccio", "Congracche" (ending theme for TV anime "Kindaichi Case Files"), "Tokyo Darling", "Sexy Sexy," (ending theme for TV anime "Ghost Stories"), and "Strawberry Moon".
|Geisha Girls/The Geisha Girls Show (1995)|
The alias project of a Japanese popular comedy duo, Downtown (Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada), the Geisha Girls' only album. the Geisha Girls are duo of Ken (Matsumoto) and Sho (Hamada). Produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. There're several comedy skits by Downtown between the musical tracks, such as hip hop, jungle/drum'n'bass, bossa nova and noise rock. The musicians are: Towa Tei, Arto Lindsay, Yan Tomita, Boredoms, Tetsuya Komuro and others.
|Namie Amuro/Sweet 19 Blues (1996)|
A female vocailst from the Okinawan Actor's School that created many popular singers/groups (Max, Speed and so on) in the 1990s in Japan. After working as a member of the all-girl-quintet pop/dance group Super Monkeys, debuted as a solo singer. The 2nd album including smash hits: 'Body Feels Exit', 'Chase the Chance' and 'Don't Wanna Cry'. Pop songs with programmed dance beat. All the tracks written, composed and produced by Tetsuya Komuro.
The all-girl pop/dance group formed by the rest four members of Super Monkeys after Namie Amuro left the group. The first members are: Nana, Reina, Mina and Lina. The first album that recorded million-seller in Japan. All the tracks are the covers of Eurobeat tunes with Japanese lyrics. Includes the covers of Whigfield's 'Saturday Night', Virginelle's 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Babe', Domino's 'Tora Tora Tora' and so on.
The trio of Tetsuya Komuro (songwriting and synths), Keiko (female vocals) and Marc Panther (English rap). Catchy pop songs and dance beats with programmed rhythms like house music. A smash hit album in Japan. All the tracks written, composed and produced by Tetsuya Komuro.
|Tomomi Kahara/Love Brace (1996)|
A female vocalist. After working as a TV personality, she came out as a singer with full support of the producer Tetsuya Komuro. Metallic high-tone voice. The 1st album including hits: 'Keep Yourself Alive', 'I Believe' and 'I'm proud'. All the tracks written, composed and produced by Tetsuya Komuro.
|Every Little Thing/Every Best Single + 3 (1996-1999)|
The trio of female vocalist Kaori Mochida, Ichiro Ito (guitar) and Mitsuru Igarashi (keyboards, songwiting and production). The catchy tunes by Igarashi are good. A best compilation album that covers all the single tracks (including many hits) released in 1996-99.
|Puffy/The Very Best of Puffy/Amiyumi Jet Fever (1996-2000)|
The girl pop duo of Yumi Yoshimura (vocals) and Ami Onuki (vocals). The debut single "Asia no Junshin/True Asia" composed and produced by Tamio Okuda is a smash hit song. "Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi/That's The Way It Is" is like the early Beatles. "Talalan" is composed by Andy Sturmer (ex-Jellyfish).
|Tomoyo Harada/Clover (1996)|
She has worked as an actress since she starred in the movie "Toki wo Kakeru Shojo" (The Little Girl Who Conquered Time) in 1983 when she was fifteen, and has also worked as a musician with the producers Keiichi Suzuki (Moonriders) and Tore Johansson (a Swedish producer who had produced The Cardigans) since the 1990s. This is a good-quality album like Swedish pop. The first five songs are produced by Tore Johansson, and the last five ones are produced by Keiichi Suzuki.
|Miki Nakatani/Absolute Value (1996-1997)|
After debuting in an idol group 'Key West Club' from TV show 'Sakurakko Club' in 1991, she had been an idol singer in the early 1990s, but she had acted as an actress since 1993. She re-debuted with the single 'Mind Circus' composed and produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto in 1996. A best compilation album that includes ten songs selected from her five singles and two albums released in 1996-1997. Features single tracks, "Mind Circus", "Strange Paradise", "Suna no Kajitsu (Sand Fruit)", "Wilder Than Heaven" and "Ibara no Kanmuri (Crown of Thorns)". Cool and melancholy sound featuring her clear and androgynous vocals. The songs composed, arranged and produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. "Aibiki no Mori de (In the Forest of Secret Dating)" is a good song in the jazz style, written, composed and arranged by Yasuharu Konishi.
|Ryoji Ikeda/+/- (1996)|
The electronic music composer who began his activity as a sound artist and DJ in 1990, and began to work as the composer for the multimedia art group Dumb Type in 1994. His second solo album released on U.K.-based Touch label. Experimental minimal techno by using pulsed tone and digital noise as materials. A pure sound art produced only by sampling and hard-disk recording. A masterpiece Jim O'Rourke described as "Fucking brilliant".
|Fishmans/Something in the Air (1996)|
The trio led by Shinji Sato (vocals, guitar). The ambient-house style sound based on dub format. Slow tempo. Feelings like floating quietly in the water or air. Pretty comfortable and relaxing sounds. Includes the single 'Night Crusing'.
|bloodthirsty butchers/kocorono (1996)|
The rock band formed in Sapporo, Hokkaido in 1987. One of the albums released when they are a trio of Hideki Yoshimura (vocals, guitar), Takeshi Imoriya (bass) and Masahiro Komatsu (drums) (Ex-Number Girl guitarist Hisako Tabuchi joined in 2003). Emotional and delicate sound with simple band formation (only guitar, bass, drums and vocals) featuring feedback noise guitar and lyrical, sentimental Japanese lyrics. They had a great influence on Japanese alternative rock scene, such as Quruli and Number Girl.
|Sunny Day Service/Tokyo (1996)|
The rock band led by Keiichi Sokabe (guitar, vocals), Sunny Day Service's second album. Acoustic-oriented sound influenced by the 1970s folk/country-based rock and melodic pop such as Japanese rock bands Happy End (featuring Keiichi Otaki) and Sentimental City Romance. Includes singles, 'Seishun Kyousou-kyoku (Young Rhapsody)' and 'Koi ni Ochitara (Falling in Love)'. 'Ajisai (Hydrangea)' is a good song.
|Kahimi Karie/Le Roi Soleil (1996)|
A female singer influenced by the French pop such as Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. The name "Kahimi Karie" comes from the anagram of her real name (Mari Hiki). A six track albumette released on the Trattoria label. The whispering voice is cute. The lyrics are French/English/Japanese. The songs written by Keigo Oyamada (Flipper's Guitar, Cornelius), Katerine and others. Features "Le Roi Soleil", a cover of The Vaselines' "Son of a Gun", and "Humming ga Kikoeru (I Can Hear the Humming)" (the opening theme song for the TV anime "Chibi Maruko-chan").
|Chara/Caramel Milk -The Best of Chara- (1996-2000)|
A female singer-songwriter born in 1968, Chara's best compilation album (14 tracks) that covers all the eight single tracks released in 1996-2000, and includes also two tracks released under the name of Yen Town Band, and four tracks from albums. Soul-influenced, dreamy and melodic sound featuring her unique whispering husky voice. "Swallowtail Butterfly -Ai no Uta (Love Song)-" (#1 on the Japanese pop charts. Released under the name of Yen Town Band. The theme song for the film "Swallowtail Butterfly" starring Chara. Composed by Takeshi Kobayashi), "Yasashii Kimochi (Kind Feelings)" (#7. A commercial song for Shiseido "Tessera J"), "Tsuki to Amai Namida (The Moon and Sweet Tears)" (#12. The Theme song for the TV drama "Limit") and others.
|Megumi Hayashibara/bertemu (1996)|
A popular voice actress. She has played Ranma Saotome (female) in 'Ranma 1/2', Lina Inverse in 'Slayers' series, Rei Ayanami in 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' and many other anime characters. She has also released lots of hit songs (mainly themes for anime shows and movies) as a singer of the King Records 'Starchild' label. Her seventh album 'bertemu' (the Indonesian word that means 'meeting'), which mainly consists of her signles released from 1994 to 1996, is a smash hit that reached the number three on the Japanese pop album charts. Features "Give a Reason" (the opening theme song for the TV anime "Slayers NEXT"), "Midnight Blue" ("Slayers" the movie theme song), "Zankoku na Tenshi no These (Cruel Angel Thesis): Ayanami Version" (the opening theme song for the TV anime "Neon Genesis Evangelion") and "Fly Me to the Moon: Ayanami Version" (the ending theme song for "Neon Genesis Evangelion"). The songs composed by Hidetoshi Sato, Ritsuko Okazaki, Shinkichi Mitsumune and others.
|Yuko Miyamura/Best Collection (1996-1998)|
A voice actress known for her roles as Angel Daisy/Hinagiku Tamano in 'Wedding Peach', Asuka Langley Soryu in 'Neon Genesis Evangelion', and Kazuha Toyama in 'Detective Conan/Case Closed'. Her sixth album and first best-compilation album. The songs composed and arranged by Kazuyuki Sekiguchi, Keitaro Takanami, Kohei Tanaka and others. Features single tracks, "Konjo Sentai Guts-man" (theme song for Kazuhiko Shimamoto's manga 'Konjo Sentai Guts-man' created by request from Yuko Miyamura as a parody of the Super Sentai series), "Heisei Ijin-den (Lives of Heisei Great Men)", "Kanon" (a cover with Japanese lyrics of Pachelbel's Canon), "Mother" (written, composed and arranged by Susumu Hirasawa), and "Koi to Yokubou (Love and Desire)". "Kare to Kanojo no Sonnet (His and Her Sonnet)" (a cover of French singer, Elsa Lunghini's hit song "T'en va pas/Don't Go Away" with Japanese lyrics by Taeko Onuki).
|Chihiro Yonekura/Best of Chihirox (1996-2003)|
The female singer who debuted with the single 'Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite (Shine in the Storm)' (the OAV 'Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team' opening theme) in 1996. She is known for her songs tied up with anime works and video games and her powerful, emotional vocals. She also does songwriting. A best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that covers all her anime/game tie-up songs released until 2003 (30 tracks in total). Features 'Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite', '10 Years After' ('Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team' ending theme), 'Will' (the TV anime 'Senkaiden Houshin Engi' opening theme), 'Just Fly Away' (the TV anime 'Rokumon Tengai Mon Colle Knight' opening theme), 'Butterfly Kiss' (the TV anime 'Rave' opening theme), 'Yakusoku no Basho e (To the Promised Place)' (the TV anime 'Kaleidostar' opening theme) and others.
|Ali Project/Collection Simple Plus (1996-2006)|
The duo of female vocalist Arika Takarano (vocals, lyrics) and composer Mikiya Katakura (composition, arrangement). Debuted on the major label Toshiba EMI in 1992. Known for their music for commercials, movies and TV animes. They perform both pop songs with programmed rhythm and classical pieces with strings. The dark and theatrical songs (sometimes described as 'Gothic and Lolita' style), like J. A. Seazer/J. A. Caesar's incidental music for plays, are particularly excellent. A best compilation album that mainly consists of AliPro's early singles released in 1996-2003. Feaures a masterpiece 'Coppelia no Hitsugi (Coppelia's asket)' (opening theme for the TV anime 'Noir'), 'Wish' (theme song for the radio drama 'Wish'), 'Peony Pink' (opening theme for the TV anime 'Clamp School Detectives'), 'Gesshoku Grand Guignol (Lunar Eclipse Grand Guignol)' (opening theme for the TV anime 'Avenger'), 'Mirai no Eve (Eve Future)' (ending theme for 'Avenger'), 'Jigoku no Kisetsu (Une Saison en Enfer)' (ending theme for the last episode of 'Avenger'), and 'Boukoku Kakusei Catharsis (Ruined Country Awakening Catharsis) [orchestral crowd ver.]' (ending theme for the TV anime '.hack//Roots').
|SPEED/Starting Over (1997)|
A dance/pop group of four girls from the Okinawan Actor's School: Hiroko Shimabukuro (vocals), Eriko Imai (vocals), Takako Uehara (vocals) and Hitoe Arakaki (vocals). The debut album released when the members are only 13-16 years old. Includes three smash hit singles: 'Body & Soul', 'Steady' and 'Go! Go! Heaven (Album Version)'. The sound is influenced by R&B, hip hop and disco pop. The songs composed and produced by Hiromasa Ijichi. Mastered by Herb Powers, the famous engineer who dealt with Mariah Carey, TLC and others.
|T.M.Revolution/The Complete Single Collection of T.M.Revolution 1000000000000 -billion- (1996-2006)|
A singer, Takanori Nishikawa's solo project started in 1996 with total production by Daisuke Asakura. A best compilation album (2 CDs) that covers all the 21 single tracks released until 2006. Eurodance style sound featuring programmed synths and Nishikawa's powerful vocals, like TM Network or B'z in the early days. Includes "Heart of Sword -Yoake Mae (Before Dawn) -" (The ending theme for TV anime "Rurouni Kenshin"), "White Breath" (#1 on Japanese pop charts), "Hot Limit" (#1), "Burnin' X'mas" (#2), "Wild Rush" (#2), "Invoke" (#2. The opening theme for TV anime "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED"), "ignited" (#1. The opening theme for TV anime "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY"), "vestige" (#1) and others. All the songs composed, arranged by Daisuke Asakura and written by Akio Inoue.
|The Yellow Monkey/Sicks (1997)|
A four-piece rock band led by Yoshii Kazuya (vocals), the Yellow Monkey's sixth album (#1 on the Japanese pop album charts). Melodic and pop-oriented sound, rooted in the 1970s UK/US rock, such as glam rock (David Bowie, T. Rex) and hard rock, but featuring Japanese wet songs like Showa Kayo. The bestselling one in all YeMon albums. Yoshii himself and lots of fans consider this one as the band's best work. The highlights are the melancholy melodies of the songs such as "Tengoku Ryokou (Travel thru Heaven)" and "Hanafubuki (Shower of Blossom)". The complete edition, named "Complete Sicks", which consists of 2 CDs (a digitally-remastered blu-spec CD of the original source, and a CD which includes 13 demo tracks of the album songs) and one DVD (recording footage, interviews with Yoshii Kazuya and other staff), was released in 2010.
|Guitarwolf/Planet of the Wolves (1997)|
The Japanese greatest jet rock 'n' roll band. The trio of Seiji/Guitarwolf (guitar and vocals), Billy/Basswolf (bass) and Toru/Drumwolf (drums). They work mainly in live performance, and valued highly in the US and Europe too. The major-debut album. The US version was released from the Matador Records. Garage-punk style R & R with loud and noisy sound like MC5. Includes the covers of the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", Oblivians' "Motor Cycle Leather Boy", Teengenerate's "Let's Get Hurt", and Link Wray's "Rumble".
|Eastern Youth/Koritsumuen no Hana (The Flowers of Isolation) (1997)|
A three-piece rock band formed in 1988 by Hisashi Yoshino (guitar, voice) in in Sapporo, Hokkaido. One of the pioneering bands in Japanese Emo (emotional hard-core), along with Bloodthirsty Butchers. The fifth album and last one released before their major label debut. Emotional sound with loud guitars, explosive vocals, lyrical melodies and literary Japanese lyrics. Includes a single track "Hadashi de Ikazaru wo Enai (I Have to Go Barefoot)".
|GLAY/Review: Best of Glay (1997)|
A four-piece pop band led by Takuro (guitar). Melodic vocal lines. Pop rock aimed at the general public. A best compilation album that racked up sales of over five million in Japan. Includes mega hits-'Glorious', 'Beloved' and 'However'-and re-recorded versions of the tunes of their indies-era.
|Hideki Kaji/Mini Skirt (1997)|
Ex-bassist of The Bridge (a guitar pop band influenced by Flipper's Guitar), Hideki Kaji's solo debut album released after The Bridge disbanded. Tore Johansson and Eggstone from Sweden joined. Refreshing, acoustic-oriented guitar pop sound like Swedish pop. More closer to early Flipper's Guitar than any Oyamada/Ozawa solo works.
A female singer songwriter from Okinawa, Japan. The major-label debut album featuring "Countdown". The band sound is heavy, but the songs are melodic and pretty orthodox in the music style. Takamune Negishi joined as an arranger/producer.
A satisfactory work by Cornelius, the one-man unit by Keigo Oyamada (ex-Flipper's Guitar). Chaotic sounds in a collage style, by using sampling in harddisk-recording. The 3rd album released from the Matador Records in the US.
|Omoide Hatoba/Vuoy (1997)|
A band led by ex-Boredoms guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto (guitar, vocals, synthesizer) and Atsushi Tsuyama (bass, bass harmonica, drums), Omoide Hatoba's sixth album (Trattoria/Polystar). Experimental music with elaborate sound processing, based on rock band ensemble like prog-rock and free improvisation, also including the mixed elements of techno, dub, hip-hop, trip hop and noise, but it has the pop and tenderly-encompassing sound filled with a floating feeling and sense of euphoria. Avant-garde but accessible and easy to listen. Includes a single "Sugar Clip". The guest musicians are Yoshihide Otomo (turntable) and others.
|Kazuyoshi Nakamura/Kinjitou (A Gold Tower) (1997)|
A musician born in Tokyo in 1975, Kazuyoshi Nakamura's debut album. Acoustic melodic pop inspired by the 1960s UK/US pop such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys. High-toned vocals with lots of falsetto voices. Unique Japanese lyrics. The sound is filled with lightheadedness. The songs have superior quality. All the songs except "Maru, Sankaku, Shikaku (Circle, Triangle, Square)" (a cover of a hit song from children's TV show 'Hirake! Ponkicki'. Composed by Akira Oyamada) composed, written, arranged and produced by Kazuyoshi Nakamura. Based on his bedroom recording in which he sang, chorused and played drums, guitar, bass and percussions. The guest musicians are Hiroshi Takano (guitar), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar) and others. Features single tracks, 'Inu to Neko (Dog and Cat)/Koko ni Iru (I'm Here)', 'Machi no Hi (City Lights)/I-sse-no-se! (Hup!)', 'Tensai towa (Genius is)/Itsuka (Someday)' and 'Eien narumono (Eternal)'.
|Fumiya Tanaka/Unknown Possibility Vol.1 (1997)|
A techno musician/producer/DJ from Kyoto, known as Japan's most talented techno DJ in the world, Fumiya Tanaka's debut album. Stoic and hard minimal techno with simple beats. Recommended to those who like Jeff Mills and the like.
|Morning Musume/Best! Morning Musume. 1 (1997-2000)|
The girl idol group. 'Musume' means girl or daughter. The primary members are: Yuko Nakazawa, Aya Ishiguro, Natsumi Abe, Kaori Iida and Asuka Fukuda. A best compilation album that lncludes the nationally-popular hit 'Love Machine' and other early songs. The songs written, composed and produced by Tsunku.
|Ryoko Hirosue/RH Singles &... -édition de luxe- (2013/1997-2000)|
Ryoko Hirosue is an actress and ex-singer from Kochi Pref., born in 1980, known for her films such as "Wasabi" (2001. Produced by Luc Besson) and "Departures" (2008). A remastered and reissued edition of the 1999 best compilation album "RH Singles &..." with adding three tracks from the 2000 single. A complete single collection which includes all her songs released in the singles. The songs composed by established singers/songwriters and composers such as Mariya Takeuchi, Mayo Okamoto, Yuko Hara, Kohmi Hirose, Hirofumi Asamoto, Ringo Sheena and Caoli Cano. Slightly nasal voice. Includes "Maji de Koisuru Gobyomae (Five Seconds Before I Fall In Love For Real)" (the commercial song for NTT Docomo "Pocket Bell/Pager". #2 on the Japanese pop charts), "Daisuki! (Love Ya Lots!)" (the commercial song for Asahi Soft Drinks "Mitsuya Cider". #1), "Kaze no Prism (Wind Prism)" (#6), "summer sunset" (#5), "Jeans" (TV anime "Kindaichi Case Files" ending theme. #4), "Ashita e (For Tomorrow)" (#9), "Kajitsu (Fruit)" (#20) and others. The first limited edition features a DVD (the 1999 live video and all the nine music videos).
|Makoto Kawamoto/Makoto Kawamoto (1997)|
A female singer & songwriter who made her debut in 1996 with the single 'Ai no Sainou' (Ability of Love), wrote and produced by Yasuyuki Okamura. With the band featuring acoustic guitar. Quick rhythm. Cute voice. Rapidly sung lyrics with rhymes. The debut album that racked up sales of over one million in Japan. Includes hits 'DNA' and '1/2' (the opening theme song of the TV anime 'Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X').
|Ma-aya Sakamoto/Grapefruit (1997)|
A voice actress (in movie and anime) and singer. The debut album released when she was 17 years old. All the songs composed, arranged and produced by Yoko Kanno, who is known as a composer of music in TV commercial, anime and video game. Refreshing and clean pop music with Kanno's quality compositions and Sakamoto's clear, natural vocals. Her voice was still young and charmingly naive in those days. Includes a single "I Don't Need Promises" (the opening theme song of the TV anime 'The Vision of Escaflowne').
|Shikao Suga/All Singles Best (1997-2007)|
A singer-songwriter from Tokyo, Shikao Suga's best compilation (2 CDs, 26 tracks) that includes all the singles, from his debut single "Hit Chart wo Kakenukero (Dash Through the Hit Charts)" to the 2006 song "Gogo no Parade (Afternoon Parade)", and other major songs. Husky voice and funk/soul-influenced sound production with electric piano, organ and wow-guitar. Features "Affair" (TV drama theme song), "Aozaora (Blue Sky)" (theme song for the movie "Honogurai Mizu no Soko kara/Dark Water"), "Asymmetry" (TV drama theme song), "19-Sai (19 Years Old)" (opening theme for the TV anime "xxxHOLiC"), "Manatsu no Yoru no Yume (A Midsummer Night's Dream)" (song for the movie "Death Note") and others. "Yozora no Mukou (Beyond the Night Sky)" is a self cover of SMAP's single (lyrics written by Shikao Suga).
|Yuzu/Home [1997-2000] (1997-2000)|
The folk duo of Yujin Kitagawa (vocals, guitar) and Koji Iwasawa (vocals, guitar). Simple and refreshing sound mainly consisted of their songs and acoustic guitars, with tambourine, harmonica, mirliton, bass, drums and strings. The best compilation album that includes 15 tracks released in 1997-2000, such as "Nani mo Nai (There's Nothing)", "Shonen (Boy)", "Getsuyoubi no Shumatsu (The Weekend of Monday)", "Tomodachi no Uta (Friend's Song)" and "Tobenai Tori (Flightless Bird)".
|Lolita No.18/Best of Lolita No.18 (1997-2002)|
The all-female, four-piece punk band led by Masayo Ishizaka (vocals). Pop-oriented, straight-ahead punk influenced by the Ramones. Joy Ramone from the Ramones and Olga from the Toy Dolls have produced their albums. A best compilation album that includes 23 tracks in total, from their major-label debut song "Saruun" (1997) to 2002 new song "SADA Nagashi".
|Mayumi Iizuka/berry best (1997-2000)|
One of idol-like voice actress/singers who became popular among anime fans since the 1990s. Known for her voice roles as Nanaka Nakatomi in "Magic User's Club", Cleao Everlastin in "Sorcerous Stabber Orphen" and Kasumi in "Pokemon" series. Her first best compilation album that includes 15 tracks selected by herself from albums and singles in her early days (on Pioneer LDC). The songs composed by Tomoki Hasegawa, Miki Ohtsu and others. Features "love letter", "caress", "My wish", "Mint to Kuchibue (Mint and Whistle)", and "Destiny".
|The Brilliant Green/Complete Single Collection '97-'08 (1997-2008)|
A trio of Shunsaku Okuda (bass), Ryo Matsui (guitar) and female vocalist Tomoko Kawase, rock band the Brilliant Green's first best compilation album that includes all the 17 A-side single tracks released until Feb. 2008. A collection of good pop songs featuring the band sound influenced by Western guitar pop, the melodies of J-pop mainstream, and Tomoko Kawase's languid vocals. The lyrics are English and Japanese. The debut single "Bye Bye Mr. Mug", "There Will Be Love There" (The theme song for the TV drama "Love Again". #1 on the Japaese pop charts), "Tsumetai Hana (Cold Flowers)" (#1), "Sono Speed de (At the Speed)" (The theme song for the TV drama "Over Time". #1), "Nagai Tameiki no youni (Like A Long Sigh)" (#4), "Hello Another Way" (#8), "Angel Song" (The theme song for the TV drama "Merry Christmas at Midsummer". #3), "Stand By Me" (The ending theme for the TV drama "Detective School Q". #10), "Ash Like Snow" (The opening theme for the TV anime "Mobile Suit Gundam 00". #8) and others.
|The Brilliant Green/The Brilliant Green (1998)|
The trio of Shunsaku Okuda (bass), Ryo Matsui (guitar) and female vocalist Tomoko Kawase. Languid vocals, J-pop style melodies and band sounds influenced by the US/UK guitar pop. The lyrics are English and Japanese. The 1st album.
|Susumu Hirasawa/Kyusai no Giho (Technique of Relief) (1998)|
The frontman of the techno unit P-Model, Susumu Hirasawa's 7th solo album. Oriental and exotic works like Asian ethnic music. Undulating and wrapping sounds with the melodies of songs at the center.
|Boom Boom Satellites/Out Loud (1998)|
The electronica/rock duo of Michiyuki Kawashima (guitar, vocals) and Masayuki Nakano (programming, bass), Boom Boom Satellites' full-length debut album. Released on the Belgian techno label R&S. Basically rock-oriented club/dance sound featuring breakbeat/drum'n'bass, like the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers, but the sound production with heavy live drums (by Naoki Hirai), strings and jazzy embellishments (trumpet, sax and flute) is unique. Includes single cuts, "Push Eject" and "On the Painted Desert".
|DJ Krush/Kakusei (Awakening) (1998)|
A Japanese important hip-hop DJ/turntablist who has released CDs from Mo'Wax in the UK, A&M in the US and so on. Instrumental hip-hop like Trip Hop. Ambient and abstract sounds.
|Kirinji/Paper Driver's Music (1998)|
The pop duo of the Horigome brothers: Yasuyuki Horigome (vocals, guitar) and Takaki Horigome (guitar, vocals). This major-label debut is a highbrow pop album influenced by melodic pop like Brian Wilson, soul music and singer songwriters of the 1970s. Produced by Keiichi Tomita. Features the single "Futagoza Graffiti" (Gemini Graffiti).
|Yurayura Teikoku/3X3X3 (1998)|
The three-piece-rock band led by Shintaro Sakamoto (guitar, vocals). They work mainly in live performance. The major-label debut album released from MIDI Inc. A good quality album of straight-forward and catchy guitar rock greatly influenced by the UK/US garage/psychedelic rock of the 1960/70s.
|Thee Michelle Gun Elephant/Gear Blues (1998)|
A four-piece-rock band formed at Tokyo's Meiji Gakuin University in 1991, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant's fourth album. The band's first release in the United States (released in the US in 2000). Noisy, straight-ahead rock & roll in a garage-punk style, like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Who, and MC5. A good rock album. Includes the single track "G.W.D". The US version features "Jenny" (B-side frack of the single "Smokin' Billy") as a hidden track.
|Pre-School/Peace Pact (1998)|
A rock band formed in 1994, Pre-School's major-label debut album. Released on Toy's Factory. A good pop album influenced by UK guiar pop/Britpop, especially Blur. The lyrics are all English, except the 11th track with Japanese lyrics. Includes three single tracks, "Spunky Josh", "Manhood-Man" and "A Sad Song". There are three kinds of this CD, the first limited 'special package' edition with an artbook (red), the normal second (green) and third (optic orange) editions.
|Supercar/Three Out Change (1998)|
The four-piece rock band formed in Aomori Pref. in 1995. The debut album that includes three single tracks, "Cream Soda", "Lucky" and "Planet". Simple guitar rock with the sound of distorted noisy feed-backing guitars, like Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine.
|Buffalo Daughter/New Rock (1998)|
A rock band formed in 1993 by two ex-Havana Exotica members SuGar Yoshinaga (guitar, TB-303, shortwave radio, vocals) and Yumiko Ohno (bass, Minimoog, vocals) with MoOog Yamamoto (turntables, vocals), Buffalo Daughter's second full-length album. Experimental and pop sound fusing simple guitar-bass-drum rock with samples and electronic instruments such as TB-303, Minimoog and shortwave radio. A variety of styles, such as spacy psych rock like German experimental bands, garage rock/grunge, mondo/lounge-pop, hip hop/drum and bass... The lyrics are English and Japanese. The Japanese edition was released on Toshiba-EMI. The US edition was released on Grand Royal (Beastie Boys' label). Recommended to those who like Pizzicato Five and Cornelius.
|Zoobombs/Let It Bomb (1998)|
A rock band formed in Tokyo in 1994 by Don Matsuo (vocals, guitar), Zoobombs' second album. Funky alternative/indie rock featuring rap and hip-pop elements, influenced by the Rolling Stones and the 1960s soul/blues. They work mainly in live performance, and made tours in the US twice in 1998. The lyrics are Japanese and English. Includes a masterpiece "Mo'Funky" (Pt.1). Recommended to those who like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boredoms, Cibo Matto and Tokyo No.1 Soul Set. The Japanese edition was released on Quattro/Ricetone label, and the US edition was released on Emperor Norton label.
|Crazy Ken Band/Crazy Ken Band Best: Oldies but Goodies (2004/1998-2003)|
A rock band formed by Ken Yokoyama (vocals/chorus/songwriting/arrangement/keyboards. Ex-volcaist of rock 'n' roll band Cools RC) in 1997, Crazy Ken Band's best compilation album. Pop-oriented sound mixing rock 'n' roll, soul, jazz, funk, Latin, bossa nova and Kayokyoku/Enka (Japanese lowbrow pop songs/ballads) of the Showa era. Features singles, "September", "Mappira Rock", "GT", "Tiger & Dragon" and other good songs such as "Hayama Twist", "Chojamachi Blues", "Hirusagari (Midafternoon)", "Oh Langfang", "Hong Kong Grand Prix" and "Sportmatic". "Oldies but Goodies" is a commercial song for 'Vodafone'. Recommended to those who like Showa Kayo.
|Omokage Lucky Hole/Dairi-Haha (A Surrogate Mother) (1998)|
A Kayo-funk rock band formed by ACKY (vocals) and Sinner-Yang (bass) in 1994, Omokage Lucky Hole's major-label debut album. The sound is based on black music such as funk, R&B and hip hop. The melodies and lyrics are in Showa Kayo (Japaese lowbrow pop songs in the Showa era) style such as mood chorus kayo and enka. The lyrics (each song has each story) on the dark sides of lives (liquor trade, prostitution and others) are striking, but the music itself is high-quality finished. Includes lots of good songs such as "Kon-ya Sugamo de (In Sugamo, Tonight)", "Kanarazu Onaji Tokoro de (Surely in the Same Situation)", "Anna ni Hantai shiteta Otou-san ni Beer wo Tsugarete (My Stepfather Poured Me a Beer, Though He Had Been So Against Me)", "Suki na Otoko no Namae Ude ni Compass no Hari de Kaita (I Wrote My Favorite Man's Name on My Arm with Needle of a Compass)", "Ore no sei de Koshien ni Ikenakatta (We Couldn't Enter Koshien at My Hands)" and "Yoru no Mizutamari (A Puddle of the Night)". "Tama-Plaza Kaikyou (Tama-Plaza Channel)" is a song like the Southern All Stars' old tunes. "Kin-yobi no Tenshi (Angel on Friday)" is a cover of Haruo Chikada & Vibratones. Three tracks arranged and produced by OTO (ex-Jagatara, Vibrastone). Recommended to those who like Showa Kayo and Crazy Ken Band.
|Kiroro/Kiroro no Uta (1) (Kiroro's Songs (1)) (1998-2002)|
A pop duo by two females from Okinawa, Chiharu Tamashiro (vocals, songwriting) and Ayano Kinjo (keyboards). Their first best-compilation that consists of ten songs selected from the singles/albums released since their major-label debut in 1998 until 2001, and two new songs added. Simple sound based on the piano accompaniment. Lots of songs with melodic vocals in ballad style. Features the smash hit "Nagai Aida (For a Long Time)" (No.1 on the Japanese pop charts) and other hits such as "Mirai E (To the Future)", "Fuyu no Uta (Winter Song)" and "Best Friend" (the theme song for "Chura-san", the TV drama series aired on NHK).
|Misia/Misia Greatest Hits (1998-2002)|
The Japanese R&B diva, Misia's first best compilation album. A skillful singer with rich, powerful voice and wide voice range. Features her debut single "Tsutsumikomuyouni... (Like Encompassing...)" (the commercial song for 'Elleseine'), "Hi no Ataru Basho (A Place in the Sun)", "Everything" (TV drama's theme) and the live version of "Hatenaku Tsuzuku Story (Never-Ending Story)". The unreleased new song she wrote to the character "Melonpanda" (designed by herself), "Amai Koibito (Sweet Lover)" is also included as an extra track with the animation movie.
Merzbow is a solo project started in 1979 by Masami Akita, a noise musician born in Tokyo in 1956. Merzbow had released enormous numbers of albums since the 1980s, and his works have been highly regarded in Europe and America too. The album "1930" (released on John Zorn's label Tzadik in 1998) is one of his masterpieces. Avant-Garde noise music by using "noise electronix", analog synths (EMS, Moog), tapes and others. A flood of harsh noises without clear melodies and rhythms, but it sounds like pretty "musical", for it has some kinds of compositions and developments.
One of the 1990s masterpieces by Ruins, the drum & bass duo formed in 1985 with the leader Tatsuya Yoshida (drums, percussions and vocals), who has been active as a virtuoso odd-time signature drummer in the Japanese indie/alternative music scene since the early 1980s. The eleventh album released after the fourth bassist Hisashi Sasaki (bass, vocals) joined. Avant-garde hardcore progressive rock based on the highly skilled performances. Basically simple composition only with Yoshida's drums and percussions, Sasaki's six-strings bass and vocals by themselves. High-speed hardcore sound with the complex tune compositions and lots of changes. colorful sounds by using electric pad, MIDI controller and effects. Strange vocals in their original language. Released on several labels such as Magaibutsu Limited (Japan), Sonore (France) and Skin Graft (USA).
|Tokyo No.1 Soul Set/9 9/9 (1999)|
A hip-hop group debuted on a major label in 1994, Tokyo No.1 Soul Set's third album. A trio of Bikke (vocals, lyric), Toshimi Watanabe (guitar, vocals, sound production) and Hiroshi Kawabe (DJ, track making). Bikke's talking-style rap with Japanese literary lyrics, and Watanabe's songs with wailing melodies are impressive. Features the single tracks, "Yoake Mae/Before the Dawn" (9 9/9 mix), "Sunday", "Bow & Arrow" (9 9/9 mix) and "Kakusenai Asu wo Tsurete/Taking Tomorrow Can't be Hidden". The sample sources are the Motions/Freedom on "Sunday", Allen Toussaint/You Will Not Lose on "Yoake Mae" and others.
|Cibo Matto/Stereo Type A (1999)|
A New York-based band formed as a Japanese-born female duo of Miho Hatori (vocals) and Yuka Honda (sampler, keyboards) in 1994, Cibo Matto's second full-length album. Released when Sean Lennon, Timo Ellis and Duma Love were full-time members. A good pop album with a combination of hip-hop, funk, bossa nova and full use of samples. The lyrics are English. The guest musicians are Marc Ribot, Yumiko Ohno of Buffalo Daughter and others. Recommended to those who like Pizzicato Five and Cornelius. The Japanese edition has 16 tracks including two bonus tracks.
|Hikaru Utada/First Love (1999)|
A female singer & songwriter born in New York. Japanese sophisticated soul style with dance beats. Soulful vocalization. All the tracks written by herself. A mega hit album in Japan that racked up sales of eight million. Includes the 1st single 'Automatic'.
|Ringo Shena/Muzai Moratorium (Not Guilty Moratorium) (1999)|
A female singer & songwriter. Noisy guitars, the singing style with a trill (rolling tongue), catchy melodies with pathos like Japanese old pop songs in the Showa era... The debut album with lots of songs of good quality. The sound is like Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill".
The third album by UA, the female vocalist who was influenced by Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin. A vocal album based on dub/reggae throughout the whole. Laid-back vocals with organic backing tracks by mainly acoustic instruments. The songs composed and produced by Green Genie (alias name of Kenji "Jammer" Suzuki), Hirofumi Asamoto (ex-Mute Beat) and others. 'Ringo Oiwake' is a cover of Hibari Misora's hit song.
|Hi-Standard/Making the Road (1999)|
The fourth album of Hi-Standard, the Japanese punk/melodic-core trio of Akihiro Nanba (vocals, bass), Ken Yokoyama (guitar, vocals) and Akira Tsuneoka (drums). Hardcore punk with catchy melodies. The lyrics are all English. The Japanese domestic version released on their own independent label 'Pizza of Death Records' was a smash hit that racked up sales of about seven hundred thousand in Japan. The US version released on 'Fat Wreck Chords' label differs from the Japanese version in track. 'Changes' is a cover of Black Sabbath.
|Ayumi Hamasaki/A Song for XX (1999)|
A female singer with hard and high-tone voice. The songs composition by songwriters and the lyrics of her own writing. The debut album racked up sales of one million. Includes hits 'Trust', 'Depend on You' and 'For My Dear...'. Produced by Max Matsuura (AVEX).
|Ayumi Hamasaki/A Best (1998-2001)|
A female singer, Ayumi Hamasaki's first best compilation album. Includes mainly her single tracks released from 1998 debut through until 2000 (she had been called a 'charisma over high-school girls' at that time). A smash hit album that sold over four million copies in Japan. There are four tracks with re-recorded vocals. "Trust (New Vocal & Mix)" (A commercial image song for Kao Sofina Aube), "Depend on you (New Vocal & Mix)", "LOVE -Destiny- (New Mix)" (#1 on Japanese pop charts), "To Be (New Mix)", "Boys & Girls (New Mix)" (#1. A commercial image song for Kao Sofina Aube), "appears" (A Christmas commercial song for Kao Sofina Aube), "Fly high" (A commercial song for Lycos Japan), "vogue" (A commercial song for Kosé Visee), "Far away" (A commercial image song for TU-KA), "SEASONS" (#1), "SURREAL" (#1), "M" (#1. A commercial image song for TU-KA) and others. The songs composed by Kazuhito Kikuchi, D.A.I (Dai Nagao) and others. Produced by Max Matsuura.
|Lisa Ono/Dream (1999)|
Japanese female singer & songwriter, who was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Lisa Ono's eleventh album. Mainly consists of the old American jazz standards arranged in the bossa nova/Brazilian music style. The lyrics are English and Portuguese. Co-produced with Oscar Castro-Neves, who is the Brazilian composer/arranger/producer/guitarist and one of the central figures of bossa nova/Brazilian music. A hit album that racked up sales of over two hundred thousand in Japan. Features "Moonlight Serenade" (composed and arranged by Glenn Miller), "Night and Day" (composed by Cole Porter), "Sentimental Journey" (composed by Ben Homer), "As Time Goes By" (composed by Herman Hupfeld), "Stompin' at the Savoy" (composed by Edgar Sampson) and others.
|Tabito Nanao/Ame ni Utaeba...! disc2 (1999)|
A singer & songwriter born in 1979, Tabito Nanao's debut album. A unique pop album with blending of alternative guitar rock, drum and bass, jazz and acid folk. Distinctive style of singing with high-pitched, insistently-whispering voices. Beautiful melodies. Recommended to those who like Beck and Cornelius.
|Nobukazu Takemura/Scope (1999)|
An Osaka-born, Kyoto-based electronica musician, Nobukazu Takemura's solo album released on the Thrill Jockey label (Tortoise and others), Chicago, the US. An experimental sound art work with white noises, staccato electronic sounds, female vocal samples (Tsuyuko Aki) and CD skips, like Oval and Ryoji Ikeda, but several tracks are impressive for the soft and beautiful sounds influenced by minimalism, such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich, and ambient music.
|Susumu Yokota/Sakura (1999)|
An electronica musician and DJ who had released lots of singles and albums of house/techno/ambient music in several countries such as Germany, UK and Japan since 1992. His 1999 album released on his own Skintone label. Also released on the UK label Leaf in 2000. The title "Sakura" is a Japanese word which means "Cherry Blossom". An excellent ambient techno album featuring minimalism and afrobeat, like Brian Eno's 1970's experimental music. The sixth track "Gekkoh" samples Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians". The eighth track "Azukiiro No Kaori" samples "Sometime Ago/La Fiesta" from Chick Corea's album "Return to Forever".
A three-piece band of a piano-bass-drum trio, Ikuko Harada (vocals, piano), Mito (bass) and Daisuke Ito (drums), who have attend a jazz/popular course of a music school in Tokyo, and debuted on major label in 1999. Their music is influencd by jazz, soul and singer/songwriters (Carole King, Akiko Yano), and has a pop-oriented style with melodic vocals, but also has an experimental aspect introducing electro-acoustic elements. A best compilation album that includes the 13 tracks (mainly singles released since 1999 until 2002) selected by themselves. Features "Hanare Banare (Separated)", "Pan to Mitsu wo Meshiagare (Help yourself to Bread and Honey)", "Chicago" and "Surround" (the commercial song for Panasonic MD component stereo set '37MD' and Vodafone).
|Tateki Kobayashi/Blue Notes -The Best of Tateki Kobayashi- (1999-2002)|
A singer-songwriter/songwriter/music producer born in Kobe in 1972, known for his compositions for Aya Matsuura, Ayaka Hirahara, Kana Uemura, Rag Fair and Arashi. A compilation album (16 tracks) which includes all his nine singles released from 1999 to 2002, and songs from albums. Mainstream ballads and perverse pop tunes with elaborate arrangement are impressive. Thin, reedy and husky voice. Features singles, "Inori (Prayer)", "SPooN", "Innocent", "Cosmos", "Hexamoon" and others. Recommended to those who like Masayoshi Yamazaki and Shikao Suga.
|Rie Tomosaka/Murasaki (Purple) (1999)|
A Japanese female actress. The 3rd album (She has also done music activities under the name of 'Gonna Be Fun' and 'Eri Sakatomo'). A good quality album with musical composition by Ringo Shena and other singers & songwriters. Includes 'Cappuccino'.
|Do As Infinity/Do The A-side (1999-2005)|
The group formed by Dai Nagao (composition, programming and guitar), who had written songs for several popular artists such as Ayumi Hamasaki in Avex, with female vocalist Van Tomiko and gutarist Ryo Owatari. Pop-oriented sound fusing Japanese pop melodies into the style of western popular music like the 1970s rock. The best compilation album (a set of 2 CDs) that covers all their 21 single tracks such as 'Yesterday & Today' (theme song for the TV drama 'Nisennen no Koi (Love in 2000)'), 'Tooku made (Long Way)' (theme song for the anime 'Vampire Hunter D the Movie: Bloodlust'), 'Fukai Mori (Deep Woods)' (ending theme for the TV anime 'InuYasha'), 'Hi no Ataru Sakamchi (The Sloping Road in the Sun)' (ending theme for the TV drama 'Hatsu-Taiken (The First Experience)'), 'Shinjitsu no Uta (The Lyric of True)' (ending theme for the TV anime 'InuYasha') and 'Rakuen (Paradise)' (theme song for the anime 'InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island').
|m-flo/MF10: 10th Anniversary Best (1999-2009)|
A music group/producer duo consisting of emcee Verbal (a Korean born in Japan) and DJ Taku, m-flo's 10th anniversary best cmpilation album (2 CDs and a DVD). Debuted as a trio including a female vocalist Lisa (Japanese-Colombian) on a major label Rhythm Zone in 1999. After Lisa left the group in 2002, they produced lots of songs featuring guest vocalists who were different each time. Easy-listening/lounge style J-pop with a combination of hip-hop, soul, jazz, bossa nova, house, 2-step and drum'n'bass. The lyrics are Japanese and English. The disc 1 includes the songs with Lisa, such as "been so long", "How You Like Me Now?" (#9 on the Japanese pop charts), "come again" (#4), "Orbit-3" (#9) and others. The disc 2 includes the songs with guest vocals, such as "Reeewind!" (Crystal Kay, #9), "Miss You" (Melody. & Ryohei Yamamoto, #8), "The Love Bug" (BoA, #8), "Starstruck - The Return of the Luvbytes" (Ai, Emi Hinouchi & Rum (Heartsdales)), "Cosmic Night Run" (Maki Nomiya & Crazy Ken Band), "Love Song" (Bonnie Pink, #9) and others.
|Mikuni Shimokawa/Mikuni Shimokawa Singles & Movies (1999-2005)|
A female singer who debuted in 1998 as a member of 'Checkicco', the girl's idol group (like 'Onyanko Club') from Fuji-TV's audition program 'DAIBAtteki!!'. Being highly valued for her skill as a singer, she graduated from Checkicco and started to play as a solo singer in 1999. Her voice is full of clearness and flexible stretch. Her first best compilation album is a set of CD and DVD. The CD (singles) includes 17 songs and it covers all the A-side tracks from her first 11 singles, such as her debut song 'Believer -Tabidachi no Uta (Song for Departure)-', 'Naked', 'Alone' (the second ending theme for the TV anime 'Gensomaden Saiyuki'), and 'tomorrow/Karenai Hana (Never-withering Flowers)' (the opening/ending themes for the TV anime 'Full Metal Panic!'). The DVD (movies) includes 8 video footages for single.
|Rashinban/Song Line (2000)|
A rock band led by Seiichi Yamamoto (vocals and guitar. Ex-guitarist of early Boredoms. Known for his bands such as Omoide Hatoba and ROVO), Rashinban's third album. The band name means "Compass". A masterpiece of lyrical, psych/acid folk rock featuring songs with simple, pop melodies and soft, delicate vocals. Elaborate sound production. All the songs written, composed and produced by Seiichi Yamamoto. Reissued in SHM-CD format in 2009.
|Mondo Grosso/MG4 (2000)|
Originally a band formed by the frontman and bassist Shinichi Osawa in Kyoto in 1991. After the band broke up in 1996, Mondo Grosso bacame a collaborative project by DJ/producer/remixer Shinichi Osawa, featuring vocalists and musicians. The fourth album recorded in Tokyo, New York, Sao Pauro and London, and released on Sony Music labels of 25 countries worldwide. Club music with a combination of house, 2-step, jazz, soul, samba and bossa nova. The singers are Bird, Monday Michiru, Amel Larrieux (ex-Groove Theory), N'Dea Davenport (ex-Brand New Heavies) and others. Includes singles, "Life", "Butterfly" and "Now You Know Better". The lyrics are English, Portuguese and Japanese.
|aiko/Sakura no Ki no Shita (Under the Cherry Tree) (2000)|
A female singer-songwriter from Osaka, aiko's second album on major label. Girl's pop in the style like Ringo Shena. Unique melody lines with using lots of chromatic scales and modulations. A million-seller album (#1 on the Japanese pop album charts) featuring three hit singles, "Hanabi (Fireworks)", "Kabutomushi (A Beetle)" and "Sakura no Toki (The Time of Cherry)" (the image song for 'Calpis Water'). "Momoiro (Pink)" is the commercial song for 'NTT DoCoMo 502i'. "Power of Love" is a re-recording of the song of her indies-era. "Ren'ai Junkie (Love Junkie)" is included as a bonus track in the last of the album.
|Number Girl/Sappukei (2000)|
The four-piece rock band led by Shutoku Mukai (vocals, guitar). The 4th album produced by Dave Fridmann of Mercury Rev. The sound is greatly influenced by US alternative guitar rock such as Sonic Youth. Includes the single track "Urban Guitar Sayonara".
|Mai Kuraki/Delicious Way (2000)|
A female singer, like Hikaru Utada. The sounds in the Japanese R & B style. Clear and clean vocals. The 1st album that includes a big hit 'Love, Day After Tomorrow', 'Stay by My Side' and 'Secret of My Heart' (the ending theme song of the TV anime 'Detective Conan').
|Quruli/Zukan (Illustrated Encyclopedia) (2000)|
The rock band led by Shigeru Kishida (guitar and vocals) and Masashi Sato (bass). The second album. Sentimental and simple melodies, playing in the alternative rock style, and sound editing like post-rock/experimental music. The keyman of Chicago indie rock, Jim O'Rourke participated in the production, recording, editing and mixing of four tracks. A good work with experimental elements and popularity combined in it.
|Hitomi Yaida/daiya-monde (2000)|
A female singer & songwriter nicknamed Yaiko. Similar to Ringo Shena in music format. Alternative/Grunge-style band performance and catchy melodies with pathos. The 1st album that racked up CD sales of over seven hundred thousand in Japan.
|Polysics/Polysics or Die!!!! (2000-2004)|
The techno unit/rock band formed in 1997, led by Hiroyuki Hayashi (guitar, voice, programming, vocoder), who had admired DEVO. One of the central bands in the new-wave revival scene in Japan in the late 1990s, called 'Tokyo New Wave of New Wave'. A best compilation album (18 tracks in total) that includes 5 re-recorded songs. Loud rock/synth pop greatly influenced by UK/US/Japanese new wave/techno pop of the late 1970s and the early 1980s, such as DEVO and P-Model, and garage/surf rock, and punk. 'My Sharona' is a cover of The Nack's hit song. The US version is released on the Tofu Records (J-Pop label).
|Kumi Koda/Best -first things- (2000-2005)|
A female singer who was born in Kyoto Pref. in 1982. After winning the prize for second place in Avex's audition 'avex dream 2000', she debuted as a singer in 2000, when she was in high school. Her debut single "Take Back" reached #18 on the US Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. The best compilation (a set of 2 CDs) that includes 22 tracks in total. J-R&B style sound featuring her powerful and sensual singing voice. "Take Back", "Trust Your Love", "Real Emotion" (the opening theme for the PlayStation2 game 'Final Fantasy X-2'), "Cutie Honey" (the theme song for the live-action film "Cutie Honey") and others.
|JAM Project/Best Project -JAM Project Best Collection- (2000-2002)|
JAM Project (Japan Animationsong Makers Project) is an Anison (anime song) singers group formed in 2000 by Ichiro Mizuki to get back the original, powerful anime songs full of spirits to the contemporary animes. The first best compilation album featuring the primary period members, Ichiro Mizuki, Hironobu Kageyama, Rica Matsumoto, Eizo Sakamoto and Masaaki Endoh. The dynamic sound in the hard rock style. Includes "Storm" (OAV "Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo" opening theme), "Soultaker" (TV anime "The SoulTaker" opening theme), "Hagane no Kyuseishu (Steel Savior)" (PlayStation game "Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden" opening theme), "Fire Wars" (OAV "Mazinkaiser" opening theme), "Crush Gear Fight!" (TV anime "Crush Gear Turbo" opening theme) and others. The album jacket is a parody of Deep Purple's album "Deep Purple in Rock".
|Nana Mizuki/The Museum (2000-2007)|
A female singer and voice actress born in 1980, known for her outstanding singing ability, Nana Mizuki's first best-compilation album (#5 on the Japanese album charts). As a voice actress, she is known for her roles as Aria in the videgame "Sister Princess" series, Hinata Hyuga in "Naruto" and Fate Testarossa in "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha". 2 discs of CD (16 tracks) and DVD. The CD includes the first 13 single A-side songs and others. Features "Innocent Starter" (#9. The opening theme for TV anime "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha"), "Wild Eyes" (#13. The ending theme for TV anime "Basilisk"), "Eternal Blaze" (#2. The opening theme for TV anime "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's"), "Super Generation" (#6) and others. The songs composed, arranged by Toshiro Yabuki and others. The DVD includes 3 studio live recordings and a music clip for a new song "Crystal Letter".
|Combo Piano/Tetrascroll (2000)|
Combo Piano (Combopiano) is a one-man project by Takuma Watanabe, a music producer, composer and keyboard/piano player born in 1975. The second album under the name of Combo Piano. Released on the independent label MIDI Creative. A collection of 10 short tracks (27 minutes in total). Experimental and acoustic music mixing electronica and jazz, ambient and minimalism. The musicians are Steve Swallow (jazz bassist), Robby Ameen (jazz drummer), Yoshihiro Hannno (computer, synths) and Hiroyuki Koike Quartet (strings quartet).
|Rei Harakami/Red Curb (2001)|
A Hiroshima-born, Kyoto-based electronica musician, Rei Harakami's third album. Beautiful electronica sound (instrumental) with a peaceful atmosphere and a delicate touch like painting in watercolors. Very easy to listen to and comfortable, but exquisite music full of complex rhythms and unpredictable changes. The title track 'red curb' is a good tune with effectively-used arpeggio guitar.
|Ego-Wrappin'/Michishio no Romance (High Tide of Romance) (2001)|
Ego-Wrappin' is a duo of female vocalist Yoshie Nakano and guitarist Masaki Mori, formed in Osaka in 1996. The second full-length album (debut on major label). Acoustic and nostalgic vocal pop based on swing jazz/blues/Showa Kayo, with sax, wood bass and piano. Can be listened to calmly. Features a famous song "Psycho Analysis". The melody of the last track "Paranoia" has the Showa Kayo style. "Wherever You May Be" is a cover of Determinations (Japanese ska band).
|Chihiro Onitsuka/Insomnia (2001)|
A female singer/songwriter, Chihiro Onitsuka's debut album. Simple and acoustic vocal pop with mainly piano and strings, influenced by Western popular music, especially American/Canadian female singers/songwriters such as Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Jewel and Alanis Morissette. Powerful and spiritual vocals. A smash hit album which sold one and a half million copies in Japan. Features the singles, 'Shine', 'Gekko (Moonlight)' (the ending theme for the TV drama 'Trick'), 'Cage', 'Memai (Vertigo)/Edge'. Produced by Takefumi Haketa.
|Fantastic Plastic Machine/Beautiful (2001)|
The third album of the solo project by Tomoyuki Tanaka, who works as a musician/DJ/producer in Japan/US/Europe. House/techno-oriented club music with the taste of lounge/bossa nova/French pop/soft rock. Extremely sophisticated, elegant and stylish sound. Includes a cover of Frankie Knuckles' house masterpiece/club classic, 'Whistle Song'.
|Love Psychedelico/The Greatest Hits (2001)|
The duo of female vocalist Kumi (vocals and guitar) and Naoki Sato (guitar, bass and keyboards). Acoustic-oriented and groovy sounds influenced heavily by the UK/US rock of the late 1960s/early 1970s. Flowing melodies. The lyrics are English mixed with Japanese phrases. The 1st album that racked up CD sales of over one million and eight hundred thousand in Japan. Includes a hit 'Lady Madonna'.
The second album of Mongol800, an Okinawa-based punk/melodic-hardcore band. The members are Kiyosaku Uezu (bass, vocals), Takashi Gima (guitar) and Satoshi Takazato (drums). A smash hit album released on the Okinawan independent label Tissue Freak Records (High Wave) and reached #1 on album charts for the first time in the Japanese independent music history. The sound is very simple, like the Blue Hearts, but the songs and melodies are impressive. The lyrics are English and Japanese. Features "Anata ni (For You)" (used as the commercial song for Lion's detergent 'Top'), "Chiisana Koi no Uta (A Song of Little Love)", and an antiwar song about Okinawa "Ryukyu Aika (Ryukyu Elegy)". The title song "Message" is included in the end of the album as a secret track. Recdommended to those who like pop punk bands such as Green Day and Offspring.
|The Back Horn/Ningen Program (2001)|
A rock band formed in Tokyo in 1998, the Back Horn's third album and first major label one. The title means "Human Program". Alternative rock featuring heavy, harsh band sound in grunge/nu metal/emo style (like Nirvana) and Japanese-style wet song melodies like Showa Kayo. Includes singles, "Sunny" and "Sora, Hoshi, Umi no Yoru (A Night of Sky, Stars, and Sea)". Recommended for those who like Japanese-style rock, such as The Yellow Monkey's "Sicks" (1997).
|MiniMoni/MiniMoni Song Dai-Hyakka 1-Kan (MiniMoni Large Song Encyclopedia Vol.1) (2001-2002)|
One of the subunits derived from the girl idol groups of Hello! Project, MiniMoni's debut album. The primary members are the three of Morning Musume, Mari Yaguchi, Nozomi Tsuji and Ai Kago, and Mika of Coconuts Musume. Includes 9 songs previously released as singles and 7 new songs (16 tracks in total). Lots of comical, happy and catchy pop songs for children. A variety of styles, such as drum & bass, trance, blues, jazz, funk, tango, march and reggae. Features "MiMoni JanKenPyon!", "MiniMoni Telephone! Ring-Ring-Ring", "MiniHams no Ai no Uta (MiniHams' Love Song)" (released under the name of "MiniHams". Theme song for anime "Hamtaro the Movie: Adventures in Ham-Ham Land"), two songs released under the name of "Bakatono-sama to MiniMoni Hime" (a collaboration with a big-name comedian Ken Shimura): "Ai-in Taiso (Ai-in Exercises)" and "Ai-in! Dance no Uta (The Song of Ai-in! Dance)". The songs written, composed and produced by Tsunku.
|Kobukuro/All Singles Best (2001-2006)|
A male pop duo of Kentaro Kobuchi (guitar, vocals) and Shunsuke Kuroda (vocals), Kobukuro's best compilation album (2 CDs. 20 tracks) that includes all the A-side single tracks released until 2006. A smash hit album that sold over two million copies in Japan. They started as a folk duo on the streets in Osaka in 1998, and after their major-label debut in 2001, they have created lots of national hit songs with catchy melodies. Includes their debut song "Yell", "Towa ni Tomo ni (Forever Together)" (a standard song for wedding party), "Koko ni shika Sakanai Hana (A Flower That Blooms Only Here)", "Sakura (Cherry Blossom)", "Kimi toiu Na no Tsubasa (Wings Named You)" and others.
|Exile/Perfect Best (2005/2001-2004)|
Exile is an all-male vocal/dance group formed by Hiro as the leader in 2001, which consists of vocalists and performers (dancers). Their first best compilation album 'Perfect Best' is a set of 2 CDs ('Single Best' and 'Select Best') and one DVD. 'Single Best' includes 14 singles released from 2001 to 2004. 'Select Best' includes 15 tracks from albums, limited singles and singles featuring other artists. The DVD includes 21 music videos. Sophisticated sound in urban contemporary soul style. The songs are soul ballads at medium/slow tempo, J-pop with catchy melodies, funky dance tunes and the like. The vocalists are Atsushi and Shun. Includes the singles, 'Your Eyes Only' (#4 on the Japanese pop charts), 'Together' (#2), 'Choo Choo Train' (#2), 'Carry On' (#2), 'real world' (#1), 'HERO' (#2) and others.
|Kicell/Kin-mirai (Near Future) (2002)|
Kicell is a band of Tsujimura brothers, older brother Takefumi Tsujimura (vocals, guitar, ) and younger brother Tomoharu Tsujimura (vocals, bass, musical saw), formed in Kyoto in 1999. The second album. Unique sound with floating-on-the-sea ambience, like folk rock or post-rock, using pre-recorded MTR, sampler, rhythm-box and musical saw. Nostalgic and catchy melodies. Features singles "Yuki no Furu Koro (Snowy Season)", "Nagisa no Kuni (The Land of the Beach)" and "Ginyanma (Anax Parthenope)". Recommended to those who like Young Marble Giants, Tortoise, Sigur Rós and Fishmans.
|Aya Matsuura/First Kiss (2002)|
Female idol singer, Aya Matsuura's debut album. A good-quality idol pop with a taste of contemporary black music. Includes four single tracks already released. All the songs written and composed by Tsunku.
|Kishidan/1/6 Lonely Night (2002)|
The six-piece rock band led by Sho Ayanokoji (vocals and guitar). The major-label debut album. Pop-oriented and catchy sounds influenced by pop/hard rock/punk/Japanese rock band (like BOØWY) and idol pop songs of the 1980s. Produced by Yoshiharu Abe (ex-Unicorn).
|Sketch Show/Audio Sponge (2002)|
The debut album of the project by the two ex-members of YMO, Yukihiro Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono. Experimental and pop electronica sound in the ambient style. Another ex-member of YMO, Ryuichi Sakamoto also joined making the two tracks. There is no nervousness like YMO in the middle days, so this can be listened in a relaxed mood. 'Turn Down Day' is a cover of The Cyrkle. 'Do You Want To Marry Me' is a cover of the song from the movie 'A Coeur Joie/Two Weeks in September' (composed by Michel Magne). 'Gokigen Ikaga 1,2,3' (What Cheer 1,2,3) is the self-cover of an offering to Snakeman Show (composed by Hosono).
|Chitose Hajime/Hainumikaze (South Wind) (2002)|
The major-label debut album of Chitose Hajime, a female vocalist from Amami Island, Kagoshima Pref., Kyushu (the southern of the four main islands that comprise Japan). Acoustic pop based on Amami Shimauta, the Japanese traditional folk songs of Amami Islands featuring falsetto voice. Distinctive vocalization with vibrato. The songs composed and arranged by Gen Ueda (ex-Lä-ppisch), Takumi Mamiya and others. Includes a No.1 hit on Japanese pop charts, "Wadatsumi no Ki (The Tree of Sea God)".
|Mika Nakashima/Best (2002-2005)|
A female singer/actress who was born in Kagoshima Pref. in 1983. She is known for her husky, low voice and impressive ballad songs. She debuted as a singer with the single "Stars" (#3 on Japanese pop charts), the theme song for the TV drama in which she played the heroine, "Kizudarake no Love Song (Love Song Covered with Wounds)" in 2001. Her first best-compilation album that features 14 single tracks such as "Amazing Grace" (American gospel song. The 2005 new version produced and arranged by jazz singer Chie Ayado), "Stars" (the 2005 new vocal version), "Will" (the theme song for the TV drama "Tentai Kansoku/Star Watching"), "Find the Way" (the ending theme song for the TV anime "Mobile Suit Gundam Seed"), "Yuki no Hana (Snow Flores)", and "Glamorous Sky" (the theme song for the movie starring herself, "Nana". #1 on Japanese pop charts).
|Bon-Bon Blanco/B3 Master Pieces 2002-2004 (2002-2004)|
An idol pop group consist of five girls. The members are the vocalist Santos Anna (quarter-breed of Hispanic-American) and four Latin percussion players; Mako (maracas), Tomoyo (timbales), Izumi (conga) and Ruri (bongo). Latin-flavored dance pop featuring Anna's powerful, resounding vocals. A single collection that includes all the tracks from the singles released from 2002 debut until January 2004 and several other popular songs. Features 'Datte Onnanoko Nandamon! (Because I'm a Girl)', 'Namida no Hurricane (Tearful Hurricane)' (the ending theme for TV anime 'GetBackers') and 'Bon Voyage!' (the opening theme for TV anime 'One Piece'). The music produced by Being. The songs composed by Kohsuke Oshima and others. 'Ureshii! Tanoshii! Daisuki! (Goody! Pleasant! I Love It!)' is a cover of Dreams Come True. 'Come to Me' is a cover of Bobby Caldwell.
|I've/G.C.Best -I've Girl's Compilation Best- (2012/1999-2010)|
I've is a music production group based in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, formed by Kazuya Takase (composer, arranger and music producer) in 1998. Known for their music for PC games, TV anime and others. A best compilation album (26 tracks). Includes 25 songs selected in fan balloting from their seven "Girl's Compilation" series albums featuring female vocalists (from "Regret" (1999) to "Extract" (2010)), and one new song. All the tracks were remastered. Includes lots of good songs, featuring backtracks based on eurobeat and trance techno, catchy, beautiful melodies, and high-quality arrangements, such as "Fuck Me" (sung by Miki), "Disintegration" (Lia), "Wing My Way" (Kotoko), "Face of Fact" (Kotoko), "Collective" (Kotoko), "Imaginary Affair" (Kotoko), and "Onaji Sora no Shita de (Under the Same Sky)" (Kotoko).
The music production group based in Sapporo City, Hokkaido (the island in the north end of Japan). Known for its music (vocal songs and BGM) for X-rated PC games forbidden for people under 18 and anime. The third of their albums named 'Girls Compilation' series. Melodic songs in the Eurobeat/trance style featuring programmed digital sound and female vocalists called 'Uta-hime'. Much of the tracks are from the songs of X-rated games, but the music itself has superior quality, and it is comparable to mainstream J-pop. The songs composed and arranged by Kazuya Takase and others. The vocalists are Mell, Eiko Shimamiya, Kotoko and others. Includes 'Namida no Chikai (Tearful Vow)' (the opening theme for the PC game 'Triangle Heart 3 -Sweet Songs Forever-').
|Yo Hitoto/Bestyo (2002-2006)|
A female singer/lyricist/actress born in 1976 to a Taiwanese father and a Japanese mother. Her first best-compilation album that includes all the eight singles released unitl 2005, seven tracks from her albums and a new song "Tentou-Mushi (A Ladybug)" (16 tracks in total). Acoustic pop with clear voice in the traditional style like Asian folk songs. The lyrics are Japanese (partly Mandarin Chinese). The songs composed, produced and arranged by Satoshi Takebe and others. Features her debut single "Morai-naki (Cry in Sympathy)", a long-selling single "Hanamizuki (Dogwood)" (the theme song for NTV Wednesday Suspense Drama. The commercial song for JRA/Japan Racing Association), "Kage-fumi (Shadow-Stomping)" (the commercial song for JRA), "Ureshii koto. (A Happy Thing)" (The commercial song for Bausch&Lomb Japan's "ReNu MultiPlus"), and "Sayonara-arigato (Goodbye-thanks)" (the commercial song for Misawa Homes).
|Yukari Onishi & Shinsekai/Yukari Onishi & Shinsekai (2002)|
A female singer from Osaka, Yukari Onishi's band. Known for her powerful and soulful shouting vocals. She had originally belonged to a gospel choir. After joining gospel singer Jaye Kohyama's "Jaye's Mass Choir", she has worked as a soul singer with her band, Shinsekai ("New World" in English. It comes from Osaka's amusement area. Her home ground). A reissued album which remastered their debut album of the same title released on an independent label in 2001 and added two bonus tracks. The sound fusing Showa Kayo (Japaese lowbrow pop songs in the Showa era) with soul music such as R&B. "Shin-Micchii Ondo" is a cover of Michi Aoyama's 1963 hit song "Micchii Ondo". "Koi no Aji (Taste of Love)" is a cover of Sanae Sasaki's 1969 song (written by Takuya Fujimoto). "Go Kart Twist" is a cover of the theme song for the 1962 Italian film "Diciottenni al sole" (sung by Gianni Morandi, composed by Ennio Morricone). "Kitaguni yuki de (To Northland)" is Eiko Shuri's 1972 hit song. Recommended to those who like Showa Kayo and Crazy Ken Band.
|Yoeko Kurahashi/Modern Girl (2003)|
A female singer-songwriter born in Aichi Pref., in 1976, Yoeko Kurahashi's second full-length album (fourth overall). Released on the independent label Warner Indies Network. She had played piano since three years old, but she began music career as singer-songwriter while in Musashino Academia Musicae (Dept. of Instrumental Music). The sound is strongly influenced by jazzy Showa Kayo, and this album introduces scat singing overall. Features her own piano performance, high-toned voices and negative lyrics about woman's pathos. Recommended to those who like Showa Kayo, Miyuki Nakajima, Mayumi Kojima, Ringo Shiina, Ego-Wrappin', and Yukari Onishi.
|Yoshihiro Hanno/Lido (2003)|
An electronica musician who formed a hip-hop group News from Street Connection in 1992, and later released an album 'King of May' as Multiphonic Ensemble from Belgian label 'Sub Rosa' in 1997. Also known for his collaboration album 'Liquid Glass' (1998) featuring Mick Karn (former-Japan bassist), and movie sound tracks such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'Flowers of Shanghai' (1998) and Jia Zhangke's 'Platform' (2000). A 2003 album. A graceful sound space in chamber music/bossa nova/ambient sytle, featuring vocals and acoustic instruments, such as winds, strings, piano and guitar, with electronic sounds such as samples and glitch noises. The guest musicians are Joan La Barbara (a vocalist in contemporary music. Known for her works with John Cage), Arto Lindsay (vocals, guitar), Shigeharu Sasago (guitar) from Choro Club and others. The lyrics are French, English and Portuguese.
|The Band Apart/K. and His Bike (2003)|
A rock band formed in 1998, the Band Apart's debut album. The members are Takeshi Arai (vocals, guitar), Koichi Kawasaki (guitar), Masakazu Hara (bass) and Eiichi Kogure (drums). High-quality guitar rock with sophisticated performing technique, assimilating melodic hardcore, fusion, jazz, soul and bossa nova. The lyrics are English. The single track "Eric.W" is especially good for its song style like Prefab Sprout. Features a cover of "When You Wish Upon a Star" from the 1940 Walt Disney movie "Pinocchio" (released in the tribute album to Disney, "Dive into Disney") as a secret track after the eleventh track.
|See-Saw/Dream Field (2003)|
The pop duo of two women, composer Yuki Kajiura, who is known for her music for anime ('Noir', '.hack//SIGN' and others), video games, films and commercials, and vocalist Chiaki Ishikawa. Their third album. Catchy pop songs with digital synths (sequencer) and classical, acoustic ones like ballads. Oriental and beautiful melodies. Features "Obsession" (opening theme for TV anime '.hack//SIGN'), "Yasashii Yoake (A Gentle Dawn)" (ending theme for '.hack//SIGN'), a smash hit "Anna ni Issho datta no ni (We were So Close Together...)" (the first ending theme for TV anime 'Mobile Suit Gundam SEED'. #5 on the Japanese pop charts), and "Kimi ga Ita Monogatari (The Story with You)-Dream Field Mix" (opening theme for the OAV '.hack//Liminality vol.3').
|Suitei Shoujo/16 -sixteen- (2003)|
The girl pop duo of Rino (vocals) and Lissa (vocals). When they released the debut single 'Shouchinosuke' (the ending theme song of the TV anime 'One Piece'), they were only in the 8th grade (14 years old). The debut album that includes mainly single tracks already released. Looks like t.A.T.u. (girl duo from Russia) in visual concept, but the music is orthodox J-pop with catchy melodies like Japanese pop in the 1970-80s. Also includes the opening theme song of the TV anime "E's Otherwise".
|Go!Go!7188/Tategami (Mane) (2003)|
The three-piece rock band by Yuu/Yumi Nakashima (guitar, vocals), Akko/Akiko Hamada (bass, vocals) and Turkey (drums), Go!Go!7188's third album. Guitar riffs in the surf-rock style, punk beat and catchy melodies like Japanese GS and old lowbrow pop songs called 'Kayokyoku' in the Showa era. The vocal style is like Ringo Shena. Featuring "Ukifune" (Floating Boat), the single song with the traditional Japanese style melody.
|Under17/Best Album 1: "Bishojo Game Song ni Ai wo!!" (Love for Bishojo Game Song!!) (2003)|
The duo of Halko Momoi (songwriting, vocals and keyboards) and Masaya Koike (composition, arrangement, guitar), Under17 is a unit being devoted to pursue the ideal of "Moe" song that specializes in video-game/anime theme tunes. "Moe" is a Japanese slang word for fetishistic devotion to fictional characters (mainly girls) of manga, anime and video game. The debut album. The sound is strongly influenced by the Japanese old-school techno pop of the 1980s, anime songs and idol pop. Cute vocals with so-called "anime voice" like a little girl and catchy melodies. Much of the tracks are from the songs of X-rated PC games forbidden for people under 18, but the music itself has superior quality. Features "Koi no Milkyway (Milkyway of Love)" (the opening theme for the PC game "Milkyway2"), "Ichigo Go! Go! (Strawberry Go! Go!)" (the opening theme for the PC game "Ichigo-da") and "Tenbatsu! Angel Rabbie (Punishment of Heaven! Angel Rabbie)" (the opening theme for the PC game "Magical Twirler Angel Rabbie: Kessakusen"). During the active period since 2002 until 2004, they released other two albums, "Best Album 2: Moe Song wo Kiwameruzo!" and "Best Album 3: Soshite Densetsu e...".
|Asian Kung-fu Generation/Kimitsunagi Five M (2003)|
The four-piece rock band led by Masafumi Gotoh (vocals, guitar). Guitar rock featuring the loud sound by the band and Gotoh's straight-ahead, impulsive vocals. The melodies are catchy, and the lyrics have a literary and poetic flavor. The first full-length album featuring the single 'Kimi to iu Hana (The Flower You)'.
|Umeko Ando/Upopo Sanke (2003)|
Umeko Ando (1932-2004) is an Ainu musician born in Fushiko Ainu village in Obihiro, Hokkaido, known as an expert at mukkuri (bamboo Jew's harp) and upopo (Ainu's traditional chant song), and one of the representative successors of the Ainu culture of the Obihiro district. Her second and last solo album released on Chikar Studio in 2003. Arranged and produced by OKI, an Ainu-Japanese musician/producer. Acoustic trance music with organic, loose grooves and kaleidoscopic, colorful sounds, based on Ainu's traditional music, featuring Umeko Ando's song, OKI's tonkuri (five-stringed instrument), African percussions, a Tuvan (central Asia) traditional music performer Masahiko Todoriki's khoomei (throat singing), and calling-out voices. The monotonous and repetitive performances give soothing, hypnotic trance state. The lyrics are Ainu language.
|Perfume/Perfume -Complete Best- (2003-2006)|
The idol techno pop group of three girls from Hiroshima Prefecture; Ayaka Nishiwaki (A-chan), Yuka Kashino (Kashiyuka) and Ayano Ohmoto (Nocchi). Their first full-length (best compilation) album that includes all their seven single tracks released until 2006 on major label, such as "Linear Motor Girl", "Computer City" and "Electro World" (album version), four songs on independent label, "Sweet Doughnut", "Monochrome Effect", "Vitamin Drop" and "Inryoku (Gravitation)", and a new song "Perfect Star, Perfect Style" (12 tracks in total). All the songs composed, arranged and produced by Yasutaka Nakata (capsule).
The idol techno pop group of three women from Hiroshima Prefecture; Ayaka Nishiwaki (A-chan), Yuka Kashino (Kashiyuka) and Ayano Ohmoto (Nocchi), Perfume's second album (#1 on the Japanese pop album charts). Includes single tracks, 'Chocolate Disco', 'Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow', 'Polyrhythm' (used the Environment Recycle Campaign by NHK), 'Baby cruising Love' and 'Macaroni'. The title track 'Game' is a song in the electro house style. All the songs written, arranged and produced by Yasutaka Nakata (capsule). The first limited edition features a bonus DVD (live images, music video and so on).
|Berryz Kobo/Berryz Kobo Special Best Vol.1 (2004-2009)|
A girl idol group who belongs to Hello! Project, formed in 2004 by eight members selected from Hello! Project Kids (They have worked as seven members after Mai Ishimura graduated from the group in 2005), Berryz Kobo's first full best-compilation album. Not a single collection, but a compilation which includes 17 popular songs selected from their singles and albums, and a new song. Sequencer-driven dance pop featuring catchy melodies like Showa Kayo. Includes singles, "Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (I Can't Live Without You)", "Piriri to Yuko! (Let's Spice Things Up!)" (a song featuring Okinawan folk music), "Koi no Jubaku (Love's Spell)", "Special Generation" (#7 on the Japanese charts), "Nanchu Koi wo Yatteruu You Know? (What Kind of Love Do I Have, You Know?)", "Jiriri Kiteru (Scorching, Coming)" (#6), "Waracchaouyo Boyfriend (Let's Laugh, Boyfriend)", "Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi (Going Out with You, But It's Unrequited Love)" (#6), "Genghis Khan" (#5. A cover of a song "Dschinghis Khan" by German pop band Dschinghis Khan), "Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance (Go Go Monkey Dance)" (#4), and "Madayade (Not Finished Yet)" (#6. A song in a surf rock style). The songs written, composed and produced by Tsunku. The first limited edition features a bonus DVD (images of an event for "Madayade" release).
|Bump of Chicken/Yggdrasil (2004)|
The four-piece rock band led by Motoo Fujiwara (vocals, guitar and songwriting), Bump of Chicken's sixth album (second on major label) (#1 on the Japanese pop album charts). Melodic guitar pop characterized by emotional vocals, driving band sound and narrative lyrics. Features the album version of "Only Lonely Glory" (#1 on the Japanese pop single charts), "Sailing Day" (theme song for the anime "One Piece the Movie: The Dead End Adventure"), "Sharin no Uta (The Wheel Song)", "Snow Smile" and "Lost Man".
|Sukima Switch/Natsugumo Noise (Summer Cloud Noise) (2004)|
The pop duo of two songwriters, Takuya Ohashi (vocals, guitar) and Shintaro Tokita (piano, keyboards), Sukima Switch's first full album. Melodic pop of high-quality with piano, brass and strings. Catchy melodies. All the tracks of this album are good. Features the debut single "View", "Kimi no Hanshi (Your Story) -Evolution Mix-", the second single and a long-selling hit ballad "Kanade", the third single "Furete Mirai wo (Touching the Future)" and others. All the songs written, arranged and produced by themselves. Recommended to those who like Kirinji.
|Oceanlane/On My Way Back Home (2004)|
A rock band formed by Hajime Takei (vocals, guitar) and Kay Naoe (guitar, vocals) in Tokyo in 2001, Oceanlane's debut album. Released on an independent label Handicraft Recordings. Totally Western music-oriented sound based on mainly UK guitar pop and adding a tinge of US emo/melodic hardcore rock. The lyrics are English. Beautiful melodies. Includes a limited single track "Sign". Re-issued in 2007 with two bonus tracks from a limited maxi single "Out of Reason". Recommended to Western music fans who like UK guitar pop with beautiful melodies.
A three-piece rock band formed by Yuki (bass, vocals, piano, programming, songwriting) in Kyoto in 2001, Pinkloop's second full-length album. Released on an independent label Rock Chipper Records. Power pop-oriented melodic punk pop with harmonic chorus. The lyrics are English.
A rock band led by Robin Aoki (vocals, guitar) and formed in 2000, downy's fourth album. Released on Polystar in 2004. Like downy's other albums, it has no title. Experimental and hardcore sound in the post-punk/dark psychedelic style, featuring polyrhythmic beats and irregular meters. The 4th track is a punk-jazz style tune with saxophones. The lyrics are Japanese, but they can hardly be heard as Japanese and sound like English.
|capsule/S.F. sound furniture (2004)|
The duo of producer/remixer/DJ/art director/designer Yasutaka Nakata and female vocalist Toshiko Koshijima, capsule's fourth album. Fancy and cute 'interior' pop featuring house, bossa nova, lounge, electro, mondo, French and breakbeat elements. The sound is like Pizzicato Five. All the songs written and produced by Yasutaka Nakata. The single track "Retro Memory" is the song for House Foods' commercial film (produced by Studio Ghibli). The promotion video of "Portable Kuko (Portable Airport)" is a short film produced by the collaboration between Yasutaka Nakata and Studio Ghibli director Yoshiyuki Momose.
|Kaela Kimura/Kaela (2004)|
A female singer, Kaela Kimura's debut album. She had been a fashion model for the magazine 'Seventeen' since 2002, and debuted as a singer with the single 'Level 42' in 2004. Rock-oriented sound featuring loud guitar. The music composed and produced by Taiyo Yamazawa, Shigekazu Aida (El-Malo, FOE, Honesty) and others. Features the single hits "Level 42" (album take) and "happiness!!!".
|Melocure (Ritsuko Okazaki & Megumi Hinata)/Melodic Hard Cure (2004)|
A duo project of two female singer/songwriters, Ritsuko Okazaki (she had worked as a solo singer and also had wrote lots of anime series theme songs such as "Minky Momo" (2nd), "Wedding Peach", "Love Hina", "Fruit Basket" and "Princess Tutu") and Megumi Hinata (she debuted as a singer named 'Gumi' for the TV anime "Card Captor Sakura" first opening song "Catch You Catch Me" (wrote by Kohmi Hirose) and then worked as a singer/songwriter/producer). Formed in 2002, and released three singles until 2003. Cute and innocent sound with clear whispering voices. The songs are catchy tunes in up-tempo with loud band, like power pop, and ballads with beautiful melodies. Includes three singles, "Itoshii Kakera (My Dear Fragment)" (opening theme song for the TV anime "UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie" Season 1), "1st Priority " (opening theme song for the TV anime "Stratos 4"), and "Meguriai (An Encounter)" (opening theme song for the TV anime "UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie" season 2). Unfortunately, Ritsuko Okazaki died from septic shock in 2004, after releasing this debut album, so this became Melocure's first and last album.
|World's End Girlfriend/The Lie Lay Land (2005)|
The musical project of Katsuhiko Maeda, World's End Girlfriend's 4th album. Dramatic sound space in the electronica/post-rock style, blending electronic sounds with acoustic instruments (winds, strings, piano, drums and bass). A strange fusion between extreme sound editing/collage and classical beauty. Nostalgic melodies. Recommended to those who like Aphex Twin.
|Ellegarden/Riot on the Grill (2005)|
A pop punk/melodic hardcore band formed in 1998 in Chiba, Ellegarden's fourth full album. A quartet featuring Takeshi Hosomi (vocals, guitar, songwriting). The sound just like American pop punk bands since the mid-1990s. Catchy, beautiful melodies and lyrics in impeccable English are featured (the lyrics are mainly in English and partly in Japanese). A smash hit album in Japan (#3 on the Japanese album charts). Released in the US too. Includes a single "Missing". Recommended to those who like Weezer and Green Day.
|Ging Nang Boyz/...Young Alive in Love (2005)|
A punk band formed by Kazunobu Mineta (vocals, guitar) in 2003, after his rock band Going Steady disbanded, Ging Nang Boyz's debut album (#6 on the Japanese pop album charts). The Japanese original title "Kimi to Boku no Daisanji Sekai Taisenteki Renai Kakumei" means "Our World War Three-like Love Revolution". Simultaneously released with the album "Door" on the label "Hatsukoi Moudo Gakuen", which is affiliated with the independent label UK. Project. Song/melody-oriented emotional punk-pop influenced by Buzzcocks and Green Day. Lots of good songs featuring catchy and beautiful melodies. There are songs in the folk style too. The guest musicians are ex-Judy and Mary vocalist Yuki (vocals), Yo-King (production) of Magokoro Brothers, Yuichi Oki (organ) of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, and others. All the songs written and composed by Kazunobu Mineta. 6 of 14 songs are originally made with Going Steady. The illustration on the CD cover by Hisashi Eguchi. Recommended to punk-pop/melodic hardcore/emo listeners.
|Beat Crusaders/P.O.A.: Pop on Arrival (2005)|
A rock band formed in 1997 and led by Toru Hidaka (vocals, guitar), Beat Crusaders' first full album on major label. Punk pop influenced by power pop, melodic hardcore and the 1980s new wave/synth pop. Features two singles, 'Hit in the USA' (the opening theme of TV anime 'Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad') and 'Feel'. The lyrics are English. Recommended to those who like punk pop and power pop-oriented guitar rock such as Weezer.
|Sound Horizon/Elysion -Rakuen Gensou Monogatari Kumikyoku- (2005)|
A group of artists led by a sound creator (songwriter, composer and arranger) Revo (lyrics, composition, arrangement, guitar, keyboards, etc...) , the fantasy band Sound Horizon's second major-label album and fourth story CD (#29 on the Japanese pop album charts). Released on Bellwood Records. The title means "Elysion -Paradise Fantasy Story Suite-". A good album as sort of a culmination of the band's first period when a voice actress/narrator/singer Aramary (vocals, chorus, narration, voice) was an official member. A concept album in the suite form, depicting a fantasy story like medieval Europe with music, narration and sound effects. Features Aramary's clear, transparent high-tone vocals, catchy and melancholy Japanese-style melodies, rich and varied music including classical, heavy metal and folk music elements, and gorgeous orchestration with lots of acoustic instruments including winds and strings. "Ark" and "Yield" are rerecordings of the songs included in the previous album "Elysion -Rakuen eno Zensoukyoku (Elysion -Prelude to Paradise-)" (2004). "El no Ehon [Majo to Lafrenze] (El's Picture Book [The Witch and Lafrenze])" is another arrangement version of the song from the indie CD "Pico Magic" (2003). Recommended for neoclassical dark wave (Ali Project and the like) lovers, or J-pop listeners in general who like B'z and the like.
|Denki Groove X Schadaraparr/Denki Groove toka Schadaraparr (2005)|
A collaboration between the two leading groups of Japanese techno/rap/hip-hop scenes, Denki Groove (techno) and Schadaraparr (rap/hip-hop). The sound is like the 1980s danceable electro-pop and techno-oriented hip-hop. The first single "Twilight" is a beautiful pop tune fearturing Takkyu Ishino's vocals. Other tracks feature mainly Bose, Ani and Pierre Taki's rap with comical lyrics. Ex-Denki Groove member, Yoshinori Sunahara also joined (programming and keyboards). The last track "Machine Shoujo Tam Tam: The Ending Theme" is a song like the Japanese 1970s TV anime themes, featuring "the Queen of Anime Song" Mitsuko Horie as a guest vocalist.
|(Various Artists)/Grand Gallery Presents: Tokyo Luxury Lounge (2005)|
The fourth of the compilation series presented by Grand Gallery (DJ/music producer, Yasushi Ide's label and selected CD shop in Shibuya, Tokyo). A collection of lounge-oriented Japanese light club/dance music with vocals such as FreeTEMPO/Prelude, i-dep/Rainbow, Studio Apartment/Flight (Frankie Feliciano remix), Jazztronik/Feel the Air 2005, and Fantastic Plastic Machine/Reaching for the Stars (Masters at Work Mix). Compiled by Yasushi Ide.
|Ikimono-Gakari/Ikimonobakari: Members Best Selection (2010/2006-2010)|
A music trio of Yoshiki Mizuno (guitar), Hotaka Yamashita (guitar, harmonica) and female vocalist Kiyoe Yoshioka, formed in Kanagawa in 1999, Ikimono-Gakari's best compilation album (2 CDs, 31 tracks. #1 on Japanese Oricon Weekly). Selected by the members themselves. Includes songs from singles and albums, two re-arranged versions, two tracks previously unreleased on CD, and a new song "Kaze to Mirai (Wind and Future)" (a commercial song for "New Nissan Serena"). Lots of good pop songs with catchy melodies for all ages, on the basis of the tradition of Japanese popular music, including Kayokyoku and folk songs. Includes singles, "Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)" (#17 on Japanese Oricon Weekly), "Koisuru Otome (Girls in Love)" (#15), "Uruwashiki Hito (Beautiful Person)" (#17. Commercial song for Coca-Cola Japan "Aquarius Vitamin Guard"), "Seishun Line (Youth Line)" (#10. TV anime "Big Windup!" 2nd ending theme), "Akaneiro no Yakusoku (Madder-Colored Promise)" (#7. Commercial song for au "LISMO"), "Hana wa Sakura Kimi wa Utsukushi (The Flowers are Cherry Blossoms, You are Beautiful)" (#7. Commercial song for au "W61S"), "Kaeritaku Natta yo (I Want to Go Home)" (#7), "Bluebird" (#3. TV anime "Naruto: Shippuden" opening theme), "Kimagure Romantic (Caprice Romantic)" (#4), "Yell/Joyful" (#2. "Joyful" is a commercial song for Ezaki Glico "Pocky"), "Nakumonka (No More Cry)" (#6), "Nostalgia" (#3. The 2010 live-action film "Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" theme song), "Arigatou (Thank You)" (#2. NHK TV drama "Gegege's Wife" theme song), and "Kimi ga Iru (You are There)" (#4).
An entertainment-type avant-garde jazz performance group influenced by underground theater. Formed by jazz bassist Daisuke Fuwa (he plays the bass and conducts the band) in 1989. Known for its exciting live performance like carnival, with the big band consisting of over twenty musicians, dancers and stage sets. They play instrumental performances which fuse lots of different types of genres, such as jazz, rock, dance and popular. The musicians are Hiroaki Katayama (tenor sax), Takeshi Shibuya (organ), Hiroshi Itaya (trombone) and many many others. Their major-label debut and first best compilation album that includes a new piece "New Gate" and new recordings/remasterings of previously released/played pieces such as "P-chan" and "Hyottoko". "The Washington Post" (a cover of the march composed by John Philip Sousa) is used as a commercial song for "Men's TBC".
The band formed in 1996 with guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto (ex-Boredoms), electric violinist Yuji Katsui, and other important instrumentalists from Japanese avant-garde/underground music scene. The seventh album that includes one track (a suite of three parts. 55 minutes). Spacy instrumental sound full of sense of euphoria, featuring electric violin and two powerful drum sets. Greatly influenced by psych rock, krautrock/German prog-rock and trance.
|Angela Aki/Home (2006)|
A female singer/songwriter born in 1977 to a Japanese father and an Italian-American mother, Angela Aki's major-label debut album. Simple style mainly based on the piano accompaniment. Powerful vocals and dynamic piano playing. The lyrics are Japanese (partly English). Includes four single tracks, "Home", "Kokoro no Senshi (Fighter of the Heart)", a good ballad "Kiss Me Good-Bye" (the videogame for PlayStation2 'Final Fantasy XII' insert song) and "This Love" (the TV anime 'Blood+' ending theme song).
|Chatmonchy/Miminari (Tinnitus) (2006)|
A three-piece girls rock band led by Eriko Hashimoto (guitar, vocals) from Tokushima Prefecture, Chatmonchy's first full-length album. Alternative guitar pop featuring muscular, stormy band sound with guitar distortion. Girls-view lyrics. Includes "Hana no Yume (Flower's Dream)" (album mix) from debut mini album, 2 single tracks "Koi no Kemuri (Love Smoke)" (album mix) and "Ren'ai Spirits (Love Spirits)". Produced by Junji Ishiwatari (ex-Supercar guitarist).
|Yui/From Me to You (2006)|
A female singer-songwriter born in Fukuoka in 1987, Yui's debut album. Simple guitar pop with wildly-strumming acoustic/electric guitars and catchy vocal melodies. Includes four single tracks, "Feel My Soul" (theme song for the TV drama "Fukigen na Gene"), "Tomorrow's Way", "Life" (ending theme for the TV anime "Bleach") and "Tokyo". The eleventh track "I Know" is a song released on an independent single for Kyushu area only.
|AKB48/SET LIST -Greatest Songs 2006-2007 (2006-2007/2008)|
AKB48 is an all-female idol group formed in 2005. They consist of 48 members divided into three teams: Team A, Team K and Team B. Their performance is theater-based, like Tokyo Performance Doll in the early 1990s, and they perform at their own theater "AKB48 Theater" in Akihabara most days of the week. The total produced and the lyrics written by Yasushi Akimoto, a broadcasting writer and lyricist who had produced Onyanko Club in the 1980s. The music is girls' pop in Showa Kayo (Japaese lowbrow pop songs in the Showa era) style, like Onyanko Club. The group's first original album that includes mainly single tracks, such as "Sakura no Hanabiratachi/Cherry Petals", "Skirt, Hirari/Skirt Flapping", "Aitakatta/Wanted to Meet You", "BINGO!", "Boku no Taiyo/My Sun" and "Yuuhi wo Miteiruka?/Are You Looking at the Sunset?".
An idol girl group formed in 2005, AKB48's second "best of" album (#1 on the Japanese pop album charts). Originally a community-based idol group based in Akihabara, but they get a lot of media exposure and their CDs get increased sales since about 2009, and then they become a national icon in Japan. A best compilation that includes songs released as singles from 2008 to 2010. The title literally means "God Songs" in the sense of "Masterpieces". The regular edition features 16 tracks including new two songs, with a DVD (three choreography videos). The theater edition features 14 tracks, with a bonus CD which includes audio commentaries by the group members for the 14 songs. The lyrics written by Yasushi Akimoto, the songs composed by Yoshimasa Inoue and others. Most of the songs are typical vulgar J-pop. Noisy sound quality by emphasizing the midrange. Includes "Oogoe Diamond (Loud Voice Diamond)" (#3 on the Japanese charts), "10nen Sakura (10-year Cherry Blossom)" (#3), "Namida Surprise! (Tears Surprise!)" (#2), "Iiwake Maybe (An Excuse, Maybe)" (#2), "River" (#1), "Sakura no Shiori (Cherry Blossom Bookmark)" (#1), and others. "Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby!" is another version of "Baby! Baby! Baby!", a single limited to online distribution, with another members on vocals.
|Mono/You Are There (2006)|
A four-piece instrumental rock band formed in Tokyo in 1999, Mono's fourth full-length album. The members are Takaakira "Taka" Goto (guitar), Yoda (guitar), Tamaki (bass) and Yasunori Takada (drums). The sound in the post-rock/ambient style with strings and feedbacking noise guitar, like Mogwai. Extremely lyrical music featuring melancholy and beautiful melodies. Engineered and mixed by Steve Albini. Released on an independent label Human Highway Records. Also released in South Korea, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Recommended to those who like Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine and World's End Girlfriend.
|Maximum the Hormone/Buiikikaesu (2007)|
A rock band formed in Hachioji, Tokyo in 1998, Maximum the Hormone's fifth full-length album (#4 on the Japanese pop album charts). The members are Maximum the Ryo-kun (guitar, vocals), Daisuke-han (vocals), Ue-chan (bass) and Nao (drums, vocals. Ryo-kun's elder sister). Pop and heavy sound based on heavy metal and hardcore punk, features catchy vocal melodies, death growls and Japanese lyrics which don't sound like Japanese. Sophisticated performing technique. Includes "What's Up, People?!" (opening theme for the TV anime "Death Note"), "Zetsubou Billy" (ending theme for the TV anime "Death Note"), "Akagi" (ending theme for the TV anime "Akagi"), and "Koi no Mega Lover" (opening theme for music info program "CDTV"). Recommended to Japanese heavy metal/punk pop/melodic hardcore listeners, Kinniku Shojo Tai fans, and Western heavy rock listeners too.
An electronica duo formed in 2006, consisting of the track maker Sen and the female vocalist Calu, matryoshka's debut album. Released on the independent label Novel Sounds, Hiroshima, Japan. Ambient/post-rock/shoegazing-oriented electronica featuring classical and solemn strings, acoustic piano, whispering, clear vocals, electronic sounds and glitch noises. Listener-friendly sound with simple and nostalgic melodies. The lyrics are English. Recommended to those who like 4AD label artists (Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance), My Bloody Valentine, Aphex Twin and World's End Girlfriend. Not so new, but a soothing album can be listened calmly.
|Ogre You Asshole/Alpha Beta vs. Lambda (2007)|
A rock band from Nagano Pref., who have been acting since around 2000, Ogre You Asshole's second album. Released on their own independent label Oya (distributed by UK Project). Post-rock oriented guitar pop influenced by US indie rock such as Modest Mouse and Built to Spill, and punk/new wave bands such as Television and Gang of Four. Intertwining two guitars and lightheaded, high-toned vocals.
|Dir En Grey/Uroboros (2008)|
A five-piece rock band formed in Osaka in 1997, Dir En Grey's seventh album (#4 on the Japanese Oricon. #114 on the US Billboard). Heavy rock/alternative metal with the elements of gothic rock and death metal. Features the vlcalist Kyo's emotional vocals in a very wide range of voice, including death growl, falsetto and whistle voice, and Japanese-style melancholy melodies like Showa Kayo. Oriental and religious mood like Mideastern folk music. Kyo's vocals and the melodic songs in mid/slow tempo are impressive. Includes singles, "Dozing Green" (English lyrics version) and "Glass Skin" (English lyrics version). Released in 17 countries including Japan, the US and Europe almost at the same time. The 2012 "Uroboros [Remastered & Expanded]" includes the single versions with Japanese lyrics of "Dozing Green" and "Glass Skin". Recommended to those who like X Japan, Korn and Marilyn Manson.
|Buono!/Café Buono! (2008)|
One of the subunits derived from the girl idol groups of Hello! Project, Buono!'s debut album. The members are Momoko Tsugunaga and Miyabi Natsuyaki from Berryz Kobo, and Airi Suzuki from °C-ute. Girl idol pop with rock/power pop-oriented arrangement. Includes three single tracks, "Honto no Jibun (True Self)" (ending theme for the TV anime "Shugo Chara!"), "Kokoro no Tamago (Egg of the Heart)" (opening theme for "Shugo Chara!") and "Renai Rider (Romance Rider)" (ending theme for "Shugo Chara!"). "Internet Cupid" is a song in techno pop style, like Perfume. The first press limited edition includes a DVD.
|Livetune feat.Hatsune Miku/Re:package (2008)|
Livetune is a music group of two members, kz and kajyuki. 'Hatsune Miku' is Crypton Future Media's computer music software, powered by Yamaha's singing synthesizer software 'Vocaloid2'. The voice data was created by sampling the voice of Saki Fujita, a voice actress. Livetune gained prominence in 2007, when they put songs featuring Hatsune Miku on vocals on the Internet. The debut album 'Re:package' was originally released as a dojin (self-published) music CD in 2008, and later re-released with three tracks added on a major label Victor Entertainment (#5 on the Japanese pop album charts). The songs are techno/electro pop/house style tracks and ballads with beautiful melodies. Hatsune Miku's vocals lack verve, sense of rhythm and delicate expressiveness like real human songs, but they have interesting effects by changing voice qualities, processing with a vocoder and adjusting more mechanical purposely. Includes the debut song 'Packaged' (played on the Net over seven hundred thousand times). Recommended to those who like techno pop/Dojin music listeners and Under17/Perfume fans.
Soutaiseiriron (Japanese word for 'Theory of Relativity') is a Tokyo-based four-piece pop band formed in 2006. Their debut albumette (includes 5 tracks) 'Chiffon/Capitalism' was firstly recorded in 2006 and released as a self-published CD-R in 2007. Then, the remastered CD was released on the independent label Mirai Records in 2008. Guitar pop like the 1980s indie pop, featuring unemotional female vocals and surreal, strange lyrics with lots of games of rhyming. Includes 'Love Zukkyun' (the music video had been distributed on the internet such as MySpace and YouTube). All the words and music written by Shuichi Mabe (bass). It topped Tower Records Japan's weekly J-pop indies chart.
|Ling tosite sigure/just A moment (2009)|
A three-piece rock band formed in Saitama in 2002, Ling tosite sigure/Rin Toshite Shigure's third full-length album and the debut album on the major label Sony Music Associated Records. The members are TK/Toru Kitajima (guitar, vocals), 345/Miyoko Nakamura (bass, vocals) and Pierre Nakano/Masatoshi Nakano (drums). The sound is in the post-hardcore/emo style featuring loud guitar and male/female twin vocals in high tones. Beautiful melodies filled with wistful lyricism. Complex, elaborate song structures with lots of changes of tempo, like prog-rock. The lyrics are Japanese. All the songs written, composed and produced by TK. Includes two singles, "Telecastic fake show" and "moment A rhythm" (short ver.). Recommended to those who like Japanese emo band such as Bloodthirsty Butchers, Eastern Youth and Asian Kung-Fu Generation.
|Momoiro Clover Z/Battle and Romance (2011)|
Momoiro Clover Z is an idol group of five girls who belong to the talent agency Stardust Promotion, known for their acrobatic and energetic dance/live performances. Formed in 2008 as the group of six girls "Momoiro Clover". The first album (#2 on the Japanese album charts. 13 tracks) released after Akari Hayami's departure and the name change to "Momoiro Clover Z". A good idol pop album featuring catchy and elaborate musical compositions at fast tempo with lots of modulations, including the elements of straight-ahead idol pop, Showa Kayo, techno, eurodance, jungle, and rap. Includes the first, second and third major-label singles re-recorded by five members, "Ikuze! Kaito Shojo" (Let's Go! Thief Girls), "Pinky Jones" and "Mirai Bowl" (Future Bowl), the fourth single "Z Densetsu (Owarinaki Kakumei)" (Z Legend: Neverending Revolution) in the style of theme song for Tokusatsu (Sentai) TV series, and the fifth single "D' no Junjo" (D's Pure Heart). The songs composed and arranged by Kenichi Maeyamada (Hyadain), Narasaki and others. This album won the Japanese music grand prix of the fourth CD Shop Awards. The limited edition A is a double CD including a CD with six solo songs. The limited edition B includes a DVD with two music videos. Recommended to those who like Hello! Project's idol pop produced by Tsunku.
|cero/My Lost City (2012)|
A Western Tokyo-based three-piece band formed in 2004, cero's second album. Released from the independent label Kakubarhythm in 2012. The band name is the abbreviation of "Contemporary Exotica Rock Orchestra". The members are Shohei Takagi (vocals, guitar, flute, bass), Yu Arauchi (keyboards, bass, chorus) and Tsubasa Hashimoto (guitar, clarinet, chorus). Exotica-tinged orchestra pop in the tradition of Japanese pop since Happy End and Tin Pan Alley in the 1970s. The orchestration includes rock band, horns, steelpan, Marimba and Mandolin. Influenced by Flipper's Guitar and Fishmans. Superb in the music compositions and arrangement. Recommended to those who like the 1970s Japanese pop called "city pop" (such as Happy End, Tin Pan Alley, Sugar Babe and the like), Fishmans and Kirinji.
|Kyary Pamyu Pamyu/Pamyu Pamyu Revolution (2012)|
A female model and singer born in Tokyo in 1993, known for her Harajuku-based Aomoji-Kei (girly and unique) fashion, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's debut full-length album (#2 on the Japanese album charts. 12 tracks). Light and happy electropop like a children's TV show or amusement park. Features a digitally distributed single "PonPonPon", two physical singles, "Tsukematsukeru (Putting On My False Eyelashes)" (#7 on the Japanese charts) and "Candy Candy" (#8. A commercial song for Ezaki Glico's "Breo"), "Kyary An-An" (A commercial song for a job magazine "an"), and "Onedari 44°C (Scrounge 44°C)" (A commercial song for Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan's "Krushers"). All the songs written, composed, arranged and produced by Yasutaka Nakata (capsule), who is known for producing Perfume.
A female idol metal group who belongs to the talent agency Amuse, derived from idol girl group Sakura Gakuin and formed in 2010 under the theme of "the fusion of idol and metal". The members are Su-metal (vocal, dance), Yuimetal (scream, dance) and Moametal (scream, dance). They perform live with a back band called Kami Band. The first album released from Toy's Factory (#4 on Japanese Oricon Weekly. #187 on US Billboard 200). The music is a fusion of J-pop (idol pop), electro dance and heavy metal (alternative/death/speed/thrash). The melancholy vocal melodies in Showa Kayo style (mainstream in J-pop), the back band's high-level playing technique, and Su-metal's remarkable singing ability are impressive. Includes singles, "Doki Doki Morning (Heart-Quickening Morning)", "Iine! (Nice!)", "Head Bangya!!", "Ijime, Dame, Zettai (Absolutely No More Bullying)" (#6 on Oricon Weekly), and "Megitsune (Vixen)" (#7 on Oricon Weekly). The songs composed and arranged by Narasaki, Yuyoyuppe and others. The total produced by Kobametal (Amuse producer Key Kobayashi). Along with the regular edition, there is also the first-release limited edition with DVD.
|Babymetal/Metal Resistance (2016)|
A female idol metal group who belongs to the talent agency Amuse, Babymetal's second studio album. Released worldwide in 2016. The EU/US versions have two different tracks from the Japanese one. Like the first album, it is based on the fusion of J-pop, heavy metal and electro dance, and it features melancholy J-pop melodies, Su-metal's dignified vocals and the back band's virtuoso technique. Its sound is more powerful, expansive and dramatic than the first. The songs composed by Mish-Mosh, Norizo and others. Includes a digital single "Road of Resistance", a high-speed melodic power metal tune featuring two guitarists (Herman Li and Sam Totman) of the British power metal band DragonForce. "Meta Taro" is a tune like Tokusatsu hero theme song. "Tales of the Destinies" is a track in the progressive metal style. Produced by Kobametal (Amuse producer Key Kobayashi).
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