Essential Series - 2021 City Pop Vol 1

dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
edited January 23 in Essential Series

The best groovy West Coast, Soft Rock and mellow music that sits on the poppiest side of the AOR spectrum created outside of the Western world - Welcome to City Pop, one of Japan's best kept secrets, until now that is.

City Pop Vol. 1
ARTICLE: The Essential Series - City Pop (Volume 1)
WRITTEN BY: Dtabachn
YEAR: 2021

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

Background

City Pop as a genre and the so-called City Pop boom fueled by the Internet are linked to the history of Japanese popular music as well as historical, political and economic related facts.

The restoration started in 1868 by emperor Meiji brought on the modernization and Westernization of the country from being an isolated feudal society. This marks the beginning of Japanese modern popular music as well.

It included the assimilation of Western Music and the interaction between Western and Japanese music, starting with military tunes followed by opera, musicals, jazz, tango, rumba, foxtrot, and French chanson before WW2; plus country/western, rock and roll, blues and folk during the postwar.

After 1955, Japan experienced two decades of substantial economic growth known as the 'Japanese Miracle'. In the 1960s, Japan's economy became the second largest in the world behind the US, and the music scene saw deep changes as well.

In the early 1960s, Ryukoka or Japanese popular songs with roots in Western classical music evolved into two genres: Enka (traditional, sentimental ballad music also known as Japanese blues) and Kayokyoku or Japanese pop music, influenced by the Jazz brought by and played for the US occupying forces.

Interestingly, in 1963 the light jazz song 'Walking While Looking Up' by Sakamoto Kyu reached number one in the US Billboard singles chart.

A generational rupture occurred between younger generations and older traditions as The Ventures, The Animals and The Beatles visited Japan in the mid-1960s and sparked a number of similar local bands, collectively categorized under the short-lived tag 'group sounds,' or simply 'GS'.

In the late 1960s, a folk boom gave birth to a Japanese style of folk rock based on the singer-songwriter format called New Music. Proto City Pop bands the likes of Happy End and Sugar Babe are included in this genre, the one that immediately preceded City Pop.

And while the early to mid–1970s rock scene in Japan was mainly dominated by blues or hard rock bands (Lazy that later became Loudness, Murasaki and Bow Wow as examples), a handful of bands influenced by US soft rock/folk also started recording albums, including the aforementioned Happy End and Sugar Babe that sowed the seeds of the nascent genre.

The late 1970s also saw the rise of good-looking teenage pop singers driven by TV and radio in a genre called Idol Pop, which was not related to City Pop although they were contemporary for some time.

The song 'Down Town', co-written by Tatsuro Yamashita and included in Sugar Babe's 1975 album Songs, can be considered as City Pop's cornerstone.

An important economic fact is that Japan was a bubble economy during the 1980s, after the 'Japanese Miracle'. Young people had good jobs, were able to buy expensive cars and state of the art sound systems while optimism and confidence about the country and its culture was at an all-time high.

City Pop, a genre that originally lasted between the late 1970s and mid-1980s, reflects all that high standard of living. The technological advances of the era such as the Walkman and especially synthesizers like the Yamaha DX-7 or the Roland MC-8 sequencer enormously helped the development of the genre.

To complete the picture, the influence of Western genres Soft Rock, AOR, West Coast, Funk, Disco, Soul and Fusion up to Latin and Bossa Nova helped shape City Pop, which back then was a brand-new genre, completely different to J-Pop, the latter an umbrella term created later in the 1990s to describe almost all kinds of pop music produced in Japan.

What is City Pop then? Highly sophisticated urban sounds of the 1980s that follow high production standards, heavy on bass percussive techniques slap and pop, with lyrics telling urban stories frequently about car rides (usually at night), life in the big city, night time and vacations on the beach, plus loneliness and longing for love.

From an AOR fan perspective, City Pop means West Coast, Yacht Rock and Soft Rock made in Japan with jazz, soul, disco and funk leanings. Or simply Japanese AOR.

The lyrics frequently involve code-switching between Japanese and English, the latter usually as part of the hook or the chorus.

Tatsuro Yamashita's 1976 album Circus Town is the first album that I can totally identify as part of the genre, although his 1980's 'Ride On Time' is the one that propelled the genre, whose most polished recordings belong to the 1981-1984 period.

Something not exclusive to the current playlist-dominated times is the fact that, since its very inception, City Pop has always been ideal to build thematic playlists or physical mixtapes on assorted subjects, including but not limited to New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Night/City Drive, Summer, Beach, Island Getaway, Loneliness and Rainy Days. Your own imagination is the limit.

Despite the common label, City Pop is highly heterogeneous as its artists can be closer to anything ranging from AOR, Soft Rock, Pop, Disco/Dance Music, R&B, Funk, or Soul. It is also substantially more than the common perception of muzak played in malls, stores, shops, elevators, airports, hotels, and dentists’ offices. You just have to do your homework and the deeper you dig, the greater the reward.

I advise you to treat the accompanying videos on the Albums section as a playlist for maximum pleasure. So sit back, chill out and enjoy.

For those who would like to dive into City Pop's origins, some recommended listening follows.

Proto City Pop bands and songs:
Eiichi Ohtaki: 'Yubikiri' ['Pinky Swear']
Sugar Babe: 'Down Town'
Tatsuro Yamashita: 'Circus Town', 'Windy Lady'
Yellow Magic Orchestra (aka YMO): 'Computer Game' (pioneered the Hip Hop and Japanoise genres), 'Firecracker' (one of the earliest known synth-pop songs). Both songs, released as a double A-side single, charted in the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #60 in 1980.

Proto City Pop and early City Pop albums:
Happy End: 'Kazemachi Roman' ['Wind City Romance'] (1971), 'Happy End' (1973)
Sugar Babe: 'Songs' (1975)
Tin Pan Alley: 'Caramel Mama' (1975)
Tatsuro Yamashita: 'Circus Town' (1976), 'Spacy' (1977), 'Go Ahead!' (1978), 'Moonglow' (1979)
YMO: ' Yellow Magic Orchestra' (1978)

City Pop albums recommended for AOR fans:
Given the widespread, heterogeneous nature of the genre, the following are a sample of albums aimed at the AOR listener.

Tetsuji Hayashi - 1980 Summer Wine
Amii Ozaki - 1981 Hot Baby
Yoshino Fujimal - 1982 Yoshino Fujimal
Tohoku Shinkansen - 1982 Thru Traffic
AB'S - 1983 AB'S


The Albums

Various Artists ‎– 1978 New York

Various Artists ‎– 1978 New York

Release Date and Style: November 21, 1978. Fusion.

Many City Pop songs and albums as well address New York City as the aspirational target for the perfect urban life.

This fairly obscure, mostly instrumental album from eight different Fusion guitarists is the perfect introduction to the genre through a TV show theme song-like set that ranges from Jazz, Rock, Blues and Funk up to the closing song, the only one with lyrics and a certain Gospel feel to it.

Included is an instrumental version of Boz Scaggs's 'Hard Times' arranged by soundtrack master Ryuichi Sakamoto ('The Last Emperor').

Interesting how musicians who never actually visited the Big Apple could perfectly capture and depict the vibe of said metropolis.

Video

Kennedy Airport


Makoto Matsushita ‎- 1981 First Light

Makoto Matsushita ‎- 1981 First Light

Release Date and Style: September 21, 1981. City Pop, AOR, Fusion.

The first known use of the term 'City Pop' was in an October 1981 Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun's review of First Light. The album was also my entrance door to City Pop.

This is classy jazz/rock fusion-tinged AOR with superb melodic achievements in which the humble yet passionate voice of Matsushita and his guitar shine through nine original songs akin to Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and Bobby Caldwell, including two interludes.

Makoto majored in guitar at the Yamaha Nem Conservatory and he acknowledges influences from Walter Becker (Steely Dan) and Larry Carlton.

It's worth checking his stint with the rock band AB'S as well, where he joined forces with singer Fujimaru Yoshino, the latter's self-titled debut album from 1982 another funky-AOR City Pop classic.

Video

First Light


Tatsuro Yamashita - 1980/2 Ride On Time & For You

Tatsuro Yamashita - 1980-2 Ride On Time & For You

Release Date and Style: September 19, 1980 and January 21, 1982, respectively. City Pop, Funk, Soul.

Tatsuro Yamashita epitomizes City Pop in many listeners' opinion since the very inception of the genre as part of the band Sugar Babe. He's been dubbed as 'the King of City Pop'.

With a strong solo discography starting with 1976's 'Circus Town', 'Ride On Time' is the inflection point in which he finds the sound and the songs, the guitar-heavy Funk Soul a la Isley Brothers of 'Silent Screamer' (in the style of Tatsu's own 1978 song 'Bomber'), the hit single title track used in a TV commercial for Maxell audio cassettes, and the bouncy opener 'Someday' as perfect examples.

On a side note and speaking of Funk & Soul, check out Minaho Yoshida's 'Midnight Driver' track off 1980's superb Monochrome album, another classic saved for future volumes. Minaho was Tatsu's main lyricist during his glory days and a fantastic singer herself, this particular song being a staple of the genre.

On his following release 'For You' (if you set aside the a cappella album 'On The Street Corner' from late 1980), Yamashita fully realizes his sound as witnessed by the perfect riff of 'Sparkle', the Eric Tagg-like 'Music Book' and the uplifting 'Morning Glory', the latter penned by himself and previously recorded in 1980 by partner Mariya Takeuchi.

Although 1983's single 'Christmas Eve' is Tatsuro's biggest hit ever, his entire discography from 1976 to 1982 is strongly recommended to understand what City Pop is all about.

Video

Silent Screamer

Sparkle


Toshiki Kadomatsu ‎- 1984 After 5 Clash

Toshiki Kadomatsu ‎- 1984 After 5 Clash

Release Date and Style: April 21, 1984. City Pop, Pop, Funk, Soul, Disco.

Singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer and arranger Toshiki Kadomatsu released the perfect album to portrait the nightlife in the big city, all that happens after 5pm: dance, romance, airports and champagne.

Everything is big: the hooks, the arrangements, the synths, the almighty bass and the brass section. Toshiki's love for the New York club scene of the 1980s is crystal clear. This is as bright as City Pop gets. How cool is that stiletto dominating the skyline on the album cover?

Kadomatsu also made a reputation as the producer and arranger for Anri's albums, more on that later on. His instrumental 1987 fusion/smooth jazz album Sea Is A Lady is highly recommended as well.

Video

If You...


Kingo Hamada - 1982 Midnight Cruisin

Kingo Hamada - 1982 Midnight Cruisin'

Release Date and Style: October 21, 1982. 1970s-inspired AOR, Soft Rock, City Pop.

A trip to 1970s AOR and Soft Rock with jazz influences from the singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist from Tokyo.

The album is tailor-made for a late evening or night ride. Highlights are Kingo's soothing vocals, the very Stephen Bishop-like 'Taxi Driver Profile', the deep ballad 'So I Love You' and the lively title track.

Separate paragraph for the addictive pop piece 'Dolphin In Town'. It was the subject of the meme song 'Crystal Dolphin' by the artist Englewood, who sampled parts of Hamada's original song in late 2017. The meme video has reached almost 60 million YouTube views to date. Go with the original, no doubts about it.

His following album, 1983's Mugshot, is another showcase of AOR sophistication.

Video

Taxi Driver Profile


Takako Mamiya ‎- 1982 Love Trip

Takako Mamiya ‎- 1982 Love Trip

Release Date and Style: November 25, 1982. City Pop, West Coast, Soul, Pop.

Takako Mamiya is the greatest mystery in City Pop history as she recorded this sole album and nothing would be known of her whereabouts to date.

She left behind a glossy collection of smooth jazz songs that recall the most melancholic yet groovy moments of Gino Vannelli.

The opening title track sung in Japanese along with a closing second version of it in English translated as 'What A Broken Heart Can Do', 'Midnight Joke' and the superb west coast AOR of 'A Silver Leaf In The Twilight' are my choices off this classy, sensual set.

Video

A Silver Leaf In The Twilight (also translated as 'Silver Leaves Of Twilight')


Mariya Takeuchi - 1980 Miss M

Mariya Takeuchi - 1980 Miss M

Release Date and Style: December 5, 1980. City Pop, West Coast, AOR.

While her song 'Plastic Love' was responsible for bringing City Pop to the attention of Western listeners in 2018, Miss M is Mariya Takeuchi's more consistent album.

The first half of it, called L.A. Side, was recorded in Tinseltown with Airplay (Jay Graydon, David Foster) and Toto (Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro and David Hungate) members plus Bill Champlin on backing vocals; while the second half is the Tokyo Side of the recording.

Therefore, there's a strong west coast AOR flavor not only on the L.A side with the upbeat 'Sweetest Music' and its superb guitar solo by Lukather or Tatsuro Yamashita's 'Morning Glory', but also on the Tokyo side like the overly American sounding 'Vacation For Two'.

Video

Vacation For Two


Yasuhiro Abe ‎- 1984 Slit

Yasuhiro Abe ‎- 1984 Slit

Release Date and Style: December 21, 1984. City Pop, West Coast, AOR, Rock.

If I had to play a single City Pop album to the average AORster, this would be it. For starters, 'Irene' is a monster of a song, like the Japanese equivalent of Airplay's 'Nothin' You Can Do About It'.

Never a dull moment here, all songs are worth a listen, especially the Peter Frampton in AOR mode guitar lines of 'Thrill Down', the charming mellow AOR masterpiece 'My Dear', the aptly titled 'New York Night' and the Beatlesque 'Cause I Love You'.

The track 'Double Imagination' was used for a mid-1980s TV ad of a Paul Newman version of the Nissan R30 Skyline automobile.

Video

Irene


Anri - 1983 Timely!!

Anri - 1983 Timely!!

Release Date and Style: December 5, 1983. City Pop, Synth-pop, Disco.

Toshiki Kadomatsu not only recorded the right album for the nighttime in the city, but also produced the fittest one for summer time in the beach.

The first song 'Cat's Eye' was the opening theme for the 1983 anime series of the same name, but Anri did not originally sing it. The cover version here is bigger, better and more bombastic as the whole album sounds as well.

Synth-pop, dance and yacht rock leanings shape City Pop classics the likes of 'Windy Summer', 'Remember Summer Days', 'Stay By Me' and the deftly titled drive song 'Driving My Love'.

Video

Driving My Love


Eiichi Ohtaki - 1981 A Long Vacation

Eiichi Ohtaki - 1981 A Long Vacation

Release Date and Style: March 21, 1981. City Pop, Power Pop, Surf Rock, Wall Of Sound.

A Long Vacation holds the seventh position in the Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Japanese Albums Of All Time, while Ohtaki's band Happy End tops said list with 'Kazemachi Roman'.

This is also the first Japanese album released ever on CD format and one of the world's first twenty titles released on CD back in 1982.

Influenced by the Beach Boys and the wall of sound recording technique with a mix of surf rock, sunshine pop, the California sound of the 1960s and The Beatles, it more than likely represents the link between the New Music and City Pop genres.

Video

You Are Natural Color


There's also a trio of songs that deserve a mention for their contribution to the genre.

Mariya Takeuchi's 'Plastic Love' was a minor local hit in Japan upon its release as a single off her 'Variety' album back in 1984.

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm skyrocketed the views to 25 million during 2018, bringing the whole City Pop style up to the attention of Western viewers. The video has been taken down several times and has accumulated over 100 million views in YouTube through different uploads.

Plastic Love

In addition to it, Akira Terao's 1981 album 'Reflections' is the top seller release of the whole 1980's decade in Japan, relegating Michael Jackson's mega-seller album 'Thriller' to the second place. The single 'Ruby No Yubiwa' ('Ruby Ring') was the top 1981 single in Japan and the best seller ever for City Pop.

You might also recognize Akira Terao for his role on Akira Kurosawa's 'Ran' among other movies. Yes, he's also an actor, something he inherited from his father.

Ruby Ring

Finally, during December of 2020, Miki Matsubara’s 40-year-old song 'Stay With Me' off her 1980's album Pocket Park topped Spotify’s global viral chart for 11 days. Unfortunately, Miki passed away in 2004.

Stay With Me


Playlist

If you'd like to enjoy a City Pop playlist with a collection of essential songs by essential artists, please proceed to the following link. You'll find the podcast 'AOR Melodic Rock Episode 4: City Pop playlist' recorded by yours truly, which includes the playlist's details. Just look for the play button at the bottom of the page. You can download the playlist as well.


In Summary

Do yourself a favor and jump into the City Pop wagon, not because it is trendy but because there's heaps to be unearthed for the AOR/West Coast fan if you dig enough.

City Pop in its original form ended in the late 1980s when the Japanese economic bubble started to burst, which finally occurred in the early 1990s paving the way for what is called the lost decade for Japan, a period that actually lasts until these days, several decades later, according to some authors.

City Pop saw an unlikely resurgence in the 2010s decade through Vaporwave, an Internet-based microgenre that's basically an ironic take on old pop music. It's also a meme-oriented movement, as the aforementioned case of Kingo Hamada's 'Dolphin In Town' sample witnesses.

Vaporwave artists sampled old music, borrowing pieces of City Pop songs and its aesthetic as well, into electronic tracks adding alienating distortion effects such as slowing down the tempo of a track, fragmenting it or looping short samples endlessly, thus giving the originally uptempo or mellow vibe a dreadful twist. More often than not, the originals have not been credited.

Vaporwave might be perceived as an aesthetic critique of both capitalism and consumerism (which are not the same, nor are necessarily connected), or an inspiration for such critiques.

The Internet leaning towards selling out is said to have killed the essence of Vaporwave. Something that initially was a critique of modern society became devoured by the system. Moreover, its aesthetics was appropriated by MTV International, which in 2015 introduced a rebrand heavily inspired by Vaporwave.

The rise of Vaporwave's more upbeat offshoot Future Funk in 2015 was a shift towards a nostalgic, unironic appreciation of Japanese music. It also extensively uses samples mostly drawn from Japanese City Pop records from the 1980s, but adapts it to the sound of modern house and lounge music instead of adding distortion effects.

However, the main reason why City Pop started to be noticed by Western listeners was YouTube's recommendation of Mariya Takeuchi's 'Plastic Love' video, a story we've already told. My own first exposure to the genre happened when I randomly discovered Makoto Matsushita's 'First Light' album around 2019.

Why does City Pop have an appeal to new listeners? Because It's a recreation of Western music that we all know with true authenticity. Do not believe that old stereotype of the Japanese people as great imitators but poor innovators.

City Pop is actually a different, new musical world for those who, like this writer, come from the Western rock world. It's all about groove, charm and pop sensibilities. It is an elegant, classy, ethereal, silky and even charmingly naive take on seventies and eighties AOR.

Additionally, the music was created with the Japanese quality of striving for perfection that many know and admire. Japan can perfect most of the stuff created in the Western world to the limit, as proven by Ibanez guitars (see also a similar reference in the movie Back To The Future 3).

While Western artists might be afraid of going deep into catchy melodies, lush arrangements or polished musicianship to avoid being tagged with ugly qualifiers like cheesy/derivative or similar adjectives that I loathe from my very soul (you can add the 'Hair Metal' label to the list, if you will, lol), their Japanese counterparts actively pursue all of them.

Finally, do not be afraid of the language barrier, especially with English. Coming from a non-English-speaking country myself, I couldn't care less as we're used to the language barrier, which is in fact the norm.

Before you start the hate wave, let me elaborate. I love Shakespeare's tongue for several reasons (simplicity, musicality, commodity factor) but I challenge you English-native speakers to abandon your comfort zone and try something refreshingly new. Isn't Classical music based on Italian/German lyrics, for instance?

Quoting Ed Motta: 'I don't mind that I do not understand the lyrics because the music is pretty—much more important as an abstract art, stronger than any language.'

A closing mention to artists saved for future volumes, some of them already alluded to before: Minako Yoshida, Hiroshi Sato, Piper, Junko Yakami, YMO, EPO, Casiopea, Yoshino Fujimaru, AB'S, and Bread & Butter.


All written content on this website belongs to GloryDazeMusic.com copyright. Duplication elsewhere on the Internet is strictly prohibited, unless specific permission is granted.

Comments

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    Holy moley, what an amazing read and treasure trove of info. I could spend days going through all these artists. Kudos Dave.
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    dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited January 24
    Thank you George. I hope the article can help people discover a genre that's basically the Japanese AOR, which is the west coast, yacht rock and soft rock of the Western world.

    Playlist is now up on Spotify and Google:
    Spotify
    Google

    City Pop Playlist details:
    1. Intro Medley (0:38)
    2. Shigeru Suzuki - Kennedy Airport (1:42)
    3. Makoto Matsushita - First Light (4:26)
    4. Tatsuro Yamashita - Sparkle (8:20)
    5. Tatsuro Yamashita - Ride On Time (11:30)
    6. Kingo Hamada - Taxi Driver Profile (15:00)
    7. Toshiki Kadomatsu - If You... (19:13)
    8. Junko Yagami - Purple Town (You Oughta Know By Now) (22:48)
    9. Tatsuro Yamashita - Silent Screamer (26:56)
    10. Tatsuro Yamashita - Bomber (30:41)
    11. Yasuhiro Abe - Irene (37:11)
    12. Kingo Hamada - Dolphin In Town (41:55)
    13. Tohoku Shinkansen - Summer Touches You (45:30)
    14. Makoto Matsushita - One Hot Love (49:47)
    15. Yoshino Fujimal - Who Are You (53:46)
    16. Tetsuji Hayashi - Silly Girl (58:13)
    17. Anri - Cat's Eye (1:01:58)
    18. Eiichi Ohtaki - You Are A Natural Color (1:05:07)
    19. Mariya Takeuchi - Vacation For Two (1:10:08)
    20. Takako Mamiya - A Silver Leaf In The Twilight (1:14:21)
    21. Minako Yoshida - Midnight Driver (1:18:45)
    22. Anri - Windy Summer (1:23:53)
    23. Mariya Takeuchi - Morning Glory (1:27:36)
    24. Anri - Lady Sunshine (1:30:48)
    25. Mariya Takeuchi - Plastic Love (1:34:12)
    26. Akira Terao - Ruby Ring (1:38:57)
    27. Miki Matsubara - Stay With Me (1:43:07)
  • Options
    edited January 24
    Such a good post. I absolutely love diving into unexplored waters.

    This past summer I learned about the ‘vaporwave’ scene (not really AOR-related, but interesting) and the term “city pop” kept coming up. Now I know what the fuss was all about. Your article is not only informative but dare I say definitive? Fantastic reading.
  • Options
    Wow, great article!
    Looking forward to exploring some new sounds!
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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    Dave, it's funny how you mentioned all the music technology. I owned all those instruments (Yamaha DX7, Roland MC8 Sequencer and three Ibanez guitars) at one point.
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    dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Indeed music technology took a quantum leap in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Japan. I also own an Ibanez guitar, couldn't be more happy with it.

    Bill and GSpar, thanks for the nice words!

    I was basically trying to answer the question on what Japanese AOR actually was and why, when you ask Japanese fans about AOR, they'll bring up Airplay, Jay Graydon, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, David Roberts and the like before mentioning Boston or Journey. Part of the answer is City Pop.

    I also wondered whether City Pop was within the scope of GloryDazeMusic, and I think it is.

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    It most certainly is.
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    Thank you for this fun interesting read. I am always interested in hearing/learning about this sort of suff.
  • Options
    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    edited January 26
    I have included a Spotify Playlist which Dave has built for this thread. It is now shown in the Footer section of this site.

    Due to the Vanilla Forum Developers concern about site security, we are unable to render the Spotify Playlist directly inside this thread. We have however, used a special protective plug-in which allows us to render it elsewhere without compromising our security.

    Things to point out:
    1) if you hold a paid Spotify subscription, you should be able to play the playlist with full access.
    2) if on a free account, you can use the Spotify facility but it will be crippled (full songs are available on shuffle, but not in the order compiled by Dave, plus previews are limited to only 30 second snippets).
    3) If no account, just listen to the 30 second snippets on this playlist.

    Thanks G
  • Options
    dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited January 26
    It's great to have the ability to add playlists, in particular for Essential articles because you want to introduce several artists through their music.

    For City Pop, problem is many of the artists and releases are not yet on Spotify, at least in Western countries. For example, Tatsuro Yamashita and Yasuhiro Abe, just a few songs available and not from their glory days albums. Same happens for other releases from other genres we cover here that for assorted reasons are not to be found on Spotify.
  • Options
    A fascinating and thorough walk through of a genre I was totally unaware of. Listening to the clips it`s fairly obvious where the influences lie, it`s very smooth West Coast listening. Great work Dave!!
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    dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Thank you, Malc, my friend. And thank you Chris, of course. I'm being spoiled with such kind words :)
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