Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Legendary Voices: 1) Yutaka Ozaki

Yutaka Ozaki was a pop rock sensation in the late 80's in Japan, a songwriter known for his angst-ridden yet introspective lyrics, superb musicianship, incredible stage presence, and undeniably striking looks. He lived the paradigm life of a rock musician, quickly rising to stardom and dying young at the age of 26 in 1992. His life and career were both fast and turbulent. He could fill arenas and sell millions of albums, but he always maintained the status of an outlaw, even being dropped by his record company due to a drug related arrest.

Steve McClure, ex-editor of Billboard Japan writes in his book Nippon Pop, "His rebellion tapped the same wellspring of dissatisfaction beneath the superficial harmony of Japanese society that has inspired more overtly political artists. But no one has said it quite like this handsome, doomed young man whose uncompromising stance gives him a unique place in the history of Japanese pop music." Ozaki's continued presence in the Japanese musical consciousness can most closely be likened to that of Kurt Cobain in the West.

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