Thursday, October 29, 2009

Legendary Voices: 2) Haruomi Hosono

Hosono, one of the seminal figures in Japanese pop music, first rose to prominence playing in various folk bands in the early 70’s. His first major success was with Happy End, one of Japan’s most influential folk rock bands. Happy End’s brief career only spanned from 1970 to 1973, but the group was notable for its unique and seamless blend of Western folk rock and Japanese lyrics.

Hosono’s greatest success came in the late 70’s with the formation of Yellow Magic Orchestra, arguably Japan’s most influential pop group of all time. Along with Yukihiro Takahashi and highly esteemed composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, YMO single-handedly created the “Technopop” genre, infusing their music with the latest sequencers and synthesizers that were first becoming available at the turn of the decade.

Recently, many in the West first heard Hosono’s voice in the song, “Kaze Wo Atsumete” [Gather the Winds] featured in the soundtrack to the film, Lost In Translation.

Yellow Magic Orchestra's music video for "Kimi ni Mune Kyun" ["mune kyun" is onomatopoeia for the sound your heart makes when you see someone you like...]

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