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, January 3, 2017

Hiroshi Sato -- Last Trick

One of my "running gags" when it comes to what I've written in the blog for nearly 5 years is that all of those Oricon hits occupy the mere top fraction of the iceberg that is above water. There is still a huge chunk underwater left to be explored. Taking the 1970s as an example, while all those aidoru such as Momoe Yamaguchi(山口百恵)and enka singers like Saburo Kitajima (北島三郎...still miss him now that he's retired from the Kohaku) were showing up all the time on Japanese TV, there were albums coming out by musical artists who stayed firmly below the water line.

I'm now coming to the conclusion that I have to start exploring some of the New Music/City Pop material of the 1970s in further detail. I did put into my original mission statement for "Kayo Kyoku Plus" that those two decades of the 1970s and 1980s were my central years, but I think I have done quite a bit for the latter decade. There is still a fair amount to be mined in the 70s in my estimation.

My case in point here is an album by the late singer/musician/songwriter Hiroshi Sato(佐藤博). Titled "Time", it was released in January 1977 as his 2nd album. Now as of this writing, there are 7 articles representing the man in the blog but I think the big one for him was my first one for him featuring his classic and dreamy 1982 City Pop album "Awakenings".

Now I'm quite interested in "Time" as well. I've only listened to one of the tracks so far, "Last Trick", and it's a winner for me. It is just that one track but, yes, it sounds very different from the very 1980s sound of "Awakenings", and yet I can plug "Last Trick" as very much a City (Resort) Pop tune of the 1970s. Perhaps that can be extrapolated for the rest of "Time", too.

For one thing, Sato didn't sound anything in "Last Trick" like he would in the 1982 album. I frankly thought his vocals reminded me so much of British pop star Howard Jones in "Awakenings" that I was actually tempted to send word to Jones' Twitter account. My statement on the 70s feeling comes due to his keyboard work which for this particular song was reminiscent of jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi who also expanded his instruments into organ and other keyboards into the 1970s. And yep, it's the same guy behind those "Peanuts" classics such as "Linus and Lucy". The arrangement of "Last Trick" directly reminded me of Guaraldi's soundtrack for "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving". I did mention in the other article that Sato spent a few years in America from 1980 to 1982 so I'm sure that some changes occurred during that time in Los Angeles.

I think I've already blown my money over the past few weeks on music purchases so I'm gonna have to wait a while before going ahead. However, "Time" will be on my side eventually.

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