CITY-POP: An Exclusive Mix for AOR Disco by Diego at zZounds

"What I had in mind when creating this whole mix is to highlight the vast territory Japan was staking out during their Golden Age of City-Pop music," says Jesus Diego Olivas. "From 1977-1989, true trailblazers like Tatsuro Yamashita, Haruomi Hosono, and Momoko Mikuchi (to name a few!) were making cosmopolitan Japanese pop music. Its this style we now call City-Pop that mixed all sorts of genres like Funk, Soft-Rock, Sunshine Pop, West Coast AOR, and Exotica in ways that promoted a growing, changing Japanese generation. In essence, one more in tune with celebrating leisure and whatever new kind of freedom this idea/music provided. How else can you explain the glorious free-form soul music of Tatsuro's or Hiroshi Sato's?

Hiroshi Sato

Travel to Japan and you'd be surprised how many of these artists are monumental figures there, but sadly unheard of in our own United States. Unfortunately, for us it seems that time and licensing deals, have made it hard to discover the scope of this style (let alone hear this music). However, this is my attempt to do so, and that's something I'd recommend others to read more about on At the end of the day, this isn't a TED Talk, but a celebration of some truly great music that is ripe for rediscovery.

Momoko Kikuchi

Also, for all of you AOR Disco fans: an exclusive nugget I uncovered while digging for this info. How about Tatsuro Yamashita's brilliant commercial music work? It features specks of live performance, a true first! When we're talking about snapshots in time, this is one, for City-Pop."

CBS/SONY Sound Images SeriesThe Aegean SeaDay Break1979
PiperGentle BreezeHighway of the Sun1983
CBS/SONY Sound Images SeriesNew YorkNew York Subway1978
Momoko KikuchiAdventureMystical Composer1986
Makoto MatsushitaFirst LightThis Is All I Have For You1981
Tatsuro YamashitaRide on TimeSilent Screamer1980
Minako YoshidaMonochromeBlack Moon1980
Taeko OnukiSunshower何もいらない1977
Miharu KoshiParallelismeパラレリズム1984
MariahUtakata No Hibi不自由な鼠1983
PiperSunshine KizHidin' In Your Shelter1983
Toshiki KadomatsuWeekend Fly to the SunBrunch1982
Haruomi HosonoBon Voyage Co.Roochoo Gumbo1976
Toshiki KadomatsuSea Is A LadyWay to the Shore "Eri"1987
Seaside LoversMemories In Beach HouseMelting Blue1983
Tatsuro YamashitaBig WaveOnly With You1984
Yukihiro TakahashiSaravah!Present1978
Sugar BabeSongsMirage City1975
Happy EndKazemachi RomanNatsu Nandesu1971
Hiroshi SatoOrientKaze Hikaru1979


J Rowe said…
this is so good. thank you very much. totally needed this
DrakeSinister said…
Fantastic. I'd add Yutaka and Makoto Matsushita to that playlist and you'd be all set. B)
Riley said…
such great tracks, amazing mix. thank you! anybody else having trouble downloading?
Anonymous said…
Who'd have thought it? A fascinating, inspiring collection!
Peter, Chiswick, West London, UK.

Popular Posts