Chu Kosaka – ありがとう


This is quite possibly one of my favorite albums from the ‘70s. Chu Kosaka helped to define several eras of Japanese pop, from the seminal ‘60s group Apryl Fool, whose lone album found Kosaka alongside Haruomi Hosono (Happy End, Yellow Magic Orchestra), Hiro Yanagida (Food Brain), and Takashi Matsumoto (Happy End), to his later years exploring blues and soul on celebrated albums like Horo. Between that spread lies ありがとう (Arigato). The album exemplifies the movement, rooted in a folk and country influence pulled from the West, as perhaps most prominently displayed on the compilation Even A Tree Can Shed Tears from Light in the Attic. Kosaka is glaringly absent from that collection, but any song from Arigato would fit right in among its roster.

The album is steeped in a resigned strain of country rock that’s flawlessly recorded and imbued with Kosaka’s smoke-curl cool and bittersweet soul. The record finds quite a few members of the Fool working their way into the ranks, creating an album of nuanced country just a few years after their collective psychedelic masterpiece. Kosaka’s hangdog vocals and the stunning guitar work from Kimio Mizutani and Shigeru Suzuki solidify the album as a true classic. It’s fragile, bruised, and vulnerable. Were it not for a language barrier, this album should have taken its place alongside records from Townes, Crosby, Neil, or Hardin in the same era. The record has been reissued, but in arguably scant quantities and it’s not well distributed outside of Japan. Still, it’s worth trying to track one down just to have this gem on the turntable. The record opens itself to endless listens, filled with joy, sorrow, love, and light.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top