Search - Yellow Magic Orchestra :: Bgm

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

2003 remastered reissue of the Japanese progressive rock act's 1981 live album. Epic.


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CD Details

All Artists: Yellow Magic Orchestra
Title: Bgm
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony/Epic
Release Date: 9/29/2003
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
Styles: Electronica, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
2003 remastered reissue of the Japanese progressive rock act's 1981 live album. Epic.

CD Reviews

Loved it in 1981, love it now
E. J Petersen | Central California | 07/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A friend from Japan introduced me to YMO back in 1981 with a recording of 'Nice Ace' off the Multiplies album. I was hooked. I traveled to Japan that year and picked up BGM while I was there. Man, that synth solo in "1,000 Knives" is insane. I had some friends that used it to breakdance to back in the early 80s. The other tracks I love are "Cue", "Ballet", "Camouflage" and "Happy End". I used part of "Loom" along with a bit from Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" album (a non-song part between "Jig of Life" and "Hello Earth") to make a cool phone machine message.

Anyway, YMO was good at the type of music they produced (synthpop). I highly recommend BGM, Multiplies, and the others, along with Yukihiro Takahashi's solo works Murdered by the Music and Neuromantic.

Eric - CA"
Catchy, Futuristic, Funky & Smart
David Alston | Chapel Hill, NC, USA | 09/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Great to see YMO's stuff out on CD - I had this (and a pair of their other releases) on vinyl when I was in middle school, and after many years, it's still great stuff. YMO stood alongside some of the Krautrock groups (especially Kraftwerk and Can) as something way ahead of their time, and Ryuichi Sakamoto has crafted an extremely fascinating solo career over the last 2 decades.

In any case, the shimmering electro-pop here was immaculate - catchy, futuristic, funky and smart.

Check 'em out.

-David Alston"
My favourite YMO album
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can't remember when I bought this album. It must have been some time in the early 1980s. I was listening to the music of John Foxx, Japan, Ippu-Do, Bill Nelson, David Sylvian, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, Fad Gadget, S.P.K., Sandii & The Sunsetz, Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk and Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft at the time. Yellow Magic Orchestra were unique, and they are, still.

BGM is not really an album of songs, it is really an album of instrumental pieces and "soundscapes", partly instrumental and some with vocals, and some with fragments of singing and spoken words. The music is all quite atmospheric and rich in instrumental lines and textures. Some of the pieces could be easily arranged for and played by an orchestra. "Mass" and "U.T." sound like orchestral music over a drum machine. There is some acoustic drumming here from Yukihiro Takahashi (a very fine drummer) and, possibly, Ryuichi Sakamoto (he drums in the video clip of "Cue"). The keyboard playing is, of course, sublime and it is clear that the three members of the group let their imagines run free on this album. They were superstars by this stage and they could more or less do whatever they liked .... and they certainly did!

I loved to contrast the music of D.A.F. with Y.M.O. - DAF were the quintessential "Minimalist" Punk band - one keyboard line and drums; YMO could have been described as "Maximalist", in comparison, with their multi-layered and contrapuntal music. Like Kraftwerk and Cabaret Voltaire, YMO didn't always rely on words and lyrics alone to carry the meaning of their songs, the sounds, instrumental timbres, harmonies, melodies, rhythmic contures and song structures provided their music with internal rhetoric.

BGM, overall, is a "moody" and atmospheric album. I have recently seen some of the songs performed live on YouTube (I never saw any promotional videos at the time!) and I am [still!] impressed with the intensity and power of YMO live. In some ways, all the music on this album would have sounded even better live, I'd be willing to wager! Alas, YMO never toured Australia.

BGM is quite unlike anything else Yellow Magic Orchestra recorded and it is very unlike anything else anyone else recorded before or since. Hmmm, okay, maybe "Radio Fantasy" by Ippu-Do owes something to this album - "Magic Vox" and "Radio Japan" could easily be played back-to-back with any of the tracks from BGM and not cause the listener to flinch.

It is a pity "Radio Fantasy" is not readily available on CD.

However, If you want to get an insight into YMO - check out the video of "Cue" (one of the their best songs) on YouTube. Stunning!"