As was the case with "Kyou wa Nandaka", when I wrote up "Who Influenced Toshiki Kadomatsu? (Pre-Debut)" yesterday afternoon, I found out that the three songs that had been made by Japanese artists were too good just to reference in one Creator article. Each of them deserved its own article, so "Suna no Onna" gets its due here.
Kadomatsu, having listened to the music of Suzuki's old band, Happy End（はっぴいえんど）, mentioned that hearing "Suna no Onna" threw him for a bit of a loop since this and presumably all of the other tracks didn't sound anything like the Happy End stuff. Although I'm still at the exploration stage for that band, my impression of Happy End is that it dabbled in folk-rock and perhaps the beginnings of City Pop. It was pretty heavy stuff...not in a bad way, of course, but it just seemed like a quartet of musicians who really wanted to get across their sound in a serious way.
But with this first track from Suzuki's first solo effort, "Suna no Onna" feels like the guitarist-songwriter swapping out the leather jacket for an Aloha shirt, waving bye-bye to most of his former bandmates and immediately jumping into that red convertible for a sunny beachside destination. Ah, however, bandmate Takashi Matsumoto（松本隆）has joined him in the passenger seat to provide the lyrics for this early Resort Pop which really does pop in a cool way. It's the guys having fun on a road trip to Shonan along the lines of Tod and Buz on the old US series "Route 66".
And it really was a road trip of international proportions. "Band Wagon" was produced and recorded in two different studios in San Francisco and Hollywood with Doug Rauch, David Garibaldi and Don Grusin backing Suzuki as the band, according to the J-Wiki and Wikipedia articles for the album. By the way, Suzuki and Matsumoto took care of all of the songs in terms of words and music.
When I first looked up "Suna no Onna" through Yahoo.jp, I got a lot of references to the 1962 mystery novel by Kobo Abe which was made into a 1964 movie. Indeed, the Suzuki song was named after them.