I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tatsuro Yamashita -- Loveland, Island

Another one of those summery, toe-tapping hits from Tatsuro Yamashita (山下達郎)in the early 1980s. "Loveland, Island" is the audio version of a jet ride to Hawaii. Initially meant for a jingle for a beer commercial, after Yamashita watched a film of a Brazilian woman dancing on the road (not making this up...this is on the J-Wiki writeup), he adjusted the tempo a bit and this was the result. Not sure if Mariya was in the room when he was watching the film.

"Loveland, Island" hadn't been released as a single but was included on his 1982 album, "For You". However, it finally got its time in the sun some 30 years later in January 2002 where it was able to peak at No. 26 on the Oricon weeklies.


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    Wow, this song really sounds perfect for a plane or beer commercial, and an audio version of a jet ride to Hawaii indeed! I really like its jaunty, summery music - that was what caught my attention as I was watching a clip from a monomane show. And although Yamashita isn't the best looking fellow I've seen and his long, flowing hair make him an odd character to look at, he has got a nice voice. You seem to like him quite a bit (I've seen his name often on this blog), so I was wondering if you could recommend some of his songs to me.

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      Yup, Yamashita is one of my favourite singers and he was one of the icons for City Pop in the late 70s and early 80s, and your remark about those commercials and Hawaii are spot-on. He was pretty much known as Mr. Summer for a lot of his work at that time.

      Nope, he was never the handsomest fellow, and a number of churlish fans have referred to him and his lovely wife, Mariya Takeuchi as "Beauty and the Beast". :)

      As for recommendations, there are a number of them, but here are a few others to check out from those good ol' City Pop days:)

      Ride On Time

      Your Eyes

      Amaku Kiken na Kaori

      Also, there was a rumour going about that Tats was getting tired of being called the Summer Song guy so he went out and crafted one of the most popular J-Pop Xmas songs of all time: Christmas Eve.

      Ironically enough, "Christmas Eve" may just be THE most famous song done by him for a majority of people.

    2. Hello there.

      I looked up Mariya Takeuchi, and I can see why some fans call them "Beauty and the Beast"... a little mean though.

      Thanks for the recommendations. I recognized "Ride on Time" and "Christmas Eve" upon listening to them. The former I heard from Hiroshi Itsuki while listening to some samples from the "Enka no Chikara" album - I like it, it's a cool tune. As for the latter, I remember hearing it a number of times - the "Silent night, holy night" bit, stuck with me - but I didn't know it was by Yamashita until now. For a guy known as Mr. Summer, he sure can do a solid Christmas song!

      As for the other songs, its the first time hearing them, and they aren't bad either. I like the laid back vibe from "Amaku Kiken na Kaori"; it's kinda like sitting at a cafe with a cuppa while enjoying the view of the beach before you. And Takeuchi impressed me with her ability to sing in English with "Your Eyes".

    3. Hi Noelle.

      Yamashita certainly made some very mellow and groovy tunes way back when. Beaches, resort hotels and driving down the California coast will always come to mind from listening to his music.

      I've always kinda wondered about Takeuchi carrying on a conversation in English, although I think if asked she would probably be very self-deprecating and say that her English has deteriorated over the decades. She actually spent her 3rd year of high school in Illinois, USA which would explain her prowess with the language.

    4. Ah, also forgot to mention...if you're interested in Yamashita, give Junk Fujiyama a listen as well. He did a song for the anime "Space Dandy" titled "Hoshikuzu no Pipeline" which is straight out of the Yamashita book.

    5. Oh, so that's why Takeuchi's English is pretty good. The singer I would like to have a conversation with in English is Yuzo Kayama. He's one of the few Japanese singers I know who can pull off English classics like "My Way" with me being able to understand every word he belts out. And according to his J-Wiki page, he has a green card, so he must be able to converse in English.

      I gave "Hoshikuzu no Pipeline" a listen, and I can say that I really like it. Thanks for that recommendation. To me, Junk Fujiyama (what a name!) sounds like Tats with a little Yosui Inoue. I can imagine Yamashita singing this... the song does indeed have his summery style.

    6. I can't seem to find the issue now, but there was once an "Eye-Ai" magazine in which there was an interview with Kayama. Apparently, he does have an English name but I can't remember if it was an official one or just one that he decided to procure for himself. But I've got a feeling that he can also converse quite well in English, too.


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