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.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Some of J-Canuck's Favourite Non-Single Album Tracks (Part 2)

Good weekend to you all. It looks like I got back a good deal sooner than expected from my Saturday chores so I can wrap up my list of some of my favourite non-single album tracks that I had begun last night with Part 1. As was the case with Part 1, I've got a variety of singers in a variety of genres with songs that were never made singles but occupied a very nice place in their originating albums.

7. Junko Yagami -- Yakan Hiko/Album: "Sugao no Watashi" (1979)

There's a very small sub-genre in kayo, usually within Mood Kayo, that involves songs which take place at airports as settings for romance to begin or end. However, Junko Yagami's(八神純子)soaring "Yakan Hiko"(夜間飛行)hovers somewhere in the nexus of the Venn diagram of New Music/City Pop/J-AOR. But without having to move things unduly to my junior high school math classes, let me say that this is another fabulous showcase for Yagami's vocals. Moreover, if someone ever asked me to introduce anything by the singer that hadn't been heard beyond the singles, this would be one of a few that I would gladly expound upon.

8. Anzen Chitai -- y no Tension/Album: "Anzen Chitai III ~ Dakishimetai" (1984)


This wasn't a single? Nope, it wasn't. It was just the leadoff track for "Anzen Chitai III", and it fulfilled all of the things that made Anzen Chitai(安全地帯)click: Koji Tamaki's(玉置浩二)wonderful vocals and that mysterious but very seductive atmosphere created by the band. This is definitely one song that I would love to hear on a car radio while being on a Tokyo highway at night. I cannot say that "y no Tension" is a prelude to partying in the megalopolis, though. It's more of a theme for a shibui cruise through the city while giving some hard thoughts to something.

9. Yellow Magic Orchestra -- Perspective/Album: "Service" (1983)

I've read a few things here and there by other commenters on YouTube that "Perspective" is their favourite YMO song. Although "Rydeen" and "Technopolis" still occupy the peak of my favourite Japanese technopop band, this one track from "Service" has soon become a beloved part of YMO tunes that I cherish. If a Hollywood movie set in modern-day Tokyo or even just a Japanese movie in that same city about an initial nebbish going through the motions ever comes out, I would suggest "Perspective" in a heartbeat.

10. Tatsuro Yamashita -- Itsuka/Album: "Ride on Time" (1980)

Also slightly surprised that this didn't get its own single, but then again "Ride on Time" and a few other Tats(山下達郎)albums are so filled with wonderful tracks that a good majority of them have to be heard on those original releases. Feeling down in the dumps? Yamashita's "Itsuka"(いつか)could be the tonic that heals what ails you. And of course, for those City Pop bass addicts, those first several seconds will have you bouncing off your chair or couch.

11. Yoshitaka Minami -- COOL/Album: "Seventh Avenue South" (1982)

(cover version)

As I mentioned in the original article for "Seventh Avenue South", the first track "COOL" was the prime recommendation for me to get this 1982 album by Minami(南佳孝). It was about as effective as that cook in that "Nighthawks" eatery on the album cover recommending the full meat loaf-and-mashed potatoes special with extra gravy. Wouldn't it be something for an actual diner like this to be made somewhere in Japan for folks to visit at night after painting the town red? If this were actually in Tokyo, I would be so there and I would make a request for the owner to pop in "Seventh Avenue South". The only thing is that I wouldn't know whether I would be able to keep my eyes open in the wee hours at my age nowadays.

12. Yumi Matsutoya -- Tower Side Memory/Album: "Sakuban O-Aishimashou" (1981)

(cover version)

When I think of how long Yuming(ユーミン)has been in the music industry and how many albums she has released in 46 years, my mind boggles at how many NSATs are incredible enough to become their own singles. Yes, I have said that my big interest in the legendary singer-songwriter was only within the first 20 years of her long career, but still, there are many album tracks that are worthy of mention. So, she was the one singer that I had the most difficulty with when it came to this list. In the end, though, I went with a song that has often managed to stick in my brain, "Tower Side Memory" about the city of Kobe. Right from the opening notes, it just sounds so cool and wistful with that distinct keyboard sound. Also, there is that futuristic vibe to the opening track for her 12th album; having been to the port city in the past, I could imagine it being quite flattered at Yuming's tribute. Still not sure whether it has even made it onto any of her BEST albums.

As I said in Part 1, starting out with a singer's BEST compilation is fine to hear the hits but then delving into those original albums helps in getting a further appreciation of his/her works. There is an almost ASMR feeling when encountering that album track for the first time or for the first time in a long time and exclaiming "Where have you been all my life?"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.