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.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tatsuro Yamashita -- Sparkle

Another nice seasonable day out there so it's time to pull another one out of the Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎) discography and today it will be "Sparkle", an appropriately effervescent number from his 1982 album "For You".

Written by Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)and composed by Tats himself, if "Sparkle" were actually a soft drink, I reckon that it would be a homemade ginger ale...the type that has real ginger in it so that there is sometimes a heated sharpness hitting the tongue. The song has got that mellow City Pop vibe but those horns also add that nice little staccato punch to the proceedings. Ginger ale or song..."Sparkle" does wake you up.

(English version)

I was reading the J-Wiki article on "For You" when I saw the individual comments for the starting track of "Sparkle". Apparently, Yamashita had bought a Fender Telecaster guitar in 1980 for his concerts and then used it to fine effect on this album and especially for this particular song. Guess what? It has become a musical match in heaven and he's used the Fender Telecaster ever since in the recording studio and on stage. "Sparkle" has often been the opening number for his concerts to sock his audiences with his brand of orange juice and since then, Yamashita has wanted to create music that would bring the sound of his beloved guitar alive.

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if some of those Future Funk/Vaporwave artists had already adapted the song for their musical collages.

Hey, it ain't ginger ale but it's
still tasty and it sparkles!


  1. You need to write a post on his new song!

    1. Hello there.

      I think I will get to it soon. It has that old summery sound that Tats was famous for back in the 1980s! Thanks for the tip.


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