This material was first compiled by Paul Rymer,
his notes are in this colour.
site maintained by Nicholas D. Kent (with my notes this color)
Some track info from Ralf Kraus, Ron Kane
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net
Last updated 05.12.21
(*) means nick doesn't own this album and hasn't listened to it
(@) means nick has listened to it but doen't own a copy
The Sunsetz led by Makoto Kubota started on their own as as did Sandii. They collaborated from 1976 until the late '90s when they went their separate ways. In 2005, Sandii has collaborated with Haruomi Hosono for an event at a Shinto shrine at Ise, and during December will appear as a guest of Yuki Yamaguchi alongside former Sunsetz members Kenichi Inoue and Hideo Inoura. Sandii also plans to record new material soon. Keni Inoue is working on solo material and also a second album with his wife Kathie.
According to Rick Tanaka & Tony Barrell in an article called Japan's New Music: Human Face of the Technopolis (1983, The New Rock 'n' Roll, Omnibus Press Australia) this was the debut album from Makoto Kubota and has a picture of Godzilla on the cover.
Makoto Kubota, King Champ Onzo and Kenichi Inoue had all worked together occasionally since the late 1960's in a scene based at a club called "Jan Jan" in Shibuya where young musicians could jam together. In 1972, following stint with Masato Minami, Inoue joined Makoto Kubota's band, and during the recording of the "Sunset Gang" album it was decided that they would become a regular group. The album was recorded in a studio in the basement at the "Jan Jan" club.
(*)1974(?) Pineapple Records TRS-5002.Debut single recorded in Hawaii: The insert identifies Sandii as "Sandie I." The 45 credits "Sandy I." The songs on the disk are a) Perusha Neko and b) Ano Hito. The insert calls them "Perusha Neko Wa Koi Dorobo" and "Anohito".
(*)1975 Toho Records LP
Side A tracks have Japanese titles and are original compositions. The final track on side A, "Nichiyou no Gogo" is written by Sandii. Side B includes Japanese language covers of John Lennon's "Love", The Eagles "Desperado", “I Honestly Love You” and “The Way We Were” amongst others. The material is light pop, with a good mix of up-tempo and ballad material and use of synth strings. The production is very much of its time but endearing, designed to show of Sandii's vocal talent.
Sandii performed at the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival twice. In 1975 she was an interval act (non competitor). Her second performance was in 1976, with the single Goodbye Morning. She won the "Grand Prix Best Vocal Performance" award. Its the Japanese equivalent of winning Eurovision.
Kutizuke Wa Yurushite (*) 1975 Toho Records 7" single. This is hard to find now but was apparently a hit.
Ai No Melody/Nichiyou No Gogo (*) 1975.12 Toho Records 7" single. Both songs are on the first album.
Goodbye Morning/Madmoiselle Mama 1976 Discomate Records 7" single. Both are non-album tracks. This was a big hit single and can be found on various Japanese 70's pop compilations. A second pressing of the single includes a prominent mention of the song winning the WPSF.
"The 1976 World Popular Song Festival" LP (Yamaha Records) includes a live version of "Goodbye Morning".
(*)1975 LP , cd:SWAX-17
Sandii met Makoto Kubota when he was a guest on a TV show she presented "Echoes of Youth". Sandii joined the Sunset Gang as a backing singer.
Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang & Sandy have a track on the compilation Festival Of Japan Rock (1976), which also includes performances featuring Hosono and another with Kitaro.
An Aya Kubota Song “Minna No Uta” (for NHK) – is a rumoured 7” single from the mid 1970’s, presumably after Sandii married Makoto Kubota.
(*)1977 LP, cd:SWAX-19
The first full LP featuring Sandii, or rather Sandy as she was still known.
(*)1978 EMI Eastworld 7” single
End theme from the movie “Death On The Nile” in Japan. Reached No15 on the Oricon chart. The B-side is by the Alan McGee Orchestra.
There is also a single credited to the "Massimo Love Orchestra" with a karaoke version of the song which has some vocals from Sandii. This has a similar sleeve to the regular single but has a Nino Rota track on the b-side.
(*)1978 EMI Eastworld LP
With the exception of the title track, written by Alan McGee, this album seems to be a hastily conceived collection of covers. It is pure pop and disco. The cover of Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” reminds me of her later work with it’s more exotic arrangement. All of the songs are in English. There are no musician credits on the album and the arrangers names are fake, for example “Theo Layer” (see notes below).
A soundtrack tie-in album it seems.
(*)1979 EMI Eastworld 7” single
The A side is a disco track with synths and strings, reminiscent of Boney M, with a ridiculous lyric and catchy chorus. “Sherry” is dreadful – the vocals are speeded up chimpmunks style. It’s the cover of the well known song by Robert Gaudio, a hit for the Four Seasons. The A side seems to be a spin-off from the Dino De Laurentis remake of “King Kong”.
The name Sandy O'Neil was chosen to sound non-Japanese, as were the other musician names on the album. According to Sandii and Kenichi Inoue (who can not recall much about the project), the musicians are all Japanese and include Makoto Kubota and others who would play on Sunset Gang records. By having a big hit, Makoto felt that he had made a fool of the Japanese recording industry. The decision was made to have a new beginning with Sandii up front, just like Debbie Harry in Blondie.
Love Squall/I Miss You Babe (Yes I Do). 7" single
Love Squall and I Miss You Babe from the soundtrack to the second season of Lupin 3rd (1979). These tracks have appeared on numerous CD’s, with several remixes of Love Squall released since the anime boom started. Both songs are ballads.
Sandii also sang backing vocals on the TV soundtrack to Magic Monkey by Godiego and also their album “Dead End”, under the name “Sandra Hohn”. Along with the Sunset Gang, she backed up Yamamoto Sho using the name “Sandra A Horn” in early 1980.
1980 Alfa Records Japan LP: ALR-28002, cd: ALCA-296, ALCA 9109
Another Hosono production featuring YMO on most (if not all) tracks. Alive and Love Sick sound more like The Sunsetz on their own. Drip Dry Eyes was later re-recorded by Takahashi and in 1993 was re-issued in an "unplugged" man ner as a duet with Sandii. The cut here is a long version with an extra verse. Another duet version appeared on Takahashi's Time & Place live album. An edit appears on Sandii's Viva Liva Lava compilation LP. Zoot Kook is the real cracker here - a real indic ation of the YMO sound on BGM. Shantith and Oinori are experimental numbers using ethnic music, pointing towards the sound of the Sunsetz on Heat Scale and Immigrants. This originally had a sleeve showing Sandii wearing a basqu e made from vegetables, but was replaced with a photo of her in a leopardskin swimsuit.
Sandii lists this on her bio as her solo album debut. Mosdell, Matsutake, Omura also contribute. I don't know what the deal is, but the CD is very hard to find. I wound up with a used copy from 1988 when I went searching real hard with some friends help in 1997-8.
PR: According to the lady herself, Hosono gave Sandii the extra "i" in her name to suggest her Hawaiian connections.Love Sick/Eating Pleasure Japanese 7"
A rather unusual choice for a single: the two weakest tracks from the album!
CBS (UK) lp: ALF 85642, Euro lp: ALF-85842, Australia also
There are some differences in packaging too - the Japanese album has a gatefold insert and a colour glossy print, the UK pressing has nothing and the Euro pressing has a different font on the outer sleeve and an inner sleeve with lyrics. Hosono plays on and produces this album.
This was issued under the name Sandii & The Sunsetz in the West and the name stuck.
Clearly the non-Japanese versions incorporate the best of Eating Plaesure in some manner.
UK and Overseas Sire lp: 250004-1
Executive produced by HH & YT. David Sylvian writes lyrics for 3 tracks and sings on 2. YT sings and plays on a track HH and Matsutake appear also. A good one.
UK 7" pic cover: Sire SAND1 (Sire 7-259843 in Australia)
UK 7" picture disc (that swimsuit shot again!) SAND1P
UK 12" SAND1T, which also has a bonus track, Junjirogeh. This 12" is an excellent quality pressing by the way.
1984.5.25 Alfa/YEN lp:YLR-28017, cd: 32XA-233, ALCA-299, ALCA-9112 (current), Sire lp: (Holland) 925 167-1 (Australia) 250377-1
More of a rarities collection than a Best Of, this is not their best by any means.
the Australian version may contain IdolEra and
Sticky Music (French Remix) appears on the YEN memorial album.
the drum tracks are processed in a very advanced manner on this remix. very slick and different overall.
it went top 20. in the UK and Australia. We don't know the UK cat#
(*) 1996 Alfa 2 CDs ALCA 5109/10, ALCA -1301(?)
I can't comment on this since I have never heard it. I'm not sure if Sakamoto actually plays. Ryuichi sent a tape of the song "Rachel" to David Sylvian to write lyrics for Sandii but he sent over "This Is Not Enough" for the next album instead.
There is also a 7"with Private Moon on the flip side.
1986 Eastworld/Toshiba EMI lp: WTP-90401 Also released in Austrailia as Banzai Baby. cd: CA32-1251
Excellent album - every track a winner. This is their best album as Sandii & The Sunsetz. The best number, though, is probably the Hosono one, which still packs a real punch today. Battery was issued as a single in Japan and the promo clip was shown on Channel 4 in the UK.
The Japanese Battery single had an English language version on the B side
(*)1987 Toshiba EMI CD: CA32-1444
The Sunsetz begin to get more interested in reggae and dub here. They played Sunsplash in Jamaica for a few years and had a single released exclusively there (but the tracks turned up on this CD re-issue). A patchy album. Kiss Like Sherlock Holmes is a pretty dire rock number but it does have a verse about YMO!! Sly & Robbie play on most tracks.
(@)1988 Toshiba EMI LP: RT28-5248, CD: CT32-5248
When I first got this I was really dissappointed, but it is a definite grower. The Sunsetz sound really Jamaican by now, but there are more synths than on Rhythm Chemistry, and Hosono makes welcome appearances on Make Believe and TheKisser.
(*) No No No / Make Believe - 7", cd3
(*) Le Soleil en Pleur / Cipher (An-Go) - 7", cd3
Superb. Excellent. Magnificent. A brilliant pop album that mixes world, reggae and techno musics to great effect. A real success and Sandii has never sung better. This album, if it had been released worldwide, would have made Sandii an international star. This is the first album to feature Dick Lee prominently and it is produced by Makoto Kubota. There are two important cover versions: Sukiyaki is the Kyu Sakamoto song and the Apple Song Medley is a number performed by Akiko Yano on her second LP. From this album onwards Sandii and Makoto began to work with musicians from Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and India. You could say the overall sound is Bhangra (British Asian pop, now exported back to India) and Sandii has made inroads into the Asian pop scene.
Paul seems to have an LP or shorter version because the track listing I have has several additional tracks (listed above).
historical note: Kyu Sakamoto's Sukiyaki was the only hit single ever by a Japanese artist in the U.S. (back in the early 1960s)
Mercy was a success and this was the interim release while Sandii & Makoto prepared the next LP. The first track is excellent, but the remixes aren't as good as the originals and the "rare" tracks are a bit weak and underproduced. As a budget priced item it's OK. The Major Force mixes are by Toshi Nakanishi and Kudo.
(@) Suriram c/w Te Cherir A Jamais 12"
part of the Alfa series that remixes old tracks by international techno remixers. The EP opens and closes with a long sample from Hosono's Philharmony. More interesting than many of the other "In the 90s" remixes.
Another excellent album, following a similar formula and mix of styles to Mercy. The Pacifica medley is based around Hawaiian traditional songs with a Dick Lee chorus. Light My Fire is the Doors song given an Indian feel. The version on the next disc is a different recording. Stop Me Now samples Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot and is a witty song with English lyrics and a joyous yet tragic feel. Maybe Sandii is coming across a bit like an Asian Gloria Estefan.
Also known as Airmata. Covers of Indonesian songs. Sounds kind of like a night club. (Info from Ron Kane.)
Inagurates their indy label- Sushi
16 TRACKS. The exclusive tracks are:
Also known as VERY BEST OF SANDII. A good compilation that mostly concentrates on Mercy and Pacifica. Most of the best tracks are here. Some are remixes from Come Again.
94.1.21 Epic/Sony CD: ESCB-1467
(*)1994 Epic/Sony CD: (Taiwan)SMD 8028
info from: H.Matsubara/Sandii's Web Club
Sandii Suzuki Dream Catcher (Di Sini)
(*)Epic/Sony CD: (Malaysia) ESCD 1467
info from: H.Matsubara/Sandii's Web Club
Another excellent CD mixing Asian and Western pop to
great effect. Several rappers appear. The team behind Sandii is still Makoto and
The Sunsetz though they let guest musicians in to add some different textures.
This one is probably more Asian than the last few, and it has more dance beats.
Hosono guests on the title track. Monday Michiru Akiyoshi rap on From Your Love
(*)HAI HAI HAI (SINGLE EDIT.) / Every Day (Ragga Mix) ESDB 3432 cd3
(*)Dream Catcher / Every Day 94.05.21 ESDB 3478 cd3
(*) Dream Catcher / Hai Hai Hai UK single on File Records
(*) SEASIDE BOUND 94.8.21 ESDB 3518 cd3
1. SEASIDE BOUND
2. Every Day (Malay version) *duet with Aishah
3. Seringgit Si Dua Kupang
Remixes from Dream Catcher. 6 tracks - Remixers are: Ray Hayden (x2), Sly Dunbar, H.I.T., Bally Sagoo, Towa Tei & Satoshi Tomiie who seem to represent both New York and Tokyo given the cities listed on the front (the others being London, Kingston and Birmingham)
Seems to be the last proper album with the Sunsetz ?
Charles & Natalia Lehmann write: Quite a stylistic jaunt from the pop sounds of Dream Catcher. A more "mature" sounding set of jazzy songs with an acoustical, world-beat type flavor delivered by numerable guest musicians with European / S. American sounding names. Absolutely no rap on this disc.
(*) Life - There Is Nothing Higher Than Your Life / (Instrumental) 1995 CD3
(*) 1996 Sushi-2
also exists overseas as cat# Bomba SUSHI H1
contains Sandii track Sukiyaki and a fun home video Quicktime clip of Sandii singing acapella in the CD-ROM section.
(*) 1997 SUSHI-3
By Sandii, M. Kubota, Y. Yamaucji, I. Hirama
As the name implies. Well done and relaxing.
(*) 1998 SUSHI-06
(*) Taboo Disc TAB-801 U.S.A
This might be an American collection from the Sandii Hawai'i albums
(@) 99.9.25 cd: ESCB-2040 lp: SYUM 126_LP
Haruomi Hosono and Makoto Kubota seem to have done a back to basics blues thing. Recorded at least in part in San Francisco, Garth Hudson, Jim Keltner are mentioned guests. Sandii drops in for an Hawaiian track. Must have been a wet detour if they were on the Road to Louisiana :-)
Sandii with THE COCONUT CUPS
(*) 1999 cd: XYCA-40
Sandii with THE COCONUT CUPS
ALOHA GROOVIN' Remixes
(*) 2000 cd: XYCA-47
featuring Lune Paolo
THE VERY BEST OF SANDII'S HAWAI'I
Jazztronik feat. Sandii
I think this was reissued in 2004
(*) 03.07.16 cd: PCCA-1920
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