compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net
"PR:" are comments by Paul Rymer
Last updated 99.12.6
(*) means I don't own this album and haven't listened to it
(@) means I've listened to a friend's copy but it's not in my collection
another page at Sony
a fan site mostly in Japanese
Here is a fan site
(@)1976 25JC-342, TKCA-70371
Members of Little Feat play on this album. All but one song written by AY.
PR: Hosono plays on this album.
(*)1976 25JC-343, TKCA-70372
Live. Primarily covers of other people's songs.
PR: Tracks 6 and 12 are Hosono compositions (Japanese titles). Track 6 appears in it's studio form as track 6 on the next CD as well (ironic, huh?!) Track 12 was also performed by HH on "Tropical Dandy" (side A track 3, after Hurricane Dorothy) Akiko's version has a richer arrangement
Iroha Ni Konpeitou
(*)1977 25JC-344, TKCA-70373
cover art: carrying a dolphin
PR: First album with Hosono and Hideki Matsutake working together! HH plays bass except on track 2. Tracks 4 and 6 are Hosono compositions. Track 6 is the studio version of the "live" track 6 on the previous album. Again, a lush sounding production, with some strings and lashings of beautiful piano.
(*)1978 25JC-346, TKCA-70374
AY's first self produced album
cover art: fanciful drawing with figures and flowers. Yameruwakenyaikanaiwa is written by Isao Tomita
PR: Features Hideki Matsutake but no other YMO (or Japanese) presence. The band is The Plastic Ono Band. More synths.
Tokyo wa yoru no Shichiji (live)
(*)1979 25JC-347, TKCA-70375
cover art: childhood photo
PR: YMO are her live band and they are called YMO on the OBI. Includes "Waterways" that was also on "Kylyn", plus her "Greatest Hits" updated and played with YMO. They play in Akiko's style and her piano dominates. RS plays Polymoog, ARP Odyssey, Fender Rhodes, Korg PS-3100 and Cow Bell (!) Synth numbers are the title track, Tokimeki (a lot more exciting than the original), ImomushiGogogoro and Walk On The Way Of Life (including band introductions and a little solo by everyone, yes, including a drum solo by YT and a bass solo by HH!)
1989 released Greatest hits from the above (early) albums; one non-album song Ike Yanagida
cover art: 3 cartoon characters on a solid color background
(*) 1991 [Japan Records TKCA-30168]
The first 5 Japan Records albums, plus a bonus disc, which is the same as Ai ga tarinai except it is missing "Akachan no oshiri" (which is included in On the Air anyway).
1980 MIDI cd: MID-3301 (10 track), 32MD-1057, MDCL-1250 (14 track)
Sakamoto co-produced and plays on all tracks. Hosono, Takahashi, Matsutake, Omura play on most tracks. Cover version of Tong Poo with RS. Great album, plenty of synths. Many people's favorite.
I think the cassette contined extra tracks compared to the LP. Apparently the first CD - MID 3301 omits 4 songs which I presume reflects the LP contents; 32MD-1057 and MDCL-1250 contain all the tracks.
Cover: Big closeup of AY. She has a tail on the back booklet cover.
PR: Y.M.O. play on most of the 13 tracks, but there are four important tracks: Tong Poo (has new vocals. Music is like the YMO 1980 World Tour version) Zaikungtong Shonen (AY, also known as Kang Tong Boy, this is the studio version) Dogs Awaiting (AY, arranged by RS, purely electronic track, used as intro
tape by Japan on last tour) You're The One (AY/RS)
1981 MIDI MID 2005, 35JC-118, MIDCL-1251 (current)
Cover- Manga illustration
with RS and YT. HH on one track which has the arrangement credited to YMO. Also Tsuchiya, Omura, Matsutake.
PR: RS and YT on most tracks, all of YMO on one - Harusakikobeni. Harusakikobeni (AY) - all of YMO play - this was a big hit earlier in the year and I suspect was an out-take from "Gohan" they decided to put out as a single. Has also been remixed by Satoshi Tomiie for a re-issue earlier in 1997. I Sing (RS) Synth pop number sung in English. Ashkenazy Who? (AY - another synth number worth consideration)
1982 MIDI cd: MID-2006, MDCL-1252
Cover- AY in kimono and ox.
Sakamoto co-produced and plays on all tracks. YT and HH are on some tracks, From London a duet with Sylvian and backing from Japan, Robbie Macintosh, David Rhodes. Includes Sleep On My Baby.
PR: 50% was recorded in England with Japan (the band), the rest with YMO. All three play.
Goodnight the track with Sylvian exists as a single.
|FROM JAPAN TO JAPAN is a 1982 compilation of tracks in English intended for UK release,
including half of Ai Ga Nakucha Ne.
Cover- conservative dress. (she's commented "to be used at my funeral"- I'm not sure but I think that's quite literal, by social custom I think a lot of Japanese people pose for a formal portrait at a certain age. The main purpose of which is to picture them in their prime for their funeral hopefully decades later)
Sometimes spelled more phonetically as "Oesu Oesu". Sakamoto co-produced and plays on all tracks. Several tracks recorded in L.A. which are not as interesting. (the Randy Newman written one is cute though). One tune by Hosono with YT on drums. 2 more with YT and HH playing . One with only YT. Members of Little Feat play on this album.
PR: Owari No Kisetsu (HH, also on "Akiko Yano" UK CD - original on Hosono House)
All of YMO play on most tracks on this album. HH arranged the above and Highland.
1986 MIDI lp: MIL-1011, cass: MIT-1011, cd: 35MD-1011
Cover- Sitting on a chair with Tachibana icons embossed.
RS with mostly New York musicians. Fusion-y.
PR: YT and RS on David and Home Sweet Home, the rest with NY musicians.
Co-produced by RS.
1986 MIDI lp:MIL-1018 cd: 35MD-1018
AY sings classical songs with piano by Yuji Takahashi. A couple of 2 pianist pieces have RS on the second piano. Songs are sung in English and Japanese rather than the original French and German. There is a laser disc version. Different.
(*) 1994 MDCL-1280
vintage 1987 concert recently released on CD
info from Paul Rymer: Solo piano greatest hits basically, including Coloured Water and Tong Poo. She sounds really happy, it's quite an enthusiastic performance. Unfortunately the recording is spoilt by someone with an annoying cough. The insert has a nice map showing all the towns Akiko has played over the years.
1987 MIDI 35MD-1034
cover art- AY is kneeling in the garden
with RS, this was the last album where he plays on all the tracks. Hosono writes a tune - Kaze O Atsumete (written 1970) though he doesn't play. Kenji Omura guests.
Good Evening Tokyo (live)
(*) 1988 MIDI 32MD-1039
PR: RS and YT are band members. 80's Greatest Hits live.
(*) 1988 Yano Music MCD-6
(*) 1989 MIDI CD: MDCL-1045, 32MD-1045
Best of. Includes a non-album single. Sakamoto on most tracks. HH and YT on several. I've listened to it.
(*) 1989 MIDI 32MD-1048
With RS, Also Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays appear, and co-wrote one song.
1990 Electra (USA) 9 79205-2
U.S. Best of album compiled by John Zorn from 1980s MIDI label releases. It has a similar cover photo as Granola so don't be confused if you see a copy as this is a compilation of albums including Granola but does not contain the complete album . Includes mostly tracks with YMO members which is great. Seems to be out of print but used copies are quite findable.
|Ivar de Vries writes:
This 1990 Akiko Yano compilation-album brings together tracks from five previous albums (the earliest from 1980, the latest from 1988), all of which feature husband Ryuichi Sakamoto in some contribution or other. From this point onwards they more or less seem to have parted ways, at least musically, until daughter Miu's Dawn Pink album. From browsing through the credits in the booklet Akiko Yano emerges as an all-round musician who composes and writes the lyrics to her own songs as well as producing and arranging them (sometimes with Ryuichi). She also reveals herself to be Japan's answer to early Kate Bush – they both have a sort of girlie voice and are fine piano-players.
All three YMO members contribute: Sakamoto is involved in most tracks (either producing/arranging or playing keyboards), Yukihiro Takahashi takes care of the drumming on four tracks, Haruomi Hosono also plays on a couple as well as providing the music and words to 'Mufujotai' and 'Owari No Kisetsu'.
Plenty of other musicians participate as well, with many names familiar from YMO or Ryuichi Sakamoto solo-albums. In fact, the music is just as electronic and quite similar in feel to some of his more accessible albums like 'Miraiha Yaro' and 'Heartbeat', as this compilation also contains plenty of well-arranged upbeat tracks. Catchy highlights include 'Ramen Tabetai', 'Gokigen Wanisan' and 'Home Sweet Home' whilst 'Owari No Kisetsu' and 'David' are beautiful ballad-type songs.
Quite definitely a good acquisition if you like strong keyboard-based pop-music of the Japanese variety.
(*) 1991 ESCB1255
Said to be quite good.
(*)1993 Electra (USA) 79729-2
The US/International release has different contents including some songs from Welcome Back. Nothing unique as far as I know.
Collection of songs used in commercials, two of which ("Ashita koso anata" and "Akachan no oshiri") appeared on CD for the first time.
Super Folk Song
Collection of mainly covers of other people's songs, with only a couple by AY herself. Vocal and piano. The selection is quite nice though.
Ai Ga Tarinai
(*)1995 (first compiled 1986) MIDI MDCL-1286
translation: Emptiness Of Love
Paul Rymer has this info: 8 tracks, all Japanese titles unfortunately. I'd recommend this one - as you will see below it's mostly from the YMO/Sakamoto period and all numbers have some synth content. In fact, there's more electronics here than on most of her albums.
1)Yousei no uta from 1976, cover version of a song written by Takeshi Matsuyama and Kazuhiko Katoh (it says the song was written 1973). Violin, synth and piano backing, very jolly track. Sounds more akin to Irohnikon Peitou (which Matsutake and Hosono worked on) than Japanese Girl.
2) Hello There (also appears on Asukono Akkochan - her best of 70's CD which is now out of print). This is from 1977, piano, synths and synth percussion. I know from the other CD that Hideki Matsutake is on the track. Written & arranged by Akiko.
3) Zaikungtong Shonen (single version) - this is dated 1979 and has far more "synth thrills" than the album version. Totally different recording, she sings in a lower octave for parts of the song. No musician credits unfortunately but it sounds most like the YMO live version from the 1980 tour. Arranged by Akiko & Ryuichi.
4)Ashita koso, anata from 1981, another synth number, written by Akiko, arranged by Sakamoto and Tatsuro Yamashita. The melody sounds a bit like "I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus". Motown style chorus. There's one synth riff that I think Pizzicato Five used on Magic Carpet Ride. A ridiculously happy sounding song. I like this one a lot
5) Oh Yeah from 1982, sounds like an Ai Ga nakucha Ne out-take, but with more synths than anything on the album. Written by Akiko, arranged by Ryuichi & Akiko. Sounds like Yukihiro drumming, Omura on guitar probably, the rest is synth.
6) Watashi no Nyanko from 1983. Written by Akiko, arranged by Ryu + Akiko. Sounds like a throwback to Tadaima as there is a little girls choir, but the synth arrangement and drum sound is like Sakamoto's Ongaku Zukan period, or maybe late YMO.
7) Ai Ga Tarinai from 1986 - this is a single and also appears on Home Music 2. Definitely from the same sessions as Tooge No Wagaya, very similar arrangement to David. Nice song with lots of synths. Written by Akiko, arranged by Ryuichi & Akiko. RS + YT play.
8) Aka-chan no oshiri from 1983, written by Shigesato Itoi and Sakamoto. Yes, another synth based number :-). The backing vocals are in the Pocketful Of Rainbows style, but sound a lot like Miharu Koshi multi-tracked. I've heard this recorded by someone else, but can't remember who right now. Most similar to Miharu Koshi's "Tutu" album I guess. Wouldn't be surprised if that's Hosono playing bass but of course as there are no credits it's a guess on my part. Maybe it's on Demae Concert aswell? I have that one too but haven't listened to it much.
The cover design has a cartoon of Akiko opening a valentine. Fold-out insert with lyrics, dates and writing credits but annoyingly no musician credits. The OBI says the album was compiled in 1986 but released in 1995. My copy is new, ordered from www.101cd.com so it must still be on sale in Japan.
(*)1994 10 cds:MIDI MDCZ-1225~34, 8 cds MIDI MDCZ-1131~38 (1991)
The MIDI albums in a packaged set
Love Is Here
(@) 1993 Epic/Sony cd: ESCB 1403
A New York album. Sakmoto does string arrangements, but does not appear.
(@) 1994 Epic/Sony cd: ESCB 1523
More New York tracks, more eclectic than Love Is Here.
Solo piano. Mostly covers, but two songs are by Yano. This was released in the U.S. in 1996, different contents as usual.
PR: Mr Frottage Hunts For Monsters (RS, on "Piano Nightly" UK CD, 1996)
NK: That title contains a reference to Surrealist painter Max Ernst
Hitotsudake - The Very Best of Akiko Yano
(*) 1996 cd: ESCB 1776, md: ESYB 7125
includes 2 new and one unreleased tracks.
all techno-ish mixes of the 1981 song. different mixes on CD and LP
1996 CD single Dohb discs (epic/sony) ESCB 3204
1996 12" Yum Yum Vinyl (sony) 12YUM016A
the 12" gives Satoshi Tomiie and Yoshinori Sunahara "remixed by" credit, the maxi CD gives Satoshi Tomiie co-billing.
She conrtibuted some backing vocals to daughter Miu Sakamoto's 1999 remake of this track from her album Dawn Pink
(@) 1997 ESCB 1816
(@) 99.8.4 Epic cd: ESCB 2006
This one has sort of high tech album art. While not at all old fashioned, its not the sort of techno collage music the cover looks like. It was recorded with American musicians and Jeff Bova (the Hammonds) co-produces about half the album with her (she the other half, he shows up on most tracks). Her son Futa Sakamoto sings backup on a track. Enjoyable, plenty of synths, though no, as I like to call them, synth thrills.
Home Girl Journey
(@) 00.11.1 Epic cd: ESCB 2181
A piano based album of mostly covers. The title of the album seems to set the tone.
|Twilight - live best of collection(*) 2000|
(*) 2002 - a separate SACD version was released
with NYC musicians from her live band
A varied mixture of different backing groups and locales for the various tracks
(*) Soundtrack 2005
Late in the 20th Century, Vol. 2 is a compilation of various Nonesuch label artists with Highland (previously released)
(1977) IROHA NI KONPEITOU/Yousei no uta [1977 Phillips FW-2004]
(1977) Ike Yanagida/Hello There [Phillips FW-2005]
(1980) Gohan ga dekita yo/Hitotsudake [JAPAN JAS-3]
(1981) Harusakikobeni/ZAIKUNTONG SHONEN [JAPAN JAS-2001]
(1981) Tadaima/I Sing [JAPAN JAS-2008]
(1981) Ashitakoso, anata / Aisuru hitoyo [JAPAN JAS-2018]
(1982) Gomennasai Oh Yeah [CANYON 6G0014]
(1983) Watashi no nyanko / Michide battari [JAPAN JAS-2042]
(1984) Ramen tabetai / HI, HI, HI [JAPAN JAS-14]
(1986) Ai ga tarinai / Yagate hitori [MIDI MIS-14]
(1987) Hana no youni / David [MIDI MIS-21]
(1990) David/Watching You [MIDI MDDS-52]
(1993) CHILDREN IN THE SUMMER/CALLING YOU [Epic ESDB-3376]
(1994) Subarashii Hibi/Denwasen [Epic/Sony ESDB-3469]
(1994) Yume no Hiyoko/Iiko , Iiko (Good Girl) [Epic/Sony ESDB-3492]
(1994) Ai ga areba? (LOVE CAN'T BE BLIND)/OH DAD [Epic ESDB-3516]
(1994) Futari no Harmony [Epic/Sony ESDB-3570] with Miyazawa Kazufumi, the lead vocalist of The Boom
(1995) Omoide no sanpo michi/NEW SONG [Epic/Sony ESDB-3625] from Piano Nightly.
(1996) Harusakikobeni/ Hitotsudake/Sacchan/AKKO-CHANG Special [Epic ESDB 3700~01]
(1997) Cream Stew /Oui Oui [Epic ESDB-3752]
(1997) Cream Stew [Epic ESDB-3789]
(1998) Home Sweet Home/TIME IS/Watching You [MIDI MDDS-72]
(1998) Oka wo koete/Denwasen [TOKUMA JAPAN TKDA-71363]
(1999) GIRLFRIENDS FOREVER/Yugure (DUSK) [Epic ESCB-1982]
(1999) Hitori bocchi wa Yameta (QUIT BEING ALONE) [Epic ESDB-3914]
02.3.6 Epic cd-5: ESCL-2297
(2002) Kumanbachi ga tondekita [Epic ESCL-2344]
(2003) Atashinchi/Iiko iiko [Epic ESCL-2468]
(*) This is a reissue of a 1976 album featuring AY vocals very early in her career. It's not a proper album by her, it's by Morio Agata, though many dealers try to sell it as her album.
1978 Nippon Columbia/Denon DC-8586, 33C38-7580
Akiko Yano has a big presence on this album (sings, plays composes) considering she does not get billing. Early pop fusion stuff that I don't care for. The CD contains the 2 tracks from Sakamoto's Thousand Knives that Watanabe played on.
(*)1979? MIDI MDCL-1238
Queen covers produced and arranged (?) by Yano Makoto, piano by Yano Akiko
(*)1983? [MIDI MDC7-1079]
by Tetsuro Kashibuchi featuring Akiko Yano. CD released 1991.
(*)1993 Toshiba EMI 2 CDs TOCT-6917,6918
AY reads a children's story. Then Peter Gabriel reads it in English. Akira Inoue does the background music.
1983 Capitol (US) lp:ST-12271
AY sings backing vocals. This is the second version of this album. (with the drawn cover) (And I bet the EMI version might still be different) The first version (ST-12203) with the photo cover came out in 1982 and does not have AY on it (besides having earlier mixes of most tracks). I think AY is on the EP Windpower also. That EP also includes a few different mixes of the same set of songs.
Trivia: In his big hit She Blinded Me With Science the old Scientist says "Miss Sakamoto, you look beautiful" (though I've also seen it transcribed as "Miss Okamoto")
Rebirth of Mothra (*) (soundtrack) - I've not heard it. I understand she sings at least one of her songs. She did not write the the soundtrack score.
FYI: Akiko Kobayashi has released albums using just the name "Akiko". .
I've noticed an album Kono Sekai Ni Ikite by Maki Yano is being listed in several online catalogs as an album by AY. If anyone knows any AY connection let me know.
Thanks for info: OtakuBowler, Ross Clement, Paul Rymer, Axel Poqué
BACK TO MAIN MENU