In complete and total shit news, Ryuichi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with throat cancer.
As you probably know, Sakamoto is one of my favorite composers/performers/songwriters/people alive. As the keyboardist of Yellow Magic Orchestra, he is responsible for some of the greatest synthpop of all time, and as a solo composer he created some of the most hauntingly beautiful music I’ve ever heard, including the Oscar-winning score for The Last Emperor.
Here’s hoping that devil cancer was caught early enough so that the treatment is effective in slaying the fucker and getting Sakamoto back to full health as soon as possible.
Here’s some rare Sakamoto I’ve never posted before.
Behind The Mask
Risky (Untitled Remix)
Risky (Ultimix Edit)
This version of “Behind The Mask” is drastically different than the original version by YMO, featuring an entirely new arrangement and vocals written by Michael Jackson. How the hell did that happen? Well, I wrote about it a while ago for my other blog Mostly-Retro, so head over there and check it out for the full story!
As for “Risky,” the original version of that track first appeared on Sakamoto’s album Neo Geo, which I think was the closest he ever go to mainstream solo success in the states (which is to say not that close). The track was a superstar collaboration of sorts, featuring music co-written by producer/songwriter/bass player extraordinaire Bill Laswell (of Material fame) and lyrics/vocals by the legendary Iggy Pop. At least, I think that’s him.
Okay, well I know it’s him on the latter two mixes, but on that untitled remix, which is taken from the “Behind The Mask” single, it really doesn’t sound like Iggy Pop. However, there is no vocalist credited in the linear notes, so I have no idea as to who it might be. Anyone out there know?
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Behind The Mask (SEIKO Quartz CM Version)
This is the original version of “Behind The Mask,” recorded for the a watch commercial. This makes “Behind The Mask” the most successful commercial jingle of all time I think. Yes, even more than “Convoy.”