The Inimitable Genius Of Tatsuro Yamashita

In Japan, Tatsuro Yamashita is actually said to be the king of pop music. He isn’t not only the superstar but got million-hit-after-million-hit on his albums though.

His most famous pieces are Ride on Time from 1980 and the 1982 album Christmas Eve, which took about six-and-a-half years to get to the top of the charts. You can get more info about Tatsuro Yamashita via

The latter is akin to Wham’s Last Christmas nowadays – a seasonal average played every year during Christmas time throughout stores and streets in Japan. He is less known for individual songs than for albums that transcend generations.

Yamashita makes his music with the belief and repetition of talent similar to a tradesman or craftsman. The label of his 1991 album Artisan is that he also understands this. His designs are never groundbreaking in their system; he stays within the limitations of what is real and famous.

His middle-of-the-road comfort is such amazing that nobody can do that. But somehow, for him, this amenity is the origin of the beauty of his music. His foundations in soul, funk, and disco, are combined with a relaxed yet strong voice, one whose melody makes color and movement that powerfully impacts the listener.

There’s the highway corner doo-wop and nostalgic American pop music from the ’60s, in which there was electric music of The Ventures seemed to have fused with the themes of the Four Freshmen. Then there’s the “blue-eyed soul” from shows like the Righteous Brothers, Beach Boys, and the Young Rascals. Folk music via Youngbloods,  Lovin’ Spoonful, and the Fifth Avenue Band.

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