Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
A friend of mine mentioned a Japanese musician after suggesting she heard one of his songs in a video I sent her. So, I looked him up and whoa!
Tatsuro Yamashita happens to be the pioneer of Japanese adult-oriented rock/soft rock. This music is dubbed “city pop.” Born on February 4, 1953, Yamashita established himself as an important contributor to Japanese music in the 70s and still performs to this day.
Forming the band Sugar Babe in 1973, Yamashita became a soloist in 1976 after the band disbanded. His first album was Circus Town. His second album Spacy would be influential although it provided modest success. His 1980 album Ride On Time would propel Yamashita to fame and rightly so with the title song “Ride On Time.” This song has gained YouTube notoriety because of its reuploads due to a fake copyright strike by MSJ Promotions (this is fake and yet honored by YouTube).
Melodies (1983) would contain the song “Christmas Eve” which became a staple for the holidays. It became huge after Central Japa Railway Company used this song for its TV commercials during the late 80s and early 90s. It would chart on the Oricon chart for more than 20 consecutive years!
His 1991 album Artisan contains the song “Atom no Ko” dedicated to Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka. It also has the Japanese version of the single “Without You” that Yamashita wrote with Debbie Gibson.
As a master in sound production, Yamashita is often called a “sound craftsman.” As a testament to how dedicated to his craft and musicianship, here’s his single “Mirai no Theme” from the acclaimed 2018 anime film MIRAI. He is as fresh here as he was in the 70s and 80s.
August 18 saw the 30th anniversary of the release of Artisan. Yamashita is married to famous city pop artist Mariya Takeuchi (of “Plastic Love” fame produced by Yamashita!). They still make music together to this day.
In the near future, I will look into one of Tatsuro Yamashita’s albums in great detail because his music is outstanding!