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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bernard Fowler and Ryuichi Sakamoto -- G.T.

I've got quite a few albums by the amazing Yellow Magic Orchestra but I'm beginning to feel that I ought to also invest in a number of Ryuichi Sakamoto's(坂本龍一)albums as well. His 1978 "Sen no Knife"(千のナイフ...Thousand Knives)is one prospect but another is his 1986 "Mirai-ha Yaro"(未来派野郎...Futurista).

One reason is that it includes a track that I've already covered titled "Ballet Mecanique" that has a couple of more incarnations that will be explained if you go to the article. The other reason is that I recently discovered another snazzy and catchy number called "G.T.".

I figure that Sakamoto who composed "G.T." had some reason to title this song thusly but I haven't found out yet. But then again, there was an earlier YMO hit known as "U.T." back in 1981 and the Spielberg blockbuster "E.T." came out in 1982 so I guess The Professor must have had some sort of grand plan with the second letter "T".

But getting back on the road again, like YMO's "U.T.", "G.T" is another propulsive affair helped along by singer Bernard Fowler (who also sang "Ballet Mecanique"). There is even more of a feeling of a racing car warping around the big city whereas "U.T." always sounded as if the super car were in stealth mode. The "G.T." car is more than happy to show off its colours and sound off its skids. Plus, it's more than likely, it's leading the cops on a merry chase.

The live version on Sakamoto's "Media Bahn Live" is even more kakkoii. Along with Sakamoto coming up with the music, Akiko Yano(矢野顕子)provided the original Japanese lyrics which apparently got translated into the English used here by media personality Peter Barakan(ピーター・バラカン). But just getting out of the rebel car theme for just a sentence or two, looking at those lyrics, I got the impression that all involved were thinking far bigger ideas such a huge space race around the solar system. And being a "Doctor Who" fan, I couldn't help but feel that there was some foretelling in the words about how Earth's favourite Time Lord and future companions would interact decades later.

"G.T." came out as a single in March 1986 for Sakamoto while "Mirai-ha Yaro" peaked at No. 5. Come to think of it, perhaps I will put "Media Bahn Live" onto the wish list as well.

Finishing up with Barakan, one show that he's been associated with is "Begin Japanology" on NHK-BS which had its run between 2003 and 2013. He's also helped YMO in the past as well through the song "Mass" in their album "BGM".

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