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Hiroshi Sato – Awakening

Hiroshi Sato
Awakening
Label: Alfa, Great Tracks
Catalog Number: MHJ7 3
Released: 1982, 80's
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Before releasing Awakening in 1980, Hiroshi Sato was already one of the most respected keyboardists/session players in Tokyo, appearing on countless classics while also building his own indelible discography. He even declined Haruomi Hosono’s invitation in 1978 to be in a new band he was forming, aka – Yellow Magic Orchestra… After a brief stint in Los Angeles, Sato moved back to Tokyo, convinced his new label Alfa to buy him a Linn drum machine, and began to compose what would become his masterpiece. Sato programmed all the drums himself and played most of the album’s extensive list of instruments. A few equally revered guests also appear on the album including Tatsuro Yamashita, Yuji Toriyama, and Tsunehide Matsuki. Awakening is city-pop of the highest caliber featuring sophisticated synthesizer work, vocoders, breezy jammy guitar, and slinky rubber jazz-funk baselines, complemented by some of the most beautiful and heartbreaking pop melodies ever recorded featuring Sato and Canadian-Australian vocalist Wendy Matthews. It’s really not surprising at all to hear “Say Goodbye” being played in a retail store today, some 40 years later. Awakening is everlasting pop perfection, and it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world discovered it. Highly recommended for fans of the Pacific Breeze comps, Tatsuro Yamashita, or anyone with a budding interest in the amazing Japanese pop music of the past.

– DM

Recommended – A3 Blue and Moody Music, B5 Say Goodbye, Full Listen

Tags: Breezy / City Pop / Funk / Reissue / Soul
Tracklist:

A1 Awakening
A2 You’re My Baby
A3 Blue And Moody Music
A4 Only A Love Affair
A5 Love And Peace
B1 From Me To You
B2 I Can’t-Wait
B3 It Isn’t Easy
B4 Awakening
B5 Say Goodbye

Credits:

Art Direction – Shinichi Hara
Cover – Toshinao Tsukui
Design – Hidetake Awano
Electric Guitar – Tatsuro Yamashita (tracks: B5), Tsunehide Matsuki (tracks: A3, B2), Yuji Toriyama (tracks: B1)
Engineer – Mitsuo Koike
Engineer [Assistance] – Akitsugu Doi, Yoshifumi Iio
Mastered By – Toru Kotetsu
Photography By – Steve Hiett
Producer – Toshikazu Awano
Vocals – Wendy Matthews (tracks: A2, A4, B2, B3, B5)
Vocals, Drum Programming, Guitar, Vocoder, Acoustic Guitar, Producer, Arranged By, Piano, Synth – Hiroshi Sato

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