Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Modern Tokyo Connection 1
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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The first major label contemporary music compilation album r
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 08/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With a good number of Japanese music compilations that have been released in the US, a lot of people are not familiar with the first major label compilation released stateside.
Back in the 1990's, TOSHIBA EMI was the first to release Japanese music albums at Tower Records not as an import but for US prices. Of course, the releases were mainly artists that most Japanese would know but for Americans, probably not. Artists such as rock legend, Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi and singer Ishimine Satoko were among the first and only album releases.
But an album that I felt was a good starting point for the company to bring J-Pop was their compilation titled "MODERN TOKYO CONNECTION: THE LATEST SELECTIONS FROM JAPAN'S TOP ARTISTS - VOLUME 1.
The compilation would feature songs primarily released in 1996-1997 but also popular tracks released by artists years prior.
What I found so cool about this release at the time was that it featured current popular artists in Japan at the time such as Ulfuls with their hit song "Banzai", Tomosaka Rie's debut CD single "Kushami" and Pocket Biscuits with "Yellow YEllow Happy" and J-Rock band Kuroyume's "Like @ Angel" and Hotei Tomoyasu's "CIRCUS".
And of course, this album was not just focused on what was just popular in Japan with the youth. You also had artists featured who are legends in their own right in Japan such as Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi's 1993 hit "RUN", Yuming's 1996 hit song "Saigo no Uso", and Yazawa Eikichi's "MARIA" plus cool artists to check out such as Ishimine Satoko's with her angelic rendition of "Hana"
Also, to add to the fun was the inclusion of "Sobani Iteyo (Stay With Me)" by AMI, a song used in the popular Japanese drama "Long Vacation" which helped LV fans seek this album when it was released.
What I found so awesome was how EMI tried to reach the Japanese music fans through the CD insert booklet. Opening the first page, on the left was the Japanese title and production credits and on the right, all in English.
For a track, on the left side is the Japanese profile, discography and lyrics and on the right, the English profile and translated lyrics with a photo of the band/artist.
It's interesting because each time I check out a Japanese music compilation released her stateside, I tend to check out and see how much they include to develop that connection with the music listener and giving them basic information of the group, lyrics in Japanese or romanized and the translated English lyrics and really, no one has gone as far as TOSHIBA EMI had done back in 1997 with "MODERN TOKYO CONNECTION VOLUME 1.
So, it was a noble attempt back in 1997 to attract J-Pop fans but this compilation came out a bit too soon.
As much as many of us who were familiar with the music via Japanese video rentals of "CDTV, "Music Station" or "HEY! HEY! HEY! MUSIC CHAMP", Japanese dramas or from some who had access to International television with Japanese programming, simply the numbers of those into J-Pop in the US back in 1997 are nowhere as it is right now.
I always hoped that EMI would reconsider doing another volume especially with their catalog of bands and artists such as Utada Hikaru, Tokyo Jihen, GLAY, etc. but for all it's worth, I'm glad to have discovered this album when it came out in the US at the time."
Good for certain people
B. Inoue | Tacoma, WA United States | 01/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Considering that the price was cheap and that it was an effort by Toshiba EMI to break into America I give it pretty high ratings. At the time most of these people were very popular. Although you only really hear about Tomoyasu Hotei, Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, and the Ulfuls nowadays it's a pretty good period CD.
Some of these are some of the best songs these artists have ever done. Such songs are Yellow Yellow Happy, Aisurukoto, and (arguably) Bonzai sukide yokatta. Some of my personal recommendations on it are Like @ Angel, Bonzai, Aisurukoto, Tell a Lie, Circus, and Run.
The rest are songs that any J-pop junky would find appealing at one time or another. For further research look into the Ulful's Gatsu Da ZE!!, Nagabuchi's Shiawase Ni Narou, Kuroyume's Best/Worst Album, Yuming's many albums, and Hotei's Supersonic Generation.
Many people got into J-pop later on in life, but I got into it when I first entered the world with Hikaru Genji and Anime themes. Despite the fact that I don't listen to too much J-pop or J-rock anymore (despite a few select CD's such as Janne Da Arc's DNA, X Japan's Ballad Collection, Hide Best, and a few others) I still have this one readily available to reminisce upon the mid 90's. Lay back, relax, forget anything serious, and have fun. Listen as if you were a kid or at the least a 13 year old fan girl for the majority of the songs. For the heavier stuff use your adult sense."
An interesting compilation of modern Japanese pop music
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 04/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't say that I am big fan of J-pop music but I do like a lot of it, namely Puffy AmiYumi. The music is incredibly catchy. I may not understand a lick of word what the artists are singing about but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the music. I bought "Modern Tokyo Connection, Vol.1" several years ago. I was looking for something different. I was also been wanting to expose myself to music from Japan. I have always had held an intense fascination with Japan and its culture. When I came upon "Modern Tokyo Connection, vol.1" I thought it was well worth checking out. I'm glad I bought it. The music was quite fascinating to listen to. Although there were a couple of songs that bordered on the Velveeta side of pop music, I enjoyed the cd . I particularly enjoyed Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi's "Run" and Tomoyasu Hotei's "Circus". Thankfully the cd booklet included the English translations so I wasn't completely lost on what the artists were singing. For people who are interested in checking out music from Japan, I think "Modern Tokyo Connection, Vol.1" is worth checking out."