Ryuichi Sakamoto

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

Last updated 01.11.3

(*) means I don't own this album
(@) means I've listned to a freind's copy of this album but don't have a copy myself

a couple odds and ends by Derek Higgins marked by "DH:"
and a few by Yosuke Morimoto ("YM")
Jonas Wårstad helped verify info.
Bruce Showalter, Kuri and Ron Kane contributed some info.

Guest Performances, Collaboration & Production

Sakamoto worked on many of Akiko Yano's albums and a number of earlier Yukihiro Takahashi albums. This listing does not pretend to be complete. RS has worked on far over a hundred albums and singles for other artists

back to Sakamoto (solo) page

to the page on Sakamoto Live Albums

Virginia Astley

Hope In A Darkened Heart

1986 WEA (US) cd:242039-2 lp: GHS 24184

British singer/composer Virginia Astley gets Sakamoto arrangements and production on 6 of the 9 album tracks. Spooky little girl vocals (later to become popular with bands like the Cranes, Astley, by the way was in her mid 20s when this came out). Sakamoto does churning sequences and plenty of atmosphere. David Sylvian duet on the first track. A superb album. Still in print in Japan. I hear she was going through turmoil in her life at the time, hence dark quality. her other non-Sakamoto albums are more cheery. (Trivia: her dad composed the music to Dangerman a.k.a. Secret Agent and The Saint)

Some Small Hope / A Summer Long Since Passed / So Like Dorian (Instrumental)

1987 WEA 12" (UK) YZ107T 248444-0

12" with the Sylvian duet and an instrumental version.

Other Virginia Astley albums without Sakamoto:

From Gardens Where We Feel Secure (1983 Rough Trade(UK) ROUGH 58, Happy Valley Ha 001) pastoral instrumentals. I think there was another out of print one prior to the RS produced one. This one is still available on Japanese CD.

All Shall Be Well (1992 Happy Valley [Japan] COCY-9661) no longer dark, more acoustic, still well done songs. Has a Kate St. John duet. Virginia Astley returns the favor on a Kate St. John album.

(*) Had I The Hevens (1996 Happy Valley [Japan] COCY-80070)

Aztec Camera


1993 Sire/Reprise/WEA (USA) 9 45076-2

RS produced and arranged the album. Sakamoto is far less interesting now than he used to be.

Pierre Barouh

Le Pollen

1982 Saravah/Media 7 cd: SHL 1066 (reissue France)

Pierre Barough, a French singer who's a major influence on Takahashi did this album in Japan. YT was the main collaborator and Y. Shimizu contributes too. Sylvian does a spoken cameo. Interestingly 2 tunes arranged by Sakamoto (but not written by him) from other Tokyo sessions around that time and not included on the original LP now show up on the CD reissue. The tracks are: Saint Paul de Vence and Boule qui roule.


(*)PSCR-5915 (2001 reissue)

with TAKAHASHI, SAKAMOTO, MOONRIDERS, TACHIBANA. Barough seems to have recorded a substantial amount of material in these sessions. I've not heard this one but its from the same time frame as the above.

Geisha Girls--

Kick & Loud single 1994 FLDG-1001 co-produced with Towa Tei and Satoshi Tomiie, Arto Lindsay contribute

(*)Geisha "Remix" Girls maxi 1994

(*)The Geisha Girls Show 1995

(*)The Geisha Girls "Remix" Show maxi 1995.

A popular TV comedy act called DOWN TOWN. (Two guys, Ken & Sho) They are computer rendered on the cd covers and music video. Sakamoto produces. 

Lucia Hwong

Secret Luminescence

1987 Private Music (US) lp: 2021-1-P, cd: 2021-2-p. ?

Sakamoto plays on one track (#4) titled "Body Current". Thanks to Bruce Showalter for reminding me of this album.

Keizo Inoue


P-Vine PCD-1442 recent CD reissue

A jazz fusion late 1970s album from saxaphonist Keizo Inoue produced by K.Watanabe. The reasoning behind this re-issue is surely because Ryuichi Sakamoto backs on synths. I guess if you like his Kylyn work you might like this.


Gentlemen Take Polaroids

1980 Virgin Records, Caroline (US) cd:CAROL 1829-2

Sakamoto co-writes and performs on the track Taking Islands in Africa.

Tokiko Kato and Ryuichi Sakamoto

Milosci Wszystko Wybaczy

(*) 1983 Polydor cd: 3113-6


RK: The Tracks were only written in German, the language is Japanese. Sakamoto plays only piano and drums. It's not a typical Sakamoto CD (Thank God).

RK: The songs are Ballads and nearly all in German. Sakamoto plays the piano and the voice is from Tokiko Kato (I don't know anything about her). The lyrics are from the german Bertolt Brecht and Friedrich Hollaender. It's not typical Sakamoto Music but what is typical by Sakamoto!

NK: Seems to be mostly Kurt Weill songs. The accents became damaged in the e-mail. Sorry!

Koharu Kisaragi


1986 Wave/King lp: K28A-736

Strange and wonderful album. includes the below single which is the only but substantial RS contribution. (the Sakamoto track on the album is the single seemingly split in 2 parts.)

Neo Plant

(*)1986 Wave/King lp: K15A-734

Sakamoto produced and performed this 12" single. It is in a similar style as Steppin' Into Asia, As far as I know both sides of the single are on the above album (which is what I have, not the single). She is a performance artist and this was her first record. Even though RS just does only does a song on TOKAI NO SEIKATSU, the rest of the album is spooky and superb. Comes with the lyrics on the back of a full sized poster. Very interesting, I wonder if she did more music?

I heard she died a few years ago.



(*)1979.6.28 CD from 1984: Denon, 35C38-7135. lp: Columbia YX-7592 This was Kazumi Watanabe's band circa 1978. Some of these tracks showed up on Tokyo Joe. I'm not sure exactly how the two albums relate or even the LP date (circa 1978?). Sakamoto plays synths.


(*) 1979.11.25 lp: Columbia YB7506-7

with RS

Arto Lindsay

The Subtle Body

(*) 1995

Arto Lindsay

Mundo Civilizado

(*) 1996 also a remix album made from these tracks

Marisa Monte


(*) 1991 World Pacific

Ivar de Vries found a CD single by AKINA NAKAMORI - "everlasting love" dated from 1993. She was a major idol in the late 80s and continues with some success today. Theres a chance its a reissue, but it might very well be a '93 track


Miki Nakatani


1996.09.04 For Life/gut cd:FLCG 3023

1 MIND CIRCUS (lyrics: Masao Urino music/arr: RS)
2 STRANGE PARADISE (lyrics: Masao Urino music/arr: RS)
3 Aibiki No Moride (lyrics/music/arr: Yasuharu Konishi)
4 Yogoreta Ashi The Silence of innocence (lyrics: Masao Urino music/arr: RS)
5 my best of love (lyrics/music: Taeko Onuki arr: RS)
6 WHERE THE RIVER FLOWS (lyrics: Masao Urino music/arr: RS)
7 TATOO (lyrics: Miki Nakatani music/arr: RS arrange: Ryuichi Sakamoto)
8 Shokusai No Nakae (lyrics: Hiroshi Takano music: Vinicius Cantuaria arr: Ryuichi Sakamoto)
9 LUNAR FEVER (lyrics: Hiroshi Takano music/arr: Toshihiko Mori)
10 sorriso escuro (lyrics: Masao Urino, Arto Lindsay & Vinicius Catuaria music: Lindsay & Catuaria arr: RS)

Sakamoto produced, classy with the kind of pop music RS is currently interested in (like Smoochy) Y. Konishi (P5), Toshiko Mori and Arto Lindsay each produce a track. Lindsay's track includes Sakamoto. Look at the cover photo real close. There is a large insect on her neck. Curtains in the photos are like Twin Peaks. I wanted to like this album, but everything is sort of jazzy and or J-Pop. Her voice is fine but not captivating.

singles: (all *)

Mind Circus

(*) 96.05.16 cd3: FLDG-1005

written by Sakamoto, this includes an instrumental version

Strange Paradise

(*) 96.7.19 cd3: FLDG-1006

written by Sakamoto, this includes the album track Tattoo and an instrumental mix

Miki Nakatani


1997 For Life/gut cd:FLCG 3030

1. Crown of Thorns (Ibara No Kanmuri)
2. Wilder than Heaven (Tengoku Yori Yaban)
3. A Fruit of Sand (Suna No Kajitsu)
4. A Night at the Aquarium (Suizokkan No Yoru)
5. My Universe in a Birdcage (Torikago No Uchu)
6. Superstar
7. Kinokhronika
8. Body and Soul (corpo e alma)

Comes with a RS solo ambient bonus disc Aromascape.

Her second album. I like this one more. Sakamoto wrote all the music except for Superstar. Various mostly regular collaborators write the lyrics. I thought the melodies on the last one were a bit more memorable, but this one is easier on the ears. Comes in visually interesting cardboard packaging (which is easy to damage). She looks even more dark and mysterious on this one. There is a collaboration with suGar from Buffalo Daughter on guitar doing a cover of Superstar  (original sung by The Carpenters- ironic). This song is extremely different than anything else Sakamoto has produced. There is also a song, Crown of Thorns with the same melody as Sakamoto's TV theme The Other Side of Love (featuring Miu when she was going by the name Sister M) but with Japanese lyrics. RS seems to be making the most of his song catalog with many alternate versions lately!


A Fruit of Sand

(*) 97.03.21 cd3: FLDG-1009

3 tracks - this includes the (larmes ameres) remix? version + an instrumental version

Wilder Than Heaven

(*) 97.5.21 cd3: FLDG-1011

3 tracks - this includes the remix version + an instrumental version

Crown of Thorns

(*) 97.9.3 cd3: FLDG-1012) 1997 (*)
3 tracks - the album tracks Crown of Thorns, My Universe in a Birdcage
+ an instrumental version of the first


97.11.21 FLCG-3032

1 Tengoku Yori Yaban WILDER THAN HEAVEN (DJ KRUSH mix)
2 Ibara No Kanmuri CROWN OF THORNS (Buffalo Daughter mix)
3 Superstar (Andrea Parker mix)
5 corpo e alma BODY AND SOUL (Snooze mix)
6 Tengoku Yori Yaban WILDER THAN HEAVEN (X-STATIC mix) remix: Go Hotoda
7 Aromascape (DJ CAM RAINFORESR mix)
8 Suna No Kajitsu A FRUIT OF SAND (LARMES AMERES) Go Hotoda &Takuma Sato

Buffalo Daughter sort of play a version. Andrea Parker adds synths and vaguely (ahem) jungle type rhythms . In general these remixes are okay but I was hoping something would wind up interesting and it's just okay stuff.

Miki Nakatani

Absolute Value

98.08.21 FLCG-3037

3 Aibini No Moride
4 Yogoreta Ashi The Silence of Innocence
5 my best of love
6 Ibara No Kanmuri
7 Tengoku Yori Yaban -WILDER THAN HEAVEN-
8 Suna No Kajitsu
9 Suizokkan No Yoru
10 Torikago No Uchu

She left güt/FOR LIFE records, so as commonplace, they put together a best of

... and another

Pure Best

(*) 01.09.27 FLCF-3885

1 Suna No Kajitsu
3 Ibarano Kanmuri
5 Suizokkan No Yoru
6 Aibiki No Moride
7 Tengoku Yori Yaban -WILDER THAN HEAVEN-
8 my best of love
9 Torikago No Uchu
11 Tengoku Yori Yaban WILDER THAN HEAVEN (DJ KRUSH mix)
12 Ibarano Kanmuri CROWN OF THORNS (Buffalo Daughter mix)
13 Suna No Kajitsu A FRUIT OF SAND (LARMES AMERES) remix: Go Hotoda & Takuma Sato

Miki Nakatani


1999.11.10 WPC6-1043

1. frontier (album version)
2. Amadare (raindrops)
3. temptation (music: gabriel faure arr: by O. Sumi, H. Hoshino, & RS)
4. confession (by Hanno)
5. chronic love (remix version)
6. spontaneous (by Takemura)
7. Natsuni Koisuru Onnatachi
8. automatic writing (by Hanno)
9. fetish (folk mix)
10. leave me alone (by Takemura)
11. promise (by Kyougoku)
12. all this time
13. temptation
(drum mix)

No Roman letters on the cover: Miki Nakatani in a white room with venetian blinds

the title translates as Private Life. Produced by Sakmoto but 5 are written/arranged by others-- Hanno (4,8)and Takemura (6,10) respectively with several other songs written by Sakamoto though arranged by others (3, 7,13). Some tracks are more like sound collages than songs.

Chronic Love

(*) 99.02.10 cd5: WPC6-10009

1. Chronic Love
2. Fetish
3. Amadare
4. Chronic Love (Instrumental)
5. Fetish (Instrumental)

track 3 seems exclusive to this CD5 single



(*) 99/07/28 cd5: WPC6-10026

1. frontier
2. all this time
3. frontier(instrumental)

Miki Nakatani

Kowareta Kokoro

(*) 01.05.17 WPC6-10087

1. Kowareta Kokoro
2. Kowareta Kokoro - Jikan
3. Kowareta Kokoro (Instrumental)
4. Kowareta Kokoro - Jikan (Instrumental)

WPB6-90009 - DVD with 2 versions and a making of video

(*) Air Pocket

01.05.09 CD5: WPC6-10128

1.Air Pocket
2.Chelsea Girls
3.Air Pocket -Instrumental-
4.Chelsea Girls -Instrumental-

Air Pocket is a new song and Chelsea Girls is a Sakamoto arranged cover of the Velvet Underground and Nico song

there is also a 2002 DVD (+ VHS) release WPB6-90025 containing both songs

(*) there is also an early MN video release called butterfish

Miki Nakatani


(*) 01.11.21 PWC6-10177

This is kind of her third Best Of album! This time it's her newer Warner Label material including some of the above singles newer than her last album and some alternate mixes.

1 Chronic Love
2 Frontier
3 Fetish
4 Kowareta Kokoro (Band Mix)
5 Air Pocket
7 all this time
8 Natsuni Koisuru Onnatachi (Drum Mix)
9 Amadare
10 ChronicLove (Instrumental - Ryuichi Sakamoto)
11 Air Pocket (Instrumental - Ryuichi Sakamoto)
12 Amadare (Instrumental- Ryuichi Sakamoto)


Taeko Onuki

She did quite a number of 80s releases produced by RS.

Hisaaqui Waque & Yue Yaguchi sent me this info--

Miniyon (Mignonne) (BVCR-8004)

Adventure (BVCR-8006)

Signifie (BVCR-8013)

Cliche (BVCR-8016) [Kuro no Kureere is a song includedin the album]

Kopan (Copins) (MDCL-1004) Sakamoto produces and plays

singles like Vegetable, which was used for an advertising campaign for Shiseido (a major cosmetics company) and Metropolitan Museum, which was written for an NHK TV program called Minna no Uta (Songs for Everyone).

The song Les Adventures de Tintin is now included in a best album called Comin' Soon (MDCL-1013) as well as in Kopan.

I still don't have info if Sakamoto produced all the above albums in their entirety. He definitely worked on at least some songs on the above albums.

If you read Japanese, visit the official Taeko Onuki site.

Taeko Onuki


(*) 1980 cd: BVCR-8005

Hisaaqui Waque: Among them, at least I have confirmed Romantique CD is still available for 1500 yen in Japan (note the he wrote this several years ago). I like RS's arrangement and Prophet 5 perfromance in a song called Carnaval in it. Hideki Matsutake manipulated MC-8s (micro composer) for the song. All three YMO members and Kazuhiko Katoh (the leader of the Sadistic Mika Band) supported the album which was issued in 1980.

Taeko Onuki


(@) 97.6.6 Toshiba EMI

Produced by RS (with 2 tracks produced by Arto Lindsay and one track by both). Opens with an 80s style synth number. Worth checking out as it is fairly recent, has a wonderful openning old style track and I can confirm that he's supervising producer on the whole album.


Finale / Urahara

1980 7" PAS-203, reissued on CD5

Avant/New Wave singer Phew's debut single which Sakamoto produced and backed. I'd say the more avant parts of B-2 Unit might be a point of reference.



(*) 86.2.01

This is the one with the literal generic cover art. RS plays Fairlight on 4 tracks. The cd was called Compact Disc

Miu Sakamoto

Osamu Sato


95.10.21 Sony SRCL 3396

Sato is a multimedia artist. He gave a signed copy to one of my friends in the business. I actually asked to buy a copy, but it wound up as a gift to my friend. 2 Tracks co-composed by Sakamoto. Retrofit and Retrocognition. Future Sound of London and Goh Hotoda each re-mix another track each.

David Sylvian

Brilliant Trees

1984 Caroline (US) cd: 1812-2

Sylvian's first solo album. A great line up of musicians including Sakamoto on 3 tracks. The current cd includes the ep Words With the Shamen.

Let The Happiness In / Blue Of Noon

(*) 1987 single with non-album B side with Sakamoto apparently from these sessions.

David Sylvian

Alchemy - An Index Of Possibilities

(*) 1985 Virgin ep: VJCP-23079

Bruce Showalter mentions: RS is credited with piano and strings on track 3 - Steel Cathedrels. He plays with Robert Fripp on this track as well as several others. The contribution here is very textural as this is DS in his ambient/experimental mode.

David Sylvian

Secrets of the Beehive

1987 Virgin cd: (UK) CDV 2471

Sakamoto plays a good deal of acoustic piano and backing string arrangements on the album. Has a cover of Forbidden Colors.

David Sylvian

Dead Bees On A Cake

(*) 1999 with Sakamoto participation

Aki Takahashi

Let It Be

(*)1992 Toshiba

Beatles tribute of comissioned pieces by avant garde composers for Piano and inspired by the Beatles as I recall.

Yuji Takahashi

Piano Works of New Viennese School

(*)1986 CD COCO-7974/75

Has a Sakamoto composition.

Yuji Takahashi

aspects of contemporary piano music in japan 1

(*) 1995 Denon

RS did a short solo piano piece boku jishin no tame ni (for myself) for Takahashi,Yuji in 1981

"the work is so fragmental,and difficult to say impressive, but precious as it tells his unknown face." --YM

Towa Tei

An album I've not actually heard called Demo Tape #1 is sometimes offered as a Sakamoto release as it was heard on his radio show. Most of the material or at least the key material on it is by Towa Tei. More info here

Radical T.V. & Ryuichi Sakamoto

T.V. War

(@) 1985 Laser Disc/DVD

This is an audio video collaboration between a video performance group Radical T.V. and Ryuichi Sakamoto composing. Sample experimentation with a few synth lines. He uses sampled urban beats too from time to time. The beatless material has much in common with his other 80s experimental pieces - only decidedly un-relaxed. The beat material is pretty devoid of melody, just beats and perhaps more agressive/abrasive than the rhythms on his song-based albums. I assume most of the audio is Sakamoto and his Fairlight sampling workstation though some material might be in collaboration.

thanks: Ron Kane

David Van Tieghem

Saftey In Numbers

1987 Private Music (USA) lp: 2015-1-P

Van Tieghem is best known for his found object percussion. He did at least 3 solo albums and worked with Laurie Anderson for a while. Sakamoto on 2 tracks. Sakamoto mailed in his contribution on floppy from Tokyo. He used an early NEC computer which proved difficult to re-sync and re-record in New York. In those days Peter (ex-Tangerine Dream) Baumann's Private Music label seemed obsessed with 100% digital recordings at the expense of letting the artists develop their material properly. In other words pristine engineering on pieces that sometimes sounded like they rolled off an assembly line. Sill a pretty good album. I met Van Tiegham while promoting his third album. I asked him about the crockery he was playing on.

Various Artists

güt online

(*) 1997?

I don't have full info on this one. It seems to have been a compilation of unreleased short tracks done for various non-album projects. There are several pieces of incidental music Sakamoto wrote as theme and bridging music for radio programs here. I presume other tracks are by other güt artists for similar purposes. It seems to have been hard to find.

Various Artists



this was a chain tape that went from musician to musician around the world.

Various Artists

A Chance Operation
- a tribute to John Cage

1993 Koch Classics

Sakamoto does an abstract sound piece on this 2 cd set. Frank Zappa's contribution was, of course ,the most poignant. I met Cage the year before he died. A friend in grad school was doing his semester presentation on Cage's techniques and brought the man himself in to be part of it. The RS piece is called Haiku FM.

See Gary's Vanity Page at the Artist Shop for info from the producer of this CD.

Caetano Veloso


1991 PolyGram (EC?) 510 639-2

RS plays on two tracks (neide candolin and lindeza) other musicians are A. Lindsay, Marc Ribot and Nana Vasconcelos

RED HOT & RIO (compilation)

One track with Caetano Veloso and Cesaria Evora E Preciso Perdoar

Yosuke Yamashita + Bill Laswell * Ryuichi Sakamoto

Asian Games

1993 CD: Mercury PHCE-42

I guess you can call it a Yamashita album with 2 tracks co-written and produced by Sakamoto, the other tracks are with Laswell. Jazz Fusion stuff, not interesting at all. Recorded in 1988 and took a few years to be released (1993). Probably will dissapoint Sakamoto fans.

Hector Zazou

Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses

(*)1991 PHILIPS 477585-2 (France)

Bruce Showalter: Ryuichi Sakamoto appears on two tracks Onda and Notte. As far as I understand it is out of print.

Hector Zazou

Sahara Blue

1992 Crammed Discs (Belgium) TriStar (US)

He makes interesting new music all-star discs. Impressive collaborations. RS pays a touch of piano. Supposedly two versions of this. One has David Sylvian performances. The other has only David Sylvian writing and additional Dead Can Dance performances. (This implies there was some kind of contractual problem with Sylvian's appearance)

Bruce Showalter adds: (There) is a sampler CD which shipped with the Italian magazine Sonora. The number of the issue is simply 4/94 and the title of the track with said musicians is Realeza. It's an acoustic piano piece with voice and horns. It's quite nice but I've only just heard it so I reserve judgement to further listenings.


1985 School/Midi cd: 35MD-1009

Compilation made up of singles. There are 2 RS arranged tracks by Taeko Onuki presumably off her albums. Other Midi label artists also. Lots of Moonriders related tracks. Also single versions of Steppin' Into Asia and Fieldwork.

An amusing footnote is that both Byron Werner and myself both thought many years ago and before we met that the 2 Taeko Onuki tracks were by Akiko Yano because she was releasing her albums on the same label and both their names in Japanese characters look a little similar to someone who can't read Japanese! So I figure if both of us thought that independently then someone else probably came to the same mistaken conclusion also. Akiko Yano is on Steppin' Into Asia though.

Sound Image Series Vol. 1

Island Music

1983 CD: CBS/SONY CSCL 1301

A compilation (no unique tracks). Music by Haruomi Hosono, Tatsuro Yamashita, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Shigeru Suzuki, Masataka Matsutohya,Takahiko Ishikawa. 2 tracks from Summer Nerves by Sakamoto including a reggae one. Sakamoto plays keyboards on several other tracks for other  artists.

Remixes by Sakamoto

Shonen Knife

Super Mix

(*) 1997 MCA

RS remixes Insect Collector.  He does a trippy psychadelic thing with their singing on a new track he does. Also on the cd are remixes by Takyu Ishino (Denki Groove), Moichi Kurahara (Snakeman Show) and Haiku Sense, Keigo Oyamada (Cornelius)



1998 TFCK-87963/4, vol. 1 LP: TFJK-37905, vol. 2 LP: TFJK-37906

NOTE: The US and UK versions of Let Us Replay does not contain Ryuichi Sakamoto's or any of these Japanese artists besides Cornelius. Only the Japanese edition does


this was a big project for the UK DJs Coldcut involving trading enough remixes with other intersting artists to make an album. Each of these artists should have a Coldcut mix on some release also resulting form this exchange. Kind of fun, not the most substantial music, but its sure a rarity to have new stuff by all 3 members of YMO on the same release (even if they are remixes). The second CD in the CD version is a piece of windows multimedia demo remix software.

Various Artists

Replay Debussy

(@) 2003 Universal Classical Germany

This was a concept project where avant garde composers were given a set of suggestions or directions to set about doing their own cover version of Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (a piece Isao Tomita covered himself for his Firebird album and was best known as a landmark in 'impressionist' music especially after Nijinsky caused a huge sensation when he choreographed a dance solo to it).

track: Sakamoto's Debussy

Here Sakamoto to my ears does a remix - though I note that the project's originator seems to be saying he did not want this to be a remix project . The concept involves doing a 'cover' version and using some supplied materials like a 1930s 'historic' recording with clicks and pops, an earlyish 'clean' hi-fi recording and a recording of a woman reciting the poem which inspired the work. Sakamoto loops chunks of the piece about 2 measures usually with offset in time copies of itself. He also has some some subtle found sound and excerpts of the poem being read. I wouldn't expect anyone upon hearing this cold being able to spot Sakamoto's handiwork, only the obvious that a Debussy vinyl record is being manipulated. Terre Thaemlitz also contributes a slightly digital glitched re-edit presumably using the same LP as a source

Best Ofs 

Favorite Visions

(@)1983 Better Days lp: YF-7081-BD. 1983

DH: The recognizable titles are the same versions as appear on 'Thousand Knives'. "Mwsik part 1' is a free form jazz blowout with Sakamoto playing some wild dissonant symthesizer. This is the only track I've heard Sakamoto play on in this mode. Reminiscent of late sixties avant garde Chick Corea or Paul Bley.The piano duo is a piece by Schoenberg and features Yuji Takahashi with sakamoto.'Mother Terra' is also on 'Kylyn' by Watanabe.

nk: Well this is very early material but at least some of it is hard to find. This was LP only.

Better Days of Ryuichi Sakamoto

1992 Nippon Columbia/Better Days cd: COCA-10561

This is the CD "Best of" his early Nippon Columbia releases, nothing rare

Best Selection

(*)1986.2.25 Alfa (32XA-52, ALCA-62)

Best of of Alfa label material. As I recall it had pretty similar cover art to Herbie Hancock's Future Shock.

Nothing rare, though Warhead, a non-album single has never been that common. I saw this comp a lot in the 1980s but rarely since then.

  1. War Head
  2. Riot in Lagos
  3. Tell 'em to Me
  4. Living in the Dark
  5. Iconic Storage
  6. The Arrangement
  7. Venezia
  8. Slat Dance
  9. Thatness and Thereness
  10. E-3a
  11. Just About Enough
  12. Saru To Yuki To Gomi No Kodomo
  13. The End Of Europe

Gruppo Musicale

(*) 1989 Gold CD exists. Midi 32MD-1046

MIDI label era Best Of

Nothing rare. This Japanese release is not clearly marked in english as a "best of". Fortunately I hesitated in buying it but I was confused as I was thinking that it maybe was live or new or new arrangements... it's neither

Gruppo Musicale II

(*)1993 Midi MDCL-1237

1980-1991 MIDI Label Best Of

Its a best of sequel !

I guess once you figure out the first one is a 'best of' then this one is easy to figure out


(*)1993 Midi MDCL 1261

A third MIDI label Best Of (no new material). I don't recall if it says anything about it being a 'best of' in English, but that's what it is.

  1. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (From Coda)
  2. Ride Ride Ride (From Coda)
  3. Gorllia Ga Banana Wo Kureruhi (From Media Bahn Live)
  4. Dear Liz (From Media Bahn Live)
  5. Before Long (From Neo Geo)
  6. Grasshopper (Form The End of Asia)
  7. Paradise Lost (From Ongakuzukan)
  8. Parolibre (From Futurista)
  9. Riikuni No (Theme From Aile De Honnneamise)
  10. The Seed and the Sower (From Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence)
  11. Watasuge No Hara (From Kitten Story)
  12. The Last Emperor (Theme From The Last Emperor)


(*) 93.3.31 Virgin cd: VJCP-28161

Virginl era Soundtrack Best Of

I assume all the live tracks come from Playing The Orchestra so there seems nothing exclusive.

I've seen an album called Soundtracks mentioned in unnofficial discographies with no track listings given but on the MIDI label instead of Virgin. I don't think it exists. Its confused with this one.


(*) 1994 Midi(?)

Boxed collection of most MIDI CDs intact. Nothing is rare at the moment.


1994 Mesa Records, WEA/Atlanic (U.S.A.) R2 79075

  1. Adelic Penguins (from Esperanto)
  2. Daikoukai-Verso lo schermo (from Futurista)
  3. Replica (from Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia)
  4. Milan, 1909 (from Futurista)
  5. Relache (from Left Handed Dream)
  6. Variety Show (from Futurista)
  7. Senso-War (from Aile de Honneamise)
  8. Tibetan Dance (version) (from Ongakuzukan)
  9. M.A.Y. in the Backyard (from Ongakuzukan)
  10. Japan (from Coda)
  11. Slat Dance (from Left Handed Dream)
  12. A Rain Song (from Esperanto)
  13. Ulu Watsu (from Esperanto)
  14. Water Is Life (Futurista)

U.S. Best of from 1980s MIDI albums which never had a U.S. release. Said to be remixed , but I don't think so, the assumption may have been made on the alternate Tibetan mix which was by then available on Japanese CD though not originally. Actually a very good selection of tracks for fans without access to imports. But its out of print, so thats a moot point.

Virgin Tracks (best of)

(*) 1993.4.31 Virgin VJCP-28160

Virgin label best of with singles mixes?

  1. We Love You (Edited Talking Drums Mix)
  2. You Do Me
  3. Calling From Tokyo
  4. Amore
  5. Asadoya Yunta
  6. Rose
  7. Diabaram
  8. Lulu
  9. Sayonara
  10. Triste
  11. Cloud #9
  12. High Tide (English Version)
  13. Rap The World
  14. Heartbeat (Club Mix)
As usual, when an artist changes labels, as many as possible best of albums as possible 'best of's come out. Not to say Virgin is the only culprit.

The Greatest

(*) 1998 Virgin cd: VJCP-51051

A second not disimilar Virgin label probably replacing the above.

  1. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence -Theme- (Live)
  2. The Sheltering Sky-Theme- (Piano Version)
  3. We Love You (Edited Talking Drums Mix)
  4. You Do Me
  5. Calling From Tokyo
  6. Amore
  7. Heatbeat (Original Mix)
  8. Sayonara (English Version)
  9. High Tide (English Version)
  10. Triste
  11. Cloud #9
  12. Heartbeat (Club Mix)

The Best of güt Years 1994-1997

(*) güt/for life FLCG-3035

includes some unreleased or non-album tracks:

  1. A Flower Is Not A Flower (live)
  2. Futari no Hate
  3. The Other Side of Love
  4. Aishiteru, Aishitenai
  5. Moving On
  6. 1919
  7. Jungle LIVE
  8. Bibou no Aozora
  9. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
  10. TANGO
  11. Floating Along (outtake)
  13. Kimi to Boku to Kanojo no koto
  14. Parolibre

Ivar de Vries writes
This best-of album covers the GUT years (Sweet Revenge, Smoochy, 1996) and was released around the time Ryuichi Sakamoto signed for Warner in Japan and Sony Classical internationally. Although the title suggests a straightforward compilation album, it is actually a bit more than just that. Only 5 of the 13 tracks are also available on the international versions of above-mentioned albums, with some of the others taken from sources like a remix-album (Snooty), a concert (Playing the Orchestra "f") and a single with daughter Miu (Other Side of Love).

Then there are a couple of new tracks, both out-takes from the 1996 trio world-tour. Sakamoto usually finds some use for such leftover tracks later on, which also applies here. Floating Along was used for a car advert and given away as an ultra-rare promo-item. Opening track A Flower is not a Flower, along with closing track Parolibre in its trio version, was the only Sakamoto music used in a rather odd documentary-cum-roadmovie called To The Alley about novelist Kenji Nakagami (1946 - 1992). The filmmaker retraces Nakagami's steps around some of the poorer regions in Japan, reading out passages from his novels along the way. Apparently Sakamoto is a fan, there's an interview with him available on the Nakagami website Cape. For those interested, this film has been released on DVD in 2002 (catalogued as KKDS-11).


(*)99.08.21 (4CD)  FLCG-3042


  2. SMOOCHY (=FLCG-3014)
  3. 1996 (=FLCG-3020)


So the first 3 discs are complete albums remastered. I have to verify exactly what is really unreleased about the final disc.


(*) 01.09.27 FLCF-3886

güt label best of material

  3. Regret
  4. Anna
  5. Same Dream, Same Destination
  6. Sweet Revenge
  10. Rain
  11. 1919
  12. The Sheltering Sky
  13. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
  14. Tong Poo
  15. The Other Side of Love (Ryuichi Sakamoto featuring Sister M)
  16. The Last Emperor

Said to be limited edition though nothing seemingly rare. I've seen this series from other artists on güt.


(@) 03.11Sony Classical SK 93044


  1. Forbidden Colours
  2. Energy Flow
  3. O Grande Amor
  4. The Last Emperor
  5. Railroad Man
  6. Risky
  7. Before Long
  8. Desafinado
  9. Lost Child
  10. Little Buddha
  11. Neo Geo
  12. Opus
  13. Anger (Rare Force 2 Meg Mix)
  14. Insensatez (Remodel by Alva Noto


  1. Neo Geo
  2. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
  3. Bim Bom
  4. Tibetan Dance
  5. Insensatez

Ivar de Vries writes

Hardly a year passes by without at least one Sakamoto compilation album. Moto.Tronic is one of the more superfluous ones, a nice varied collection but with most tracks readily available on earlier Sony releases. It might be worth purchasing for two tracks from hard to get singles, namely Lost Child and a decent remix of Discord's Anger by Rare Force. The one previously unreleased track is most interesting: Alva Noto's "Remodel" of Insensatez by Antonio Jobim (who in turn remodelled Chopin's Prelude #4 Opus 28 for this composition). Which leads to the bonus DVD Moto.Video, whose last video features the same elegant take on Insensatez. Two others were taken from a 1988 NY concert, the inevitable Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence was filmed at a 1986 Media Bahn concert, plus a clip filmed when recording A Day in NY that features Morelenbaum2 singing Gilberto's piece Bim Bom. The artwork and booklet essay try to convey "the crazy world of Ryuichi Sakamoto", it's got a picture of him wearing a James Brown button, of all people.


Thanks to: Kai Seidler,Yosuke Morimoto, Ross Clement, Yue Yaguchi, Wolfgang Wiggers , Kenji Mori for info.


See my YMO page for more links about Sakamoto

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