Daremo ga Erika wo Aishiteru
Tango album from the always inventive veteran folk/world musician Morio Agata. Both original and covers with his own unique twist on tango.
Re-release from 1974 of the first album by Chuei Yoshikawa, a folk style singer/songwriter. Yoshikawa has gone to an acclaimed career as a solo artist and backing a host of other musicians. On this, his first album, he teamed up with Tin Pan Alley, the group featuring Haruomi Hosono (bass) plus Tateo Hayashi (drums), Masataka Matsutoya (piano), Shigeru Suzuki (guitar), Toru Okada (Hammond organ), Yuki Komazawa (steel guitar). 15 tracks including bonus tracks from his second album "Machikado" released in 1975. 1. Yume ga Sukoshizutsu 2. Norainu 3. Furui Tokei no 4. Futon no Nukumori 5. Imadake wa / Kokoro 6. Boku wa Kaerou 7. Ame-agari 8. Nichiyobi no Gogo 9. Futari no Heya de 10. Aoi Sora 11. Haru wa Kagerou 12. Machikado 13. Kimi eno Uta 14. Itsunomanika 15. Kanashii Uta wa Utawanai
Dylan o Utau - Sings Dylan
Journalist / musician and long time Dylan fan, Koji Wakui, sings the songs of his hero- in Japanese. He is joined by various guests including Jon Auer (The Posies), folk singer John Wesley Harding, Morgan Fisher (ex-Mott the Hoople) and Japanese rock singer, Panta. 1. Blowin in the Wind 2. Stuck Inside of Mobile with Memphis Blues Again 3. The Man in Me 4. Hurricane 5. Jokerman 6. Lay Lady Lay 7. Mr Tambourine Man 8. Cold Irons Bound 9. When the Deal Goes Down 10. Blind Willie McTell 11. Under the Red Sky 12. Simple Twist of Fate.
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Produced by Makoto Kubota. Morio Agata has been making records since the early 70s. He became known as one of the 'gentle generation' of singer/songwriters, influenced by American folk but with more than a nod to post and pre-war Japanese pop. Since the 1980s he became influenced by world music and has been a long time collaborator of Makoto Kubota and in the early 90s formed the excellent group Raizo. Kubota, in case you don't know, is one of Japan's most innovative and brilliant producers, whose most recent project, Blue Asia has gained international acclaim. This album celebrates 35 years since Agata's first record, is a mix of old and new material, some inspired by the author Taruho Inagaki. Tracks include a version of Tokyo Bushi, with Japanese lyrics set to Marching Through Georgia, that has become a standard folk tune in Japan, complete with a Northeastern Brazilian rhythm session and guest vocals from Haruomi Hosono, an Arabic/dub version of Submarine, a Gypsy meets Bellydance mix on the song Sexi Sexi, and other world influences. Strong songs, great production, highly recommended. 12 tracks plus one bonus mix of Tokyo Bushi.
Kyu Sakamoto is the only artist to have had a number 1 single in the US with his 1963 hit "Sukiyaki" as the song is known internationally or "Ueo Muite Aruko" (Looking up as I Walk) in Japanese. The song also became well known in the UK and is currently going through a revival through its use in a TV commercial. Kyu Sakamoto was killed in 1985 in a plane crash at the age of 43. This definitive best of features eighteen of his most well known tunes : Ashitaga Arusa, Ueo Muite Aruko(Sukiyaki) Miagetegoran Yoru No Hoshio, Shiawasenara Teo Tatako, Tomodachi, Kanashiki Rokuju-sai, Sutekina Timing, Koi No Hometown, Bikini Style No Ojohsan, Let Kiss, Sayonara Tokyo, Dokokade Darekaga, Kimino Namaewa Nantenkana, Kiminanka Kiminanka, Kyu-chan No Tsuntusn-bushi, Benkyo No Cha Cha Cha and Yuyake No Sora.
HARUOMI HOSONO & YELLOW MAGIC BAND
Unavailable for a few years, finally re-released. Could be considered part of a trilogy of Hosono albums (together with Tropical Dandy and Bon Voyage) that blended Japanese music with various world and other influences. Classic tracks include Tokio Rush, Japanese Rumba, Asatoya Yunta (from Okinawa) and Femme Fatale. Another seminal album originally released in 1978.
Ryuichi Sakamoto continues to operate within the mainstream of the Japanese music scene, while retaining street credibility and hipness both at home and abroad. It's albums like this that keeps him ahead of the game. He's pulled out the favours and asked some pretty cool friends to remix his 2004 album 'Chasm'. These include Keigo Oyamada (Cornelius), Steve Jansen (ex Japan) and Craig Armstrong (Massive Attack) 13 tracks with one bonus track for the Japan release, that puts the icing on an already scrumptuous cake, a remix by his YMO friend Haruomi Hosono.
Released in 1994 recorded with the help of a host of collaborators, including Tei Towa and Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) 1.Tokyo Story 2. Moving On (co-producer Satoshi Tomiie, vocals, J-Me , Natasha Latasha Diggs Vivian Sessoms 3. Futari no hate (co-producer, Towa Tei, vocals - Miki Imai) 4.Regret (Co-producer Towa Tei, vocals , J-Me , Natasha Latasha Diggs 5. Pounding At My Heart, co-producer, Satoshi Tomiie, vocals, Paul Alexander , Vivian Sessoms. 6.Love And Hate, vocals, Holly Johnson 7. Sweet Revenge 8. 7 Seconds, Co-producer - Towa Tei , vocals, J-Me , Natasha Latasha Diggs 9. Anna, co-producer, Satoshi Tomiie. 10 Same Dream, Same Destination, vocals - Roddy Frame 11. Psychedelic Afternoon, vocals - Arto Lindsay , Paul Alexander 12. Interruptions- vocals, Natasha Latasha Diggs 13. Kimi to boku to kanojonokoto, vocals - Hiroshi Takano.
Originally released in 1995. 1.Bibounoaozora 2. Aishiteru, Aishitenai 3.Bring Them Home 4. Aonekonotoruso 5.Tango 6. Insensatez 7. Poesia 8. Dennougiwa 9.Homisphere 10. Manatsu no Yoru no Ana 11. Rio 12. A Day In The Park.
Originally released 1996, this is a re-recorded Best of in a piano, cello and violin trio session. One new track, 1919. 1. A Day A Gorilla Gives Me A Banana 2. Rain 3. Bibo No Aozora 4. The Last Emperor 5. 1919 6. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence 7 M.A.Y. In The Backyard 8.The Sheltering Sky 9. A Tribute To N.J.P. 10. High Heels (Main Theme) 11. Aoneko No Torso 12. The Wuthering Heights 13. Parolibre 14 Acceptance (End Credits) - Little Buddha 15. Before Long 16. Bring Them Home
Ecology of Everyday Life
Long awaited new album from one Japan's great originals. Ecology of Everyday Life is an instrumental album combining a range of sounds and influences. Kenji Ozawa together with Keigo Oyamada, aka Cornelius, was in cult favorites Flipper's Guitar. He has since released sporadic solo albums, influenced at first by classic American pop and psychedelic music. Ozawa arrived as a seminal artist with various rap and club collaborations, before reverting to more pop and soul on his second solo album, Life, while his following albums took their cue from jazz and contemporary R&B. Ecology of Everyday Life has six tracks. 1. The River 2. Voices From Wilderness 3. Ecology Of Everyday Life 4. Jetset Junta 5. The Sea (I Can Hear Her Breathing) 6. Sol Le Pido A Dios 7. Shadow Work 8. Sleepers Awake / Mathrimba.
OSAMI OKAMOTO with CHUEI YOSHIKAWA
Acoustic Guitar Party
Chuei Yoshikawa is an acoustic guitar player and Osami Okamoto a well known lyricist. Yoshikawa plays with a different guest vocalist on each track, on songs with lyrics by Okamoto. What marks this album out is the range of those guests. From the gravely voiced Sion, Nakagawa of Soul Flower Union, Hashiken, Higa of Okinawan group Begin, Okinawan female singer Kuwae, idol singer (but actually very good) Fukuyama, and folk icon Minami, and ex- Soul Flower female singer Utsumi. Relaxed, informal, well performed, good songs.