Monday, July 26, 2010

Y.M.O.


7-26-10


Y.M.O. (Yellow Magic Orchestra)


I believe I was standing in the Kinokuniya bookstore in San Francisco’s Japantown Mall when I first heard Y.M.O. – circa ’80. I do not remember if I’d read about them yet or not. By ’81, I was working at an importer / exporter – and regularly ‘reading’; Japanese music magazines (notably “Music Life”, “Ongaku Senka” etc). Y.M.O. were already generating tons of releases, with their numerous solo albums. I think one time I toted up the number of YMO & YMO solo (& related) releases, and the total number was over 250!


I have many more collections, singles etc., but the ‘core’ of my Y.M.O. collection is:


LPx2 AFTER SERVICE YEN/ALFA JPN YLR-40001/2

1984 20 TRKS red vinyl, promo

CDx2 AFTER SERVICE ALFA JPN ALCA-5225/6

1984 19 TRKS ('98 issue) kami sleeve

LP BGM ALFA JPN ALR-28015

1981 10 TRKS insert

CD BGM ALFA JPN ALCA-5220

1981 10 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

CD LIVE AT BUDOKAN 1980 ALFA JPN ALCA-9051

1980 15 TRKS Live ('93 issue)

CD LIVE AT KINOKUNI-YA HALL 1978 ALFA JPN ALCA-9052

1978 9 TRKS Live ('93 issue)

LP NAUGHTY BOYS YEN/ALFA JPN YLR-28008

1983 10 TRKS insert

CD NAUGHTY BOYS ALFA JPN ALCA-5222

1983 10 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

LP NAUGHTY BOYS (Instrumental) YEN/ALFA JPN YLR-20002

1983 10 TRKS insert

CD NAUGHTY BOYS (Instrumental) ALFA JPN ALCA-5223

1983 10 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

CD PUBLIC PRESSURE ALFA JPN ALCA-5217

1980 9 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

LP PUBLIC PRESSURE clear vinyl promo ALFA JPN ALR-6033

1980 8 TRKS Live, insert; clear vinyl, promo

LPx4 SEALED (4LP boxed set) YEN/ALFA JPN YLR-80001-4

1984 35 TRK Collection, boxed set

LP SERVICE YEN/ALFA JPN YLR-28013

1983 14 TRKS Yellow vinyl promo, insert

CD SERVICE ALFA JPN ALCA-5224

1983 14 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

LP SOLID STATE SURVIVOR ALFA JPN ALR-6022

1979 8 TRKS insert

CD SOLID STATE SURVIVOR ALFA JPN ALCA-5216

1979 8 TRKS 1998 re-mastered; kami sleeve

LP TECHNODELIC ALFA JPN ALR-28030

1981 10 TRKS 1st cover, booklet

CD TECHNODELIC ALFA JPN ALCA-5221

1981 10 TRKS '98 re-master

CD TECHNODON EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-8010

1993 12 TRKS gimmix cover, original issue

10" X INFINITY MULTIPLIES (10" vers.) ALFA JPN YMO-1

1980 12 TRK EP; Snakeman Show

CD X INFINITY MULTIPLIES (10" vers.) ALFA JPN ALCA-5218

1980 12 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

LP YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA ALFA JPN ALR-6012

1978 10 TRKS insert

CD YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA ALFA JPN ALCA-5214

1978 10 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve

LP YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA (US vers.) A&M US SP-736

1979 9 TRKS Yellow vinyl, U.S. mix

CD YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA (US vers.) ALFA JPN ALCA-5215

1979 9 TRKS '98 re-mastered; kami sleeve


Y.M.O. are Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi and Ryuichi Sakamoto. My favorite album is still “Technodelic”. I never had the opportunity to see them live. But I did buy plenty of live shows by them on legit videotape, laserdisc and DVD! And I am a huge fan of the Osaka comedy group Snakeman Show who grace a number of YMO releases. I even got to meet Moichi Kuwahara of Snakeman Show in Tokyo! (In fact, Moichi and I both have liner notes in the 2nd Watermelon CD, “Out Of Body Experience”! Another story…)


These days, YMO sometimes get called “the Japanese Kraftwerk”, but I don’t think that’s 100% correct. And I hear they’re playing live again…as “Hasymo”.


Their solo works deserve their own pages, but I’m not going to write that now. My friend in NY, Nick, has a wonderful webpage about YMO:


http://artcontext.com/artskool/jem/ymo1.html

4 comments:

REVO said...

My first hearing of YMO was from 1979 as WOKB-AM "Tiger Radio" jumped on the Horizon 12" of "Computer Game" as soon as it hit these shores. That was Orlando's "urban" station that I often heard in my Sophomore art classes. We had a boom box we could listen to music in class with and one day it was funk, the next day it was hard rock WORJ-FM "Zeta-7" for the burnouts. Ironically, I think both stations had the same owners...

Ron Kane said...

I was visiting San Francisco and I believe the Kinokuniya bookstore was playing a cassette of it, approx. '79. I did not know what it was, but I quickly learned.

Warren Bowman said...

Have you heard any of the newer stuff recorded as "Sketch Show"? What do you think of it?

Ron Kane said...

WB -

I have a Sketch Show CD for you! It's a bit more "techno" than usual for Hosono & Takahashi. What I would recommend to you is the Chisato Moritaka CD "Summer Will Be More Better" (or thereabouts).

RK