Yellow Magic Orchestra – in concert at Budokan – December 22, 1983 – NHK-FM, Tokyo –
Yellow Magic Orchestra in concert from Budokan tonight – recorded on December 22, 1983 and broadcast by NHK-FM in Tokyo.
Before Yellow Magic Orchestra (or YMO as they were sometimes known) came on the scene, you had to have your ears pretty close to the ground, know someone who lived in Japan or had connections to the latest releases from Tokyo in order to figure out there was a healthy and growing scene in Japan during the 1970s, culminating with the advent of Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1978.
They weren’t just a Techno band who happened to be Japanese, they were an entire movement unto themselves – clothes, theatrics, marketing, style – they were just about everything that contributed to what was a revolutionary take on electronic music at the time – they became a combination genre and cottage industry and it paid off handsomely as a result. Yellow Magic Orchestra became something of a household name, especially during the 80s when New Wave was coming into being and Synthesizers were taking more of center stage and spreading out into a number of different areas in popular music at the time. It wasn’t known as EDM, not for a couple more decades, but electronica was a huge factor in Dance music in the early 80s.
You could say YMO were in the right place at the right time – it also helped that prominent figures in Europe, most notably David Bowie, fell under their spell and co-founder Ryuichi Sakamoto became a spokesman for the Avant-garde and a very popular solo artist.
Put it all together and it makes perfect sense that Yellow Magic Orchestra became the guiding lights of Electronic music – their influence has been felt, and continues to be felt in a lot of the Indie/Experimental music currently making the rounds.
We have a lot to be thankful for with Yellow Magic Orchestra. I can’t imagine what the early 80s would be like had they not made such a prominent and lasting impression on the contemporary music scene.
To get some idea what they were all about, if you missed them the first time around, this concert from The Budokan in 1983 offers ample proof Yellow Magic Orchestra were the ones everyone was waiting for.
Or if you would prefer . . .
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