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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tatsuro Yamashita -- Storm

The first time I heard this Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)tune recently, I was quite blown away. Well, it is titled "Storm" after all.

Of course, "Storm" impressed me with its urban coolness factor, but that's what I've come to often expect from a Yamashita creation from the 1970s and 1980s. But what surprised me was how soft his vocals were for most of this track from his 4th studio album "MOONGLOW" from October 1979. I mean, it was almost as if he wanted to emulate the calm before the storm rather than the storm itself while those ominous winds were blowing in the background.

There are several seconds of quiet before the melody begins to seep in like a light shower, and then it's another several seconds...into the second minute...before Tats starts and keeps on going in sotto voce aside from a few punchy lightning-strike moments. The funk and soul also slide in very gently as the volume gradually builds before a combination of strings and sax and guitar bring on some drama. You don't just listen to "Storm", you savor it. I can only imagine what the song must have sounded like at his concerts.

As for "MOONGLOW", it peaked at No. 20 on Oricon. Strangely enough, I wonder if "Storm" can be considered to be a Japanese example of Quiet Storm music. According to the J-Wiki article on the album, "Storm" was influenced by some of that Chicago soul music by bands such as The Lost Generation.


  1. have you posted something about his two last songs? Their titles are "Cheer up! The Summer" and "Reborn". I think they are excellent!

    1. Hello there.

      I did post up something about "CHEER UP! THE SUMMER" back in 2016:

      How long have you been a Tats fan?

    2. it's been a while. I knew him from a Rolling Stone Japan article. So, what about a post for "Reborn"?

    3. Hello there.

      I went to YouTube to hear the short version and the long version and remembered that I did hear it before. Ah, to be honest, I think it will have to grow on me some more before I actually post something about it.

  2. Hello,J-Canuck!

    Yeah, Yamashita's late 70s output was soulful, funky, and a bit jazzy. Everybody likes "Ride On Time" and "For You" but this album, "Spacy" and even the earlier "Circus Town" album are pretty much in this vein.

    I think I'll put this album on right now.

    1. Hi, Chasing Showa.

      Just goes to show that there's a lot of good Yamashita yet to discover. Heck, a lot of good City Pop and AOR to unearth.


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