Until recently, I only had the one Hiroshi Sato（佐藤博）album, the classic "Awakening" (1982) with Wendy Matthews, but on listening to some of the late keyboardist/songwriter's other songs, including the boppy "Sweet Inspiration" and the soothing "Always", I just had to add another Sato album to the collection. Well, both "Sweet Inspiration" and "Always" belong to the album following "Awakening", "Sailing Blaster" from June 1984.
When it comes to comparing "Awakening" and "Sailing Blaster", I kinda liken the former to an afternoon lounging on those deck chairs on a cruise ship whereas with the latter, Sato invites us for a good time in the ballroom for a really happening party that same night. And continuing on with a tradition from "Awakening", he also gives us his tribute to The Beatles. Right from Track 2, we get his funky version of "Eight Days A Week" and then Track 8, a really racing take on "I Feel Fine".
As was the case with "Sweet Inspiration", Cindy Yamamoto（シンディ山本）and Sato collaborated once more for "Love Is Happening" which comes across as the ideal driving song on the Ventura Highway. There is something nicely California about it as he gives his story about falling head over heels.
Lyricist Yoko Narahashi（奈良橋陽子）, who's often helped out the band Godiego（ゴダイゴ）, provided the lyrics to Sato's "Shine Forever", a defiant declaration with some reggae about stopping time and staying relevant for eternity. According to the liner notes, Narahashi was also on backing vocals. Could be good for "Doctor Who".
One of the three instrumental tracks and maybe the longest track on "Sailing Blaster" provided by Sato is "How ya been (Do Nai?)", a funky shuffle that could make for a highlight at the ballroom party on the cruise ship that I was analogizing about earlier. Looks like the band members themselves were having a ball jamming away on their instruments and making merry. It's a lively mix of honky tonk music and some Steely Dan.
My final entry here is the lone bonus track "Sweet Inspiration '85", a slightly more amped-up version of the original "Sweet Inspiration" with a dance remix feeling.
After hearing both "Awakening" and "Sailing Blaster", I'm musing whether Sato came up with an album that symbolized the midnight cool-down following the massive soiree.