The "Softrock Drivin'" series is a terrifically compiled collection of japanese soft rock and bossa nova gems from the late 60s/early 70s. And it clearly shows that the japanese interest in all kinds of easy listening music wasn't solely influenced by contemporaries like Burt Bacharach but by native artists as well. This track by Emma Sugimoto is a delightfully light and fluffy piece of japanese pop and sounds like a blueprint for some kind of "Shibuya-Kei" track artists like Pizzicato Five could have produced. With shimmering strings, harpiscord embellishments, slightly funky electric guitar and a wonderful trumpet on top. With the clear, transparent production and fine arrangement it's a true standout track of the series.
from Softrock Drivin': Between Waves (Columbia COCA-13705), available on CD
I love the meaning and melody of this song. It's not about love or death or anything, but about how the singer feels sorry because he doesn't spend enough time with his daughter. It always makes me feel sad listening to this because I can relate to it on a personal level. There are two versions of this song, a guitar/drum version (which I prefer), but the acoustic version is just as good and the same piano theme occurs in both.
The leadoff track of the Psychedelic Furs' 1980 self-titled debut LP takes the lead of Brian Eno's influential work with David Bowie and his own Roxy Music and merges it with the energy, attitude, and bombast of punk rock. After a stark and sublimely beautiful synthesizer-soundscape introduction, Vince Ely's drums abruptly pound in with echoing tom toms. The rest of the band launches into a one- or two-chord assault that gives little indication of the poppier direction the group would take on later records. But the power demonstrated here on "India" remained as an undercurrent of almost all of the band's later work, even if only implied at times. And if one listens closely, there is even a bit of melody amidst the Fall-like (and by extension, Stooges and Can-like) rhythmic pummeling. Producer Steve Lillywhite was already enjoying an early peak in his recording career with this album and U2's 1980 debut, Boy, forging a sound that bridged late-'70s punk with 1980s shine and texture.
from The Psychedelic Furs (Columbia CK-36791), available on CD