Greetings, Spy Vibers! As a guy who spent the 80s and some of the early 90s in Japan, it's no wonder I became a giant fan of that amazing group of musicians around Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) and UK band, Japan. I've spent the subsequent decades (!) traveling the creative journeys of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hoson, Yukihiro Takahashi, David Sylvian, Steve Jansen, Mick Karn, Richard Barbieri, and Rob Dean, not to mention the many talented graphic designers and artists who gave their projects a visual personality and identity. So, imagine my surprise when I was listening to Martin Denny's 1959 Quiet Village recently and discovered that it was he who wrote the tune "Firecracker" -I always assumed it was a YMO original (as heard on their debut 1978 record). A small leap in the grand scheme of things, but I found it a real thrill to learn that Hosono and the YMO guys were also fans of the 1950s exotica master. Additionally it gave me a new perspective on a 2009 cover album called YMO vs. Minimums, where the Japanese band, Minimums, essentially brought the song back to its marimba and percussion roots. Full circle easy listening! Videos below. You can preview Minimums on Amazon. Enjoy!
August 13, 2021
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