Hidari Ude No Yume

A 10 track art & progressive rock album (42m 45s) — released September 15th 2023 on Wewantsounds

Ryuichi Sakamoto's third album, "Hidari Ude No Yume" was recorded at the legendary Alfa Studio 'A' in Tokyo during the Summer of 1981. it came after "B-2 Unit" in 1980 and his debut album "Thousand Knives Of" in 1978, the very year Sakamoto was invited by Haruomi Hosono to join Yellow Magic Orchestra alongside Yukihiro Takahashi. In the process, they became global stars as the group rewrote the rules of electronic pop and toured around the world, yet Sakamoto was keen to remain active as a solo artist.

In 1981, the musician decided to record an album rooted in Pop, following "B-2 Unit" which had a more of an experimental edge and his landmark electro debut from 1978. For this new album entitled "Hidari Ude No Yume," Sakamoto invited British producer Robin Scott, who had had huge hit with 'Pop Muzik,' to co-produce. They entered the Alfa studio in July 1981, accompanied by a handful of musicians. These included his fellow YMO musicians Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, keyboard programmer extraordinaire Hideki Matsutake who'd been on Sakamoto's first two albums and became YMO's unofficial fourth member, violinist Kaoru Sato, saxophonist Satoshi Nakamura and American guitarist Adrian Belew who'd played with David Bowie, The Talking Heads' "Remain In Light" and more recently, Tom Tom Club's debut (co-writing 'Genius Of Love').

Together, they created a fascinating mix of pop, ambient and electronic music with elements of avant garde and traditional Japanese music, the whole firmly rooted in a solid groove. Sakamoto wanted to give the album a spontaneous feel and decided to let ideas flow and evolve organically during the sessions as musicians would develop them together. From the funk of 'Relâché' to the new wave feel of 'Venezia' and the ambient minimalism of 'Slat Dance,' the album is remarkably consistent while displaying a wealth of global influences as shown by the diversity of instruments featured on the credits: Marimba, didgeridu, traditional Japanese instruments such as the Sho and Hichiriki flutes.

The album was released in Japan in 1981 and Epic Records picked it up for Europe a year later but decided to release it in a significantly altered version. The sequencing was completely reshuffled and two tracks, 'Saru No Ie' and 'Living In The Dark' were completely dropped while three others, 'Relâché', 'Tell 'em To Me', 'Venezia' were heavily remodelled with english lyrics and became 'Just About Enough', 'Once In A Lifetime' and 'The Left Bank'. Last but not least, a new English-sung track, 'The Arrangement,' was added, making the album nine tracks instead of ten for the Japanese edition.

Altogether this International version called "Left-Handed Dream" was a very different album from the Japanese one and although both were successful at the time and further established Ryuichi Sakamoto as a global solo artist, the Japanese edition of "Hidari Ude No Yume" remains largely unknown to international ears.

Wewantsounds is now delighted to release this original Japanese edition for the first time in decades as a single LP together with a 2-LP limited-edition set adding, as a bonus, its fascinating instrumental mix, discovered in the label's vaults a few years ago (Note that 'The Garden Of Poppies', 'Slat Dance' and 'Saru No Ie' are instrumentals but for the consistency of the album we kept them on the Instrumental Mix). "Hidari Ude No Yume" is an essential album in Ryuichi Sakamoto's rich discography. It is now available in its purest original Japanese form

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