Akiko Yano

compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net

"PR:" are comments by Paul Rymer

Last updated 99.12.6

(*) means I don't own this album and haven't listened to it

(@) means I've listened to a friend's copy but it's not in my collection

Official Page

another page at Sony

a fan site mostly in Japanese

Here is a fan site


Japanese Girl

(@)1976 25JC-342, TKCA-70371

Members of Little Feat play on this album. All but one song written by AY.


PR: Hosono plays on this album.

Nagatsuki Kannazuki

(*)1976 25JC-343, TKCA-70372

Live. Primarily covers of other people's songs.

PR: Tracks 6 and 12 are Hosono compositions (Japanese titles). Track 6 appears in it's studio form as track 6 on the next CD as well (ironic, huh?!) Track 12 was also performed by HH on "Tropical Dandy" (side A track 3, after Hurricane Dorothy) Akiko's version has a richer arrangement



Iroha Ni Konpeitou

(*)1977 25JC-344, TKCA-70373

cover art: carrying a dolphin

PR: First album with Hosono and Hideki Matsutake working together! HH plays bass except on track 2. Tracks 4 and 6 are Hosono compositions. Track 6 is the studio version of the "live" track 6 on the previous album. Again, a lush sounding production, with some strings and lashings of beautiful piano.
Some synths too, courtesy of Matsutake, including the opening "Kawaji" which is a 100% synth instrumental.


(*)1978 25JC-346, TKCA-70374

AY's first self produced album

cover art: fanciful drawing with figures and flowers. Yameruwakenyaikanaiwa is written by Isao Tomita

PR: Features Hideki Matsutake but no other YMO (or Japanese) presence. The band is The Plastic Ono Band. More synths.


Tokyo wa yoru no Shichiji (live)

(*)1979 25JC-347, TKCA-70375

cover art: childhood photo

PR: YMO are her live band and they are called YMO on the OBI. Includes "Waterways" that was also on "Kylyn", plus her "Greatest Hits" updated and played with YMO. They play in Akiko's style and her piano dominates. RS plays Polymoog, ARP Odyssey, Fender Rhodes, Korg PS-3100 and Cow Bell (!) Synth numbers are the title track, Tokimeki (a lot more exciting than the original), ImomushiGogogoro and Walk On The Way Of Life (including band introductions and a little solo by everyone, yes, including a drum solo by YT and a bass solo by HH!)


Asoko no Akkochan

(*)25JC-410, TKCA-70376

1989 released Greatest hits from the above (early) albums; one non-album song Ike Yanagida

cover art: 3 cartoon characters on a solid color background


Collection (1)

(*) 1991 [Japan Records TKCA-30168]

The first 5 Japan Records albums, plus a bonus disc, which is the same as Ai ga tarinai except it is missing "Akachan no oshiri" (which is included in On the Air anyway).

Gohan Ga Dekitayo

1980 MIDI cd: MID-3301 (10 track), 32MD-1057, MDCL-1250 (14 track)

Sakamoto co-produced and plays on all tracks. Hosono, Takahashi, Matsutake, Omura play on most tracks. Cover version of Tong Poo with RS. Great album, plenty of synths. Many people's favorite.

I think the cassette contined extra tracks compared to the LP. Apparently the first CD - MID 3301 omits 4 songs which I presume reflects the LP contents; 32MD-1057 and MDCL-1250 contain all the tracks.

Cover: Big closeup of AY. She has a tail on the back booklet cover.

PR: Y.M.O. play on most of the 13 tracks, but there are four important tracks: Tong Poo (has new vocals. Music is like the YMO 1980 World Tour version) Zaikungtong Shonen (AY, also known as Kang Tong Boy, this is the studio version) Dogs Awaiting (AY, arranged by RS, purely electronic track, used as intro
tape by Japan on last tour) You're The One (AY/RS)


1981 MIDI MID 2005, 35JC-118, MIDCL-1251 (current)

Cover- Manga illustration

with RS and YT. HH on one track which has the arrangement credited to YMO. Also Tsuchiya, Omura, Matsutake.

PR: RS and YT on most tracks, all of YMO on one - Harusakikobeni. Harusakikobeni (AY) - all of YMO play - this was a big hit earlier in the year and I suspect was an out-take from "Gohan" they decided to put out as a single. Has also been remixed by Satoshi Tomiie for a re-issue earlier in 1997. I Sing (RS) Synth pop number sung in English. Ashkenazy Who? (AY - another synth number worth consideration)

Ai Ga Nakucha Ne

1982 MIDI cd: MID-2006, MDCL-1252

Cover- AY in kimono and ox.

Sakamoto co-produced and plays on all tracks. YT and HH are on some tracks, From London a duet with Sylvian and backing from Japan, Robbie Macintosh, David Rhodes. Includes Sleep On My Baby.

PR: 50% was recorded in England with Japan (the band), the rest with YMO. All three play.

Goodnight the track with Sylvian exists as a single.

  FROM JAPAN TO JAPAN is a 1982 compilation of tracks in English intended for UK release,
including half of Ai Ga Nakucha Ne.


1984 MIDI cd: 38JC-101, MID-2007, MDCL-1253

Cover- conservative dress. (she's commented "to be used at my funeral"- I'm not sure but I think that's quite literal, by social custom I think a lot of Japanese people pose for a formal portrait at a certain age. The main purpose of which is to picture them in their prime for their funeral hopefully decades later)

Sometimes spelled more phonetically as "Oesu Oesu". Sakamoto co-produced and plays on all tracks. Several tracks recorded in L.A. which are not as interesting. (the Randy Newman written one is cute though). One tune by Hosono with YT on drums. 2 more with YT and HH playing . One with only YT. Members of Little Feat play on this album.

PR: Owari No Kisetsu (HH, also on "Akiko Yano" UK CD - original on Hosono House)
All of YMO play on most tracks on this album. HH arranged the above and Highland.

Touge No Wagaya

1986 MIDI lp: MIL-1011, cass: MIT-1011, cd: 35MD-1011

Cover- Sitting on a chair with Tachibana icons embossed.

RS with mostly New York musicians. Fusion-y.

PR: YT and RS on David and Home Sweet Home, the rest with NY musicians.
Co-produced by RS.


1986 MIDI lp:MIL-1018 cd: 35MD-1018

AY sings classical songs with piano by Yuji Takahashi. A couple of 2 pianist pieces have RS on the second piano. Songs are sung in English and Japanese rather than the original French and German. There is a laser disc version. Different.

Demae Concert (live)

(*) 1994 MDCL-1280

vintage 1987 concert recently released on CD

info from Paul Rymer: Solo piano greatest hits basically, including Coloured Water and Tong Poo. She sounds really happy, it's quite an enthusiastic performance. Unfortunately the recording is spoilt by someone with an annoying cough. The insert has a nice map showing all the towns Akiko has played over the years.


1987 MIDI 35MD-1034

cover art- AY is kneeling in the garden

with RS, this was the last album where he plays on all the tracks. Hosono writes a tune - Kaze O Atsumete (written 1970) though he doesn't play. Kenji Omura guests.


Good Evening Tokyo (live)

(*) 1988 MIDI 32MD-1039

PR: RS and YT are band members. 80's Greatest Hits live.


Home Music

(*) 1988 Yano Music MCD-6

Home Music II

(*) 1989 MIDI CD: MDCL-1045, 32MD-1045

Best of. Includes a non-album single. Sakamoto on most tracks. HH and YT on several. I've listened to it.

Welcome Back A.Y.

(*) 1989 MIDI 32MD-1048

With RS, Also Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays appear, and co-wrote one song.

Akiko Yano

1990 Electra (USA) 9 79205-2

U.S. Best of album compiled by John Zorn from 1980s MIDI label releases. It has a similar cover photo as Granola so don't be confused if you see a copy as this is a compilation of albums including Granola but does not contain the complete album . Includes mostly tracks with YMO members which is great. Seems to be out of print but used copies are quite findable.

  Ivar de Vries writes:
This 1990 Akiko Yano compilation-album brings together tracks from five previous albums (the earliest from 1980, the latest from 1988), all of which feature husband Ryuichi Sakamoto in some contribution or other. From this point onwards they more or less seem to have parted ways, at least musically, until daughter Miu's Dawn Pink album. From browsing through the credits in the booklet Akiko Yano emerges as an all-round musician who composes and writes the lyrics to her own songs as well as producing and arranging them (sometimes with Ryuichi). She also reveals herself to be Japan's answer to early Kate Bush – they both have a sort of girlie voice and are fine piano-players.
All three YMO members contribute: Sakamoto is involved in most tracks (either producing/arranging or playing keyboards), Yukihiro Takahashi takes care of the drumming on four tracks, Haruomi Hosono also plays on a couple as well as providing the music and words to 'Mufujotai' and 'Owari No Kisetsu'.
Plenty of other musicians participate as well, with many names familiar from YMO or Ryuichi Sakamoto solo-albums. In fact, the music is just as electronic and quite similar in feel to some of his more accessible albums like
'Miraiha Yaro' and 'Heartbeat', as this compilation also contains plenty of well-arranged upbeat tracks. Catchy highlights include 'Ramen Tabetai', 'Gokigen Wanisan' and 'Home Sweet Home' whilst 'Owari No Kisetsu' and 'David' are beautiful ballad-type songs.
Quite definitely a good acquisition if you like strong keyboard-based pop-music of the Japanese variety.

Love Life

(*) 1991 ESCB1255

Said to be quite good.

(*)1993 Electra (USA) 79729-2

The US/International release has different contents including some songs from Welcome Back. Nothing unique as far as I know.


U.S. version


Japan version

On the Air

(*)1992 MDC8-1185

Collection of songs used in commercials, two of which ("Ashita koso anata" and "Akachan no oshiri") appeared on CD for the first time.


Super Folk Song

(@)1992 ESCB-1294

Collection of mainly covers of other people's songs, with only a couple by AY herself. Vocal and piano. The selection is quite nice though.

Ai Ga Tarinai

(*)1995 (first compiled 1986) MIDI MDCL-1286

translation: Emptiness Of Love
Once a bonus disc. This CD has the non-album material.


Paul Rymer has this info: 8 tracks, all Japanese titles unfortunately. I'd recommend this one - as you will see below it's mostly from the YMO/Sakamoto period and all numbers have some synth content. In fact, there's more electronics here than on most of her albums.

1)Yousei no uta from 1976, cover version of a song written by Takeshi Matsuyama and Kazuhiko Katoh (it says the song was written 1973). Violin, synth and piano backing, very jolly track. Sounds more akin to Irohnikon Peitou (which Matsutake and Hosono worked on) than Japanese Girl.

2) Hello There (also appears on Asukono Akkochan - her best of 70's CD which is now out of print). This is from 1977, piano, synths and synth percussion. I know from the other CD that Hideki Matsutake is on the track. Written & arranged by Akiko.

3) Zaikungtong Shonen (single version) - this is dated 1979 and has far more "synth thrills" than the album version. Totally different recording, she sings in a lower octave for parts of the song. No musician credits unfortunately but it sounds most like the YMO live version from the 1980 tour. Arranged by Akiko & Ryuichi.

4)Ashita koso, anata from 1981, another synth number, written by Akiko, arranged by Sakamoto and Tatsuro Yamashita. The melody sounds a bit like "I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus". Motown style chorus. There's one synth riff that I think Pizzicato Five used on Magic Carpet Ride. A ridiculously happy sounding song. I like this one a lot

5) Oh Yeah from 1982, sounds like an Ai Ga nakucha Ne out-take, but with more synths than anything on the album. Written by Akiko, arranged by Ryuichi & Akiko. Sounds like Yukihiro drumming, Omura on guitar probably, the rest is synth.

6) Watashi no Nyanko from 1983. Written by Akiko, arranged by Ryu + Akiko. Sounds like a throwback to Tadaima as there is a little girls choir, but the synth arrangement and drum sound is like Sakamoto's Ongaku Zukan period, or maybe late YMO.

7) Ai Ga Tarinai from 1986 - this is a single and also appears on Home Music 2. Definitely from the same sessions as Tooge No Wagaya, very similar arrangement to David. Nice song with lots of synths. Written by Akiko, arranged by Ryuichi & Akiko. RS + YT play.

8) Aka-chan no oshiri from 1983, written by Shigesato Itoi and Sakamoto. Yes, another synth based number :-). The backing vocals are in the Pocketful Of Rainbows style, but sound a lot like Miharu Koshi multi-tracked. I've heard this recorded by someone else, but can't remember who right now. Most similar to Miharu Koshi's "Tutu" album I guess. Wouldn't be surprised if that's Hosono playing bass but of course as there are no credits it's a guess on my part. Maybe it's on Demae Concert aswell? I have that one too but haven't listened to it much.

The cover design has a cartoon of Akiko opening a valentine. Fold-out insert with lyrics, dates and writing credits but annoyingly no musician credits. The OBI says the album was compiled in 1986 but released in 1995. My copy is new, ordered from www.101cd.com so it must still be on sale in Japan.

Collection (II)

(*)1994 10 cds:MIDI MDCZ-1225~34, 8 cds MIDI MDCZ-1131~38 (1991)

The MIDI albums in a packaged set



Love Is Here

(@) 1993 Epic/Sony cd: ESCB 1403

A New York album. Sakmoto does string arrangements, but does not appear.

Elephant Hotel

(@) 1994 Epic/Sony cd: ESCB 1523

More New York tracks, more eclectic than Love Is Here.


Piano Nightly

(*)1995 ESCB-1677

Solo piano. Mostly covers, but two songs are by Yano. This was released in the U.S. in 1996, different contents as usual.

PR: Mr Frottage Hunts For Monsters (RS, on "Piano Nightly" UK CD, 1996)

NK: That title contains a reference to Surrealist painter Max Ernst


Japan version


U.S. version  


Hitotsudake - The Very Best of Akiko Yano

(*) 1996 cd: ESCB 1776, md: ESYB 7125

includes 2 new and one unreleased tracks.

Akiko Yano & Satoshi Tomiie


all techno-ish mixes of the 1981 song. different mixes on CD and LP

1996 CD single Dohb discs (epic/sony) ESCB 3204

  1. ST Drum and Bass Experience
  2. Ambient Thang
  3. Minimal Submarine Dub

1996 12" Yum Yum Vinyl (sony) 12YUM016A

  1. Altered Krash
  2. Mini-mal Submarine Dub
  3. Marin Mix (remix by Yoshinori Sunahara)
  4. Ambient Instrumental

the 12" gives Satoshi Tomiie and Yoshinori Sunahara "remixed by" credit, the maxi CD gives Satoshi Tomiie co-billing.

She conrtibuted some backing vocals to daughter Miu Sakamoto's 1999 remake of this track from her album Dawn Pink



(@) 1997 ESCB 1816

Go Girl

(@) 99.8.4 Epic cd: ESCB 2006

This one has sort of high tech album art. While not at all old fashioned, its not the sort of techno collage music the cover looks like. It was recorded with American musicians and Jeff Bova (the Hammonds) co-produces about half the album with her (she the other half, he shows up on most tracks). Her son Futa Sakamoto sings backup on a track. Enjoyable, plenty of synths, though no, as I like to call them, synth thrills.



Home Girl Journey

(@) 00.11.1 Epic cd: ESCB 2181

A piano based album of mostly covers. The title of the album seems to set the tone.

  Twilight - live best of collection(*) 2000


(*) 2002 - a separate SACD version was released

with NYC musicians from her live band



Honto No Kimochi

(*) 2004

A varied mixture of different backing groups and locales for the various tracks



(*) Soundtrack 2005



Late in the 20th Century, Vol. 2 is a compilation of various Nonesuch label artists with Highland (previously released)


(1977) IROHA NI KONPEITOU/Yousei no uta [1977 Phillips FW-2004]

(1977) Ike Yanagida/Hello There [Phillips FW-2005]

(1980) Gohan ga dekita yo/Hitotsudake [JAPAN JAS-3]

(1981) Harusakikobeni/ZAIKUNTONG SHONEN [JAPAN JAS-2001]

(1981) Tadaima/I Sing [JAPAN JAS-2008]

(1981) Ashitakoso, anata / Aisuru hitoyo [JAPAN JAS-2018]

(1982) Gomennasai Oh Yeah [CANYON 6G0014]

(1983) Watashi no nyanko / Michide battari [JAPAN JAS-2042]

(1984) Ramen tabetai / HI, HI, HI [JAPAN JAS-14]

(1986) Ai ga tarinai / Yagate hitori [MIDI MIS-14]

(1987) Hana no youni / David [MIDI MIS-21]

(1990) David/Watching You [MIDI MDDS-52]


(1994) Subarashii Hibi/Denwasen [Epic/Sony ESDB-3469]

(1994) Yume no Hiyoko/Iiko , Iiko (Good Girl) [Epic/Sony ESDB-3492]

(1994) Ai ga areba? (LOVE CAN'T BE BLIND)/OH DAD [Epic ESDB-3516]

(1994) Futari no Harmony [Epic/Sony ESDB-3570] with Miyazawa Kazufumi, the lead vocalist of The Boom

(1995) Omoide no sanpo michi/NEW SONG [Epic/Sony ESDB-3625] from Piano Nightly.

(1996) Harusakikobeni/ Hitotsudake/Sacchan/AKKO-CHANG Special [Epic ESDB 3700~01]

(1997) Cream Stew /Oui Oui [Epic ESDB-3752]

(1997) Cream Stew [Epic ESDB-3789]

(1998) Home Sweet Home/TIME IS/Watching You [MIDI MDDS-72]

(1998) Oka wo koete/Denwasen [TOKUMA JAPAN TKDA-71363]

(1999) GIRLFRIENDS FOREVER/Yugure (DUSK) [Epic ESCB-1982]

(1999) Hitori bocchi wa Yameta (QUIT BEING ALONE) [Epic ESDB-3914]


Dreaming Girl

02.3.6 Epic cd-5: ESCL-2297

1. Dreaming Girl
2. You Are What You

(2002) Kumanbachi ga tondekita [Epic ESCL-2344]

(2003) Atashinchi/Iiko iiko [Epic ESCL-2468]

As a guest for other artists:


Morio Agata

Nippon Shonen

(*) This is a reissue of a 1976 album featuring AY vocals very early in her career. It's not a proper album by her, it's by Morio Agata, though many dealers try to sell it as her album.

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Kazumi Watanabe

Tokyo Joe

1978 Nippon Columbia/Denon DC-8586, 33C38-7580

Akiko Yano has a big presence on this album (sings, plays composes) considering she does not get billing. Early pop fusion stuff that I don't care for. The CD contains the 2 tracks from Sakamoto's Thousand Knives that Watanabe played on.

Queen Songs

(*)1979? MIDI MDCL-1238

Queen covers produced and arranged (?) by Yano Makoto, piano by Yano Akiko

Lila no Hoteru (Hotel Lilas)

(*)1983? [MIDI MDC7-1079]

by Tetsuro Kashibuchi featuring Akiko Yano. CD released 1991.

Yuki no hitohira (Snowflake)

(*)1993 Toshiba EMI  2 CDs TOCT-6917,6918

AY reads a children's story. Then Peter Gabriel reads it in English. Akira Inoue does the background music.

Thomas Dolby

The Golden Age of Wireless

1983 Capitol (US) lp:ST-12271

AY sings backing vocals. This is the second version of this album. (with the drawn cover) (And I bet the EMI version might still be different) The first version (ST-12203) with the photo cover came out in 1982 and does not have AY on it (besides having earlier mixes of most tracks). I think AY is on the EP Windpower also. That EP also includes a few different mixes of the same set of songs.

Trivia: In his big hit She Blinded Me With Science the old Scientist says "Miss Sakamoto, you look beautiful" (though I've also seen it transcribed as "Miss Okamoto")

Rebirth of Mothra (*) (soundtrack) - I've not heard it. I understand she sings at least one of her songs. She did not write the the soundtrack score.


FYI: Akiko Kobayashi has released albums using just the name "Akiko". .

I've noticed an album Kono Sekai Ni Ikite by Maki Yano is being listed in several online catalogs as an album by AY. If anyone knows any AY connection let me know.

Thanks for info: OtakuBowler, Ross Clement, Paul Rymer, Axel Poqué


Akiko Yano Sites:

Official Page


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