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, March 18, 2012

Makoto Matsushita -- First Light

Just for the heck of it one day, I decided to check out some of the entries in "Japanese City Pop" on YouTube to see how these musicians sounded. There was one entry in the "1980-1982"section for a fellow named Makoto Matsushita (松下誠)who hails from Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture which happens to be the hometown of an old friend of mine. Matsushita is also a member of the band AB'S.

Just by looking at the cover for "First Light", I kinda surmised that this album would be a bit different from the usual Japanese City Pop. It was an attractive picture of a busy intersection in LA. The video above is for the second track, "One Hot Love", and I was instantly hooked. It had a very Doobie Bros. vibe as the writeup in the book had said.

Track 5 is "Lazy Night" which has Matsushita giving his tribute to Steely Dan. He's not only a guitarist/singer, but an arranger as well. After listening to these two songs and a couple of other tunes on YouTube, I can say that he's not so much a City Pop artist than he is an American AOR artist. The two groups that I mentioned could perform these songs and not be caught out for doing a different artist's tunes. Matsushita has got the mellow groove down. And the interesting thing is that he has helped arrange the chorus part for songs by acts like Kinki Kids, SMAP and Masahiko Kondo(近藤真彦), all of them belonging to the boys' aidoru agency, Johnny & Associates. In addition, he's even composed or arranged songs for female aidoru such as Hidemi Ishikawa(石川秀美)and Maiko Ito(伊藤麻衣子).

I've never made a recommendation on this blog until now, but I can break the rule for this album...if you can get it. According to some of the comments at YouTube, "First Light" may be out of circulation.


  1. flac

  2. just heard this song for the first time today.. thanks for the write up!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Derek. First time to the City Pop genre?


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