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Japanese two-disc set. The tracks were selected & edited by Ryuichi Sakamoto, & remastered by Ted Jensen. Contains two previously unpublished tracks ('Lover, Come Back to Me' with jazz singer Mari Nakamoto, & a bonus alternate version of 'Behind the Mask' written by Ryuichi Sakamoto - Seiko Quartz CM Version), 'M-16' (the outro theme to the movie 'Propaganda'), a stereo version of 'Hirake Kokoro', five non-album tracks, & singles from 'Technodon'. Packaged in a limited edition, deluxe double jewelcase w/slipcase. Sony. 2003.
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YMO is one of the early inventors of Technopop, and they have been a major influence on western music. Sakamoto-san in particular is an accomplished pianist and composer, and has won an Academy Award for music for The Last Emperor (which he also starred in). He has worked with many international musicians, especially David Sylvian and Japan. Takahashi-san is a great drummer, and Hosono-san is gifted on bass, and they too have extensive solo careers, but the three together are very tight and work well as a team. The live videos on youtube gave me a whole new appreciation for how well they play together live.
Collecting YMO is tricky, since there are different editions of albums of the same title with different track listings, and even different titles of essentially the same album (e.g. Solid State Survivor vs xoo Multiples, which are mostly the same album except for a few track differences). They have seven studio albums, several live albums, and several collections.
This collection is one of three produced at about the same time. As the other reviewer noted, this one was designed and overseen by Sakamoto-san. The other two collections that came out at the same time were designed and overseen by Takahashi-san and Hosono-san, the other two members of the band.
YMO's most popular albums are their first three, and this collection focuses most heavily on those. Most of the original Solid State Survivor is here, for example. BGM (my personal favorite) has a few tracks, but the album as a whole is great, so if you like the tracks presented here, check out the album.
The first CD opens with tracks that sound like they were meant to stream from one to the next, and they flow very nicely. I do wish the booklet was had English as well as Japanese versions of the commentary, but that's a minor complaint.
FYI: YMO was re-united for one night only for the Earth Live event from Japan (07/07/07). They were the last group to appear on stage in Japan and played the legendary 'Rydeen' with a new interpretation, which you can see on YouTube.