Japan was an English new wave band that released five albums between 1978 and 1981. They formed in 1974 when brothers David Sylvian and Steve Jansen teamed with their school friend Mick Karn, whose fretless basslines dominate the band’s later releases. Musically, Japan’s output falls into three distinct phases: the subterranean buzz of their guitar-based […]


Casiopea are a Japanese jazz-funk band that released approximately two albums per year on Alfa between 1979 and 1987. Further albums have appeared at a yearly rate in the decades since, mostly on Pioneer and Pony Canyon. The band was formed in 1976 by guitarist/composer Issei Noro (b. Jan. 1, 1957), the one constant member […]

Japan ‎– Adolescent Sex (1978)

Adolescent Sex is the debut album by English funk-rock/art-rock quintet Japan. Released on Ariola in April 1978, the album fuses the subterranean buzz of London’s underground haunts with the rhythmic chic of New York’s strobe-laden nightclubs. The songs Wedding the sonics of Eno and concurrent Ultravox to the precision of Kool & the Gang and […]

Japan ‎– Tin Drum (1981)

Tin Drum is the fifth album by English art-rock/New Wave band Japan, released in 1981 on Virgin. Tracklist: A1. “The Art of Parties” (4:09)* A2. “Talking Drum” (3:34) A3. “Ghosts” (4:33) A4. “Canton” (5:30) B1. “Still Life in Mobile Homes” (5:32) B2. “Visions of China” (3:37) B3. “Sons of Pioneers” (7:07) B4. “Cantonese Boy” (3:44) […]

Japan ‎– Quiet Life (1979)

Quiet Life is the third album by English art-rock/New Wave band Japan, released in December 1979 on Hansa. Tracklist: A1. “Quiet Life” (4:53) A2. “Fall in Love with Me” (4:31) A3. “Despair” (5:56) A4. “In Vogue” (6:30) B1. “Halloween” (4:24) B2. “All Tomorrow’s Parties” (5:43) B3. “Alien” (5:01) B4. “The Other Side of Life” (7:26) […]

Japan ‎– Obscure Alternatives (1978)

Obscure Alternatives is the second album by English funk-rock/art-rock band Japan, released in October 1978 on Hansa. Tracklist: A1. “Automatic Gun” (4:07) A2. “…Rhodesia” (6:48) A3. “Love Is Infectious” (4:10) A4. “Sometimes I Feel So Low” (3:46) B1. “Obscure Alternatives” (6:50) B2. “Deviation” (3:23) B3. “Suburban Berlin” (4:59) B4. “The Tenant” (7:14) Credits: David Sylvian […]

Teru’s Symphonia

Teru’s Symphonia were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that debuted with an album on Nexus in 1985, followed by two discs on the Crime label during the late 1980s and another pair of titles on Made in Japan in the early ’90s. Later in that second decade, a final pair of discs appeared on Musea, which […]


Yutaka Yotakura — 横倉裕 (born June 26, 1956) — is a Japanese-born keyboardist, kotoist, and composer who released the jazz-funk album Love Light on Alfa in 1978. Discography: Love Light (1978) Yutaka (1988) Brazasia (1990)

Yumi Matsutoya

Yumi Matsutoya — 松任谷由実 (born Jan. 19, 1954) — is a Japanese art-pop singer/songwriter who released 30 albums on Express between 1973 and 2004. Her first two albums were issued under her birth name Yumi Arai (荒井由実), after which she adopted the moniker Yuming (ユーミン) for a pair of albums. Most of her albums since […]

Yukihiro Takahashi

Yukihiro Takahashi — 高橋幸宏 (June 6, 1952 — January 11, 2023) — was a Japanese drummer, percussionist, vocalist, and songwriter who played in the Sadistic Mika Band/Sadistics during the mid-to-late 1970s. In 1978, he co-founded the electro-pop super-trio Yellow Magic Orchestra with veteran musician Haruomi Hosono and rising star Ryuichi Sakamoto. He concurrently launched a […]

Yuji Toriyama

Yuji Toriyama — 鳥山雄司 (Dec. 5, 1959) — is a Japanese guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter who released four albums on Agharta/Canyon between 1981 and 1985. Discography: Take a Break (1981) Silver Shoes (1982) Aerobics (1982 • Yuji Toriyama & Ken Morimura) 鳥山雄司 (1983) A Taste of Paradise (1985) Transfusion (1988)

Yuji Ohno

Yuji Ohno — 大野雄二 (May 30, 1941) — is a Japanese jazz pianist who played on albums by Kimiko Kasai and Terumasa Hino during the early 1970s. In 1974, Ohno collaborated with Brazilian samba-jazz vocalist Sônia Rosa on the CBS/Sony release Spiced With Brazil. The following year, he partook in the Columbia Records jazz-funk one-off […]

Yosuke Yamashita

Yosuke Yamashita — 山下洋輔 (Feb. 26, 1942) — is a Japanese pianist and bandleader who released numerous albums with his namesake free-jazz trio on Victor World Group, Crown, and other labels between 1969 and 1980. In 1976, he collaborate with sci-fi author Yasutaka Tsutsui (筒井康隆) on the post-minimalist Frasco release 家. Discography: Mina’s Second Theme […]

Yoshitaka Azuma

Yoshitaka Azuma — 東祥高 (1948 — Oct. 11, 2012) — was a Japanese keyboardist and composer who released three electronic albums on Columbia during 1981 and 1982. Later in the decade, he issued a pair of albums under his surname on Private Music. Discography: Moonlight of Asia (1981) Asian Wind ‎(1981) Far From Asia (1982) […]

Yoshiko Sai

Yoshiko Sai — 佐井好子 (born June 22, 1953) — is a Japanese singer/songwriter who released two albums on Black in 1975 and 1976, followed by a second pair of titles on Blow Up in 1977 and 1978. Discography: 萬花鏡 (Mangekyō) (1975) 密航 (Mikkō) (1976) 胎児の夢 (Taiji no Yume) (1977) 蝶のすむ部屋 (Chō no Sumu Heya) (1978) […]


Yonin-Bayashi (四人囃子) were a Japanese folk-psych band that released two albums on Tam in 1973 and 1974, followed by the album Golden Picnics on CBS/Sony in 1976. A further trio of titles appeared on Viento/See・Saw over the subsequent three-year period. Members: 森園勝敏 [Katsutoshi Morizono] (guitar, vocals), 中村真一 [Shin’ichi Nakamura] (bass), 岡井大二 [Daiji Okai] (drums), 坂下秀実 […]

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) is a Japanese electro/art-pop trio that released six proper albums and a live disc on Alfa between 1978 and 1983. They were formed by veteran multi-instrumentalist Haruomi Hosono (ex-Apryl Fool, Happy End) and featured drummer Yukihiro Takahashi (ex-Sadistic Mika Band). During YMO’s initial run, singer and keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto launched a […]

Yasuo Inada & The Bemi Family

Yasuo Inada & the Bemi Family were a Japanese classical/rock collective that released the album 感覚思考 (Kankaku Shikō) on Tam in 1976. Members: Inada Yasuo [稲田保雄] (keyboards, vocals), Fujii Shōji [藤井章司] (drums), Shimura Shōzō [志村昭三] (guitar), Fukuda Ikutarō [福田幾太郎] (guitar), Fukuda Ikujirō [福田幾次郎] (guitar) Discography: 感覚思考 (Kankaku Shikō) (1976)

Yasuaki Shimizu

Yasuaki Shimizu — 清水靖晃 (Aug. 9, 1954) — is a Japanese jazz-funk saxophonist who debuted as a solo artist with the album Get You! on Yupiteru Records in 1978, followed by albums on Electric Bird, Better Days, and Invitation over the following 12-year period. As a session player, he backed numerous jazz and pop artists […]