Hi all! I hope you're enjoying your weekend thus far - I had a packed day today, actually, as my mom and I went to the Aquarium (and saw African penguins *heart*) as well as the beach by Coney Island. I also finally got my ride on a carousel, which I've been wanting to do again for years but felt slightly embarrassed about considering the fact that I'm 22 and all. But, you know what? It was FUN so eff caring about what other people think even more!
Anyways, onto the point of this post: first off, I've been wanting to write a post like this since my dear online friend - who I met through this blog ^_^ (hello Maxi :D )- showed me some videos he made as a fellow Sakamoto Maaya fan. He does a lot of lovely images and videos inspired by Sakamoto, and for the purpose of this post I will be referencing the following video here. It's essentially a collection of snippets from her singles released between the years 1995 and 2012.
I not only own a ton of songs by Sakamoto, but I also have other artists I listen to on a daily basis, so I find myself inevitably slipping away from some of her songs as a result. Hearing the clips in this video inspired me to make this post because it reminded me of gems in her career that I've lost count of, and I thought it would be nice to share them with you. :) So, in a nutshell, this post will be a list of Sakamoto's singles (at least those from the linked video) and my favorite track from each one!
I'm going to put this out there: I do not own all of Sakamoto Maaya's singles (unfortunately). I started listening to Sakamoto when she was well into her career, and did not begin to purchase her albums/singles/DVDs until some years after that. I've contemplated only listing the singles I own, and my favorites from those. However, I've decided instead to list all of the singles from the above video, and put in bold the ones that I do own. Additionally, my favorite tracks will be in pink font.
!!DISCLAIMER!!: Yes, I used to only get Sakamoto's songs via online downloading, so I own nearly all of her songs and have favorites even from singles and albums that I have not purchased. Sakamoto's music was not always accessible to me, as I began listening to her at a young age when I didn't have the money to spend on expensive CDs. Even now I will sometimes refrain from purchasing an item of hers (such as, for example, her book releases) because of the expense due to importation fees. I do, however, hope to eventually purchase those singles and albums which I am missing, so that if my computer ever decides that the long battle is over, I will not have lost her songs and my heart in the process. She is an important figure in my life, and in return I do my best to support her since I feel I am capable of doing so financially, as of now (and, I hope, forever). :!!END DISCLAIMER!!
FAVORITES FROM SAKAMOTO MAAYA'S SINGLES
Yakusoku Wa Iranai
"Yakusoku Wa Iranai"
Bokura No Rekishi
"Bokura No Rekishi"
Kiseki No Umi
"Kiseki No Umi"...this isn't very exciting is it? My favorites are each turning out to be the main track on every single...
This one was tough, I have to say so. "Pilot" is such a sweet, calming song, and I do love it, but I'll have to give it to "Hashiru."
"Yubiwa." Sakamoto's voice is stunning in this song, period. It is perhaps one of the most powerful showcases of her range, in my opinion.
Shippo No Uta
"Midori No Hane" - don't get me wrong, I love "Shippo No Uta," as it is such an upbeat, fun song. But "Midori No Hane" has a lot of memories attached to it for me.
This one is also tough. "Mameshiba" is one of my favorite Sakamoto songs, but "Kuuki To Hoshi" is not only musically (and vocally) beautiful, but I guess it has a special place in my heart, because it was one of the first three songs I ever discovered by Sakamoto (I will eventually write a post on how I discovered her, so stay tuned for that).
"Ongaku" without a doubt. I hope to record a cover of this someday. ~Interesting fact: this song used to be a top favorite of mine back when I was in high school, so when I started to play this online game, I included it in my character's in-game name. =P
"Shimashima." I do like the third track on this single, "Park Amsterdam," as well, but when it comes to that particular song, I prefer its counterpart in the Shounen Alice album, "Park Amsterdam (the whole story)."
Tune the Rainbow
"Tune the Rainbow." I remember how, shortly after discovering Sakamoto, I was trying to find information on her and kept hearing about how beautiful her voice was in this song. I eventually tracked it down and have to say, this is indeed still one of my top favorites by her. The whole song is beautiful, but I especially love the very end of the main vocals. ~Another interesting fact: this was one of the first songs I sang in a proper singing voice. I remember being in the car waiting for my mom to come back from the store, singing as I usually did when I was alone, and realizing how much easier it was to sing just by changing my breathing. This is the song I was practicing at that moment. :)
"High Touch," though I do prefer the 'sunset side' version of "Loop" from her Everywhere collection album over "High Touch."
I don't think the coupling track of this single is included in the video, but it's called "Spica" and while this song is quite nostalgic for me (I used to listen to it a lot when I played games online), I will say I prefer "Kazemachi Jet" as it's catchier and more fun to sing for me personally.
Saigo No Kajitsu
"Saigo No Kajitsu." This one was so close, because I love the lyrics of "Mitsubachi To Kagakusha" and Sakamoto's live performance of this song in her recent live tour DVD gave new life to it. But as we are discussing the single and, as such, the recorded versions of both songs, I prefer "Saigo No Kajitsu." ~Interesting fact number 3: I named my main bass guitar Mitsubachi after the secondary song on this single.
I'd like to credit Maxi's video and this single right here for my decision to write this post. When I was listening to the clips in Maxi's video, I came to the secondary track on this single and thought, "Wow, I remember how peaceful and moving this song is - but what the hell is it called?!" Of course memory helped me a bit by giving me a free "K" at the start of the song's title, but it took some clicking on my iTunes list to finally remember "Kotomichi." I know quite a few people (at least from what I've read) did not enjoy "Triangler" so much (I personally think the PV is hilarious with the dancing chair). Well, I actually do like "Triangler," but "Kotomichi" beats it by far in terms of picking single favorites.
Ame Ga Furu
"Ame Ga Furu," though both this song and "Praline" are songs by Sakamoto that don't stand out to me as much as some others.
Utsukushii No Hito
I actually know very little about this single. I acquired the song "Utsukushii No Hito" from her album You Can't Catch Me, and never really came across any notice of the release date for this single. According to Generasia (this site has a likeness to Wikipedia, and I've never come across it until Googling this single, so its reliability is one I cannot fully endorse myself), "Utsukushii No Hito" is the only track on this single, so...well...there is no other song to choose from. That's not to say that I don't really like this song, though, because I do. It is one of the 'nicer' comeback-collaborations with Kanno.
Down Town/Yasashisa Ni Tsutsumareta Nara
"Yasashisa Ni Tsutsumareta Nara" - this song, for whatever reason, feels like a classic to me, I guess because it's the only cover in this single that I knew the original of before hearing the single itself. I like to both sing this song and play the sheet music on my ocarina!
"Buddy," but I really, really enjoy "Something Little" too! Oh-Em-Gee another interesting fact: I tabbed this song for my ocarina, though it's still hard to play at the right speed.
"A Happy New Year." This single follows suit with Ame Ga Furu in the sense that neither track really stands out to me that much in comparison to other Sakamoto songs.
More Than Words
"More Than Words." This song won me from the time the Vitamin M clip was posted on YouTube (which I cannot seem to find...sadly). Its partner, "Dekoboko March (Tairetsu Wa Kimi Ni Tsuzuku)," on the other hand, did not. But I've grown to fully enjoy "Dekoboko March" (I'll cut the title there for convenience's sake). It's hard to pick between the two, because one has such a dark sound to it and the other is, well, an upbeat march. But since I said I'd pick a favorite, I'm going with "More Than Words."
That just about wraps it up. I didn't think I'd be commenting much on my favorites...or at all...and I guess it's kind of odd now that only a few are left 'bare' with just my favorite track in pink. I don't like to force words out when I don't have anything particularly meaningful (for the lack of a better word) to say, though, so I'm not going to touch them. I discovered whilst writing this post that the video does not contain clips from all of Sakamoto's singles - at least when I go by the list on my go-to Sakamoto informational site here. That's okay, though; I rather just keep this post tied pretty closely to the context of the video anyway. :)
With that being said, I hope this post was somewhat interesting at the least. If you're a Sakamoto fan and would like to share your favorites from her singles, then by all means please do so in the comments below. =D I will be doing two more Sakamoto posts in this fashion to match the other two videos my friend made - one for her mini albums and one for her full albums - so keep an eye out for those. As always, thanks for stopping by, and 'til next time. ('<>')>