YMO DRUMMER YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI’S SOPHISTICATED CITY FUNK CLASSIC FROM 1978 CO-PRODUCED BY RYUICHI SAKAMOTO AND FEATURING HARUOMI HOSONO, MINAKO YOSHIDA AND TATSURO YAMASHITA. RELEASED FOR THE FIRST TIME OUTSIDE OF JAPAN – WITH REMASTERED AUDIO, LP COMES WITH OBI AND FOUR PAGE INSERT
Wewantsounds is delighted to announce the release of Yukihiro Takahashi’s debut solo album ‘Saravah!’. One of the key Japanese albums of the 70s, it was released in 1978 at a key time when, following his tenure with Sadistic Mika Band, Takahashi had just joined the nascent line up of Yellow Magic Orchestra. A sophisticated mix of Disco Funk, synth Pop, Ambient, French Exotica and Bossa Nova, the album has the stylish feel of a night out clubbing in Paris circa 1978. It’s the missing link between the City Pop scene of the late 70s and the synth sound of YMO which was about to revolutionise the world. Newly remastered by renowned engineer Mitsuo Koike, the LP features original artwork with photos by Masayoshi Sukita (David Bowie’s Heroes), a 4-page insert and a new Introduction by Benjamin Barouh (Saravah records).
The month before recording the YMO debut album that would help alter the course of music, Yukihiro Takahashi entered the studio with his fellow band-members Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono to record ‘Saravah!’ together with the cream of the Japanese scene. He drew his inspiration from globe-trotting French musician Pierre Barouh who had introduced Bossa Nova in France in 1966 with “Samba Saravah” (featured in soundtrack the Oscar Winner A Man And A Woman which he co-wrote) and subsequently launched Saravah Records.
‘Saravah’ starts off with a couple of French and Italian exotica classics (‘Volare’ and ‘C’est Si Bon’) with delicious touches of synth while ‘Saravah!’ a nod to Pierre Barouh, is a languid Bossa Nova with beautiful soulful strings arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album gets hotter with ‘La Rosa’ a superb mid tempo ambient funk featuring Takahashi’s beat backed by Haruomi Hosono’s bumping bass line, Sakamoto’s Hammond Organ and Shigeru Suzuki’s fluid guitar.
The first side ends with an amazing exotica-synth version of the standard ‘Mood Indigo’, announcing the midi revolution that was to come before things get funkier on Side Two starting with Ryuichi Sakamoto’s superb up-tempo Disco instrumental ‘Elastic Dummy’ featuring soulful strings and horns with solos by Sakamoto and guitarist Tsunehide Matsuki. The album then moves on to the ambient synth pop of ‘Sunset’ before switching back to Disco Funk with ‘Back Street Midnight Queen’ which. like ‘Elastic Dummy’ has become a dancefloor cult classic over the years.’ Saravah! ends on a perfect note with the beautiful ‘Present’ a perfectly crafted pop song which Takahashi wanted to do in a City Pop mode, featuring a superb melody and high-class arrangements. The perfect soundtrack to an early morning stroll in the Paris streets as illustrated by Masayoshi Sukita’s photos featured on the album cover.
A sophisticated album full of glitz and fun, ‘Saravah!’ gives a unique insight into the versatility the YMO musicians and how funky they could play under Yukihiro Takahashi’s influence. This was a key time when the three musicians were just transitioning to a sound that would be dominated by synthesizers and ‘Saravah’ catch them just at that fascinating moment.
1. Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)
3. C’est Si Bon
4. La Rosa
5. Mood Indigo
6. Elastic Dummy
8. Back Street Midnight Queen
B-Stock: top left corner is pressed / dinked. Sealedm full cover, 2019 repress.
NOTE: storage wear (from the transportation) on the sleeve, perfect otherwise. “Roots Underground” company sleeve, printed inner sleeve, not sealed at the factory.