New York Nante Ikanai （I’m not going to New York.）
Main stream Tokyo City Pop with Kiyo’s (Kiyo Nakamura) pop sense, the intro and obbligato guitar is played by Chabo (Toshiya Hashimoto), and the rhythm guitar by Kiyo. In hindsight, the intro is a complex composition of 2 x 7 beats, 1 x 4 beats, and a drummer waiting for the drums to start. Decided on this structure based on a conversation with Kiyo, the composer, who said it was probably like this when he recorded it. The opening synth (YAMAHA CS-30) was created using an analog sequencer (with a row of volume controls), and the chorus by Reiko Hibino and Yurippe (Yuriko Yamazaki) is very effective.
One Night Darling
A shy love song with a funky intro by Chabo, this number was (supposedly) written with a girl Kiyo liked at the time in mind. The short muted backing in the song, the obbligato, and the outro guitar are all by Chabo, and the phaser backing was done in the style of Eric Gale of STUFF, who was popular at that time. Miura’s electric piano was a Fender stage piano for all songs. It was difficult to match the timing of the brass section and the drums.
Forget and Forgive
This is an urban number that brings to mind the red car Nakajima was driving at the time. I wrote it in my four-and-a-half-tatami-mat room, playing major seventh chords on my gut guitar. The title was an idiom that caught my eye when I flipped through the dictionary. I imagined a mellow version of the Chuo Freeway late at night driving backwards toward Shinjuku. The intro electric piano was played with MXR’s Phase 100 to the fullest, and the Eric Gale-style intro backing was done by Chabo, who liked STUFF so much that he ended up playing the solo guitar and the obligatory outro. Nakajima’s bass and Noguchi’s drums create a pleasant groove.
Hohoemi no Nakade (In Smiles)
I intended to express a woman’s feeling of “You know what I mean, let me reassure you.” At that time (1980), it was common practice to smoke in a room. Reiko Hibino’s vocals and Yurippe’s chorus are pleasant. Kiyo’s guitar in the intro and obbligato solo is excellent, and the tone and melody are the main characteristics of this song. Chabo’s backing guitar “chaka-bone” sound before the chorus is a sign of the times.
Feeling Like A Child
The song is based on a scene of driving a Isuzu white 117 coupe , heading to a snobbish cafe bar called Chic near Victor Aoyama Studio on Killer Street. The Motown-style backing that appears throughout the song is by Chabo. Kiyo’s vocals and brass intertwine nicely. The B melody of “from deep darkness~” is characterized by Miura’s unique metamorphic chord progression from Fm to B△ and then from F#m to G△. Nakajima’s bass phrasing in the interlude has a sing-songy feel.
The song was written as a home-recorded study piece, with Chabo on acoustic guitar and Kiyo on electric guitar backing. This is another Miura-style modulation pile-up that proceeds with an unexpected chord progression, and the refreshing voice of Reiko Hibino quietly moves through the too-suspicious chords. The piano solo was played on a Yamaha grand, and the slightly portamento synths in the latter part of the song reminded me of the early prog rock of Genesis, which I liked.When listened to with Apple Music’s Spatial audio (Dolby Atmos), the synths move around 360 degrees.
I had never had any training in composition and had never had a chance to create one, so the reality was that I was only able to do the heavy lifting because of the strict rule that each person had to write one song lyric and sing one song. I thought about it a lot at the time, but I couldn’t come up with a pop melody, so the introduction ended up sounding like T-Bone Walker’s blues, and from there I forced myself to make it sound like a fresh Michael Franks tune. I had never written lyrics before, but I had gone surfing in Shonan when I was in college, so I drew on that image. The acoustic guitar I used was a folk guitar (Yairi, I think?) that I got from Shinseido in Kichijoji Ron Ron when I was in junior high school. I think it was a Yairi. The electric guitar I play in the outro is an Edwards (ESP) 335-style semi-acoustic, which I also used entirely in other songs. The interlude was recorded with both the electric and acoustic piano, but mixed them as they are because it is surprisingly interesting to play both. This is the only song with four beats, but the drums and bass are swinging.
Nettai Mu (Tropical Dream)
The film depicts an unfulfilled love that takes place in the tropics, which does not exist in reality, like a painting by Henri Rousseau. Miura intertwines with the vocals of the unique and charming Reiko Hibino. The synth (YAMAHA CS30) was monophonic (producing only single notes), so I created strings like obbligato by layering many times, but was able to create a mysterious atmosphere. Noguchi created a Latin flavor not only with drums but also with various percussion instruments such as handmade shakers. Kiyo did the backing short muted backing, Chabo did the cutting and soloing, and the interlude solo was a masterpiece, but with this excuse from the man himself: “It is dissonant that I end the first half of the solo with a note in Fm in major 3rd degree, but I hope you will interpret it as a passing before moving to the 7th note in B flat m.
Cloudy Bossa Nova
Since we decided to bind each person to write lyrics and music for one song, we created the song in a primitive way, playing the chords we came up with on the guitar and humming the melody to the tune of our favorite bossa nova. I composed only the part with the song, and asked Miura, Kiyo, and Chabo to add the intro, solo part, and ending to the song. Chabo’s double-tracking acoustic guitar solo is superb! The lyrics, on the other hand, were super difficult to write. Since the song is about a view with a cloudy sky, I was feeling gloomy and had to search for words and connect them with a certain seriousness. Then, recording the song, I thought about asking Kiyo to sing the vocals, but I reconsidered whether it would be a good idea to have someone else sing the toothless lyrics, and decided to sing them myself. The drums on this song were simply beaten. I was able to create a song that lingers at the end of the album.