Ryuichi Sakamoto (b. 1952) is a Japanese composer, musician, actor and producer based in Tokyo and New York. A graduate of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, he was a founder member of groundbreaking electro-pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra who had a top 20 hit in the summer of 1980 with "Computer Game/ Fire Cracker" taken from their eponymous debut album, originally released in 1978. Sakamoto also pursued a parallel solo career issuing the experimental album B-2 Unit, released on Island, which included the track "Riot in Lagos" considered to be a major influence on hip-hop and electro, as later developed by artists such as Afrika Bambaataa. He also went on to compose several successful soundtracks to major films such as Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (in which he also played a lead role), The Last Emperor and Little Buddha. Producing an eclectic mix of music ranging from the popular to the experimental via classical and minimal, Sakamoto has also collaborated with many other major artists such as David Sylvian (formerly of Japan), David Byrne, Thomas Dolby and Iggy Pop.
Links to Peel
Peel seems to have taken an interest in Sakamoto's 1980 experimental electronic album B-2 Unit, which is also included in the Record Collection (and selected by John Peel Centre blog as its Hidden Gem for the letter S ). Despite favouring links with Japanese music and culture he does not seem to have played any Sakamoto material after that, until featuring the soundtrack to The Last Emperor in the early nineties.
Other shows played
- 12 January 1992: Rain (I Want A Divorce) (LP - The Last Emperor)
- 18 January 1992: Rain (I Want A Divorce) (LP - The Last Emperor)
- Yellow Magic Orchestra
- 31 January 1980: Computer Game / Firecracker (LP - Yellow Magic Orchestra) A&M