Today I’m hopping back to 1980 and across to Tokyo for ‘Firecracker’ by Yellow Magic Orchestra. YMO always existed slightly on the fringe of early 80s electronic music, perhaps as victims of geography.
Their main claims to fame are ‘Behind The Mask’ which was covered by Eric Clapton of all people, and being the first project of Ryuici Sakamoto, acclaimed film score musician for such films as ‘The Last Emperor’ and ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ (check out the sublime ‘Forbidden Colours’ with David Silvian from that soundtrack).
They were so much more than just the Japanese Kraftwerk and you can see a clear lineage to Random Access Memories, particularly the opening track. Even the stage layout in this Budokan performance is very Daft Punk. Firecracker was re-released in the UK as ‘Theme from Invaders’ to attempt to exploit the new craze called ‘video games’ and got to number 17….
Meanwhile scroll down for Andy & Roy’s choices or catch up on the list so far here