Pacific – Same (1978)

FrontCover1Since the early ’70s, Haruomi Hosono has been perhaps the most innovative artist/producer in Japanese popular and electronic music. Like many great music innovators (Eno would be an example), he’s had sucesses but big hits and top selling albums come infrequently. The first thing that got him noticed was his work as bassist for Happy End in the early 70s. There he pushed for creating original rock / r&b songs sung in Japanese (while you had a lot of sentimental popular songs sung in Japanese at the time, rock was sung in English in those days) By the late 70s Hosono was making tropical exotica style music sometimes solo or with his band Tin Pan Alley and inspired partly by Van Dyke Parks. Again he creating a trend by doing something different from al most everyone else. In ’78, aided by virtuoso keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and programmer Hideki Matsutake and eventually drummer/vocalist Yukihiro Takahashi, he was the major figure in founding the Technopop style of synth music in Japan. That year also found the birth of the band YMO (HH, Sakamoto and Takahashi), this spawned a half decade or so of technopop music being the cutting edge pop sound in Japan. As an undercurrent during the YMO era and coming to the forefront after it was Hosono’s interest in ambient music. During the mid 80s, besides song production for numerous other artists, Hosono himself worked on 2 very different sides of his own music. One side was the creation of ambient works. On the other side he was into a synth funk sound with his new act F.O.E. for a quite different side of things. By the early 90s Hosono was involved in hybrids of ambience, technopop and world music, by the mid 90s he was incorporating drum and bass and lounge music into the mix. In the late 90s he’s revived some of his earlier roots with new tropical and r&b sounds without the electronica and has been actively remastering much of his and YMO’s back catalog. Most recently he’s formed a successful electronica act with Yukihiro Takahashi called Sketch Show with Sakamoto joining in as a frequent special guest just in time for the 20th anniversary of YMO’s breakup.(by Nicholas D. Kent)
This is an album from 1978:
The artists were all in Tin Pan Alley but here they play their own tracks rather than as a band. Exotica material. Sakamoto plays as a session musician on most cuts, sometimes synth. Hosono on 3 cuts, which he wrote. Hosono is not the producer. Contains RS and HH doing a wild early synth version of YMO’s Cosmic Surfin which is really something and an important precursor to YMO’s formation. (by Nicholas D. Kent)

You should discover the exciting world of Haruomi Hosono

Shigeru Suzuki

Haruomi Hosono (keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion)
Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, percussion, glockenspiel)
Shigeru Suzuki (guitar)
Yukihiro Takahashi (drums)
Eiji Arai (trombone)
Jake Concepcion (saxophone)
Koji Hadori (trumpet)
Shigeya Hamaguchi (percussion, flute)
Tatsuo Hayashi (drum drum machine, drums)
Shuichi Murakami (drums)
Kenji Omura (guitar)
Nobu Saito (percussion)
Jun Sato (keyboards)
Kenji Takamizu (bass)
Hidefumi Toki (saxophone)
Hirofumi Tokutake (guitar)
Tatsuro Yamashita (guitar)
Kayoko Ishu Group (background vocals)
Yoshihisa Tamano Group (strings)

Haruomi Hosono in 1973

01.  最後の楽園 (The Last Paradise) (Hosono) 4.03
02. コーラル・リーフ (Coral Reef) 3.45 (Suzuki) 3.45
03. ノスタルジア・オブ・アイランド~パート1:バード・ウィンド/パート2:ウォーキング・オン・ザ・ビーチ (Nostalgia of Island (Part 1: Wind Bird, Part 2: Walking on the Beach) (Yamashita) 9.37
04.  スラック・キー・ルンバ (Slack Key Rumba) (Hososno) 3.02
05. パッション・フラワー (Passion Flower) (Suzuki) 3.35
06. ノアノア (Noanoa) 4.10 (Suzuki)
07.  キスカ / (Kiska) (Yamashita) 5.26
08. Cosmic Surfin’ (Hosono)

(Track 8 is a rare early version of the Yellow Magic Orchestra track.)