ARE 38404 Left Handed Dream
Produced and arranged by Riuichi Sakamoto
Co-produced by Robin Scott
Released on 1981
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
ARE 38404 cover  

H ere’s a riddle: What do Riuichi Sakamoto, Robin Scott and Adrian Belew have in common? No, really, tell me, because I still don’t have a clue. I think I get Sakamoto and his east/west amalgam, I know what Belew is doing here (session guitarilla), but Robin Scott? (For those of you not old enough to remember, or who’ve undergone hypnotherapy to purge the memory, Robin Scott was responsible for M, the man/band that gave us “Pop Muzik,” or the “Mmmbop” of 1979.) My worst fears for this collaboration were immediately realized with “Just About Enough,” which was actually more than I could stand. But I reminded myself that Sakamoto was a serious composer, Belew an accomplished accomplice, and braced myself for more music. Luckily for me, nothing else on Left Handed Dream was nearly as awful, and a couple of the songs actually deliver on the upside of a Sakamoto/Scott sandwich. “The Arrangement” is an interesting English nightmare, while “The Left Bank” is sophisticated dance pop. The remainder of the record is a Sakamoto solo set, ranging from captivating Kraftwerkian constructs (“Kachakuchanee”) to atmospheric compositions (“The Garden of Poppies”). Not being too familiar with the work of Sakamoto, I found myself often leaning on the music of Mike Oldfield to put works like “Once in a Lifetime” into context. I wouldn’t recommend Left Handed Dream, however. Instrumental composers like Sakamoto often come off as pedestrian when they venture into commercial/lyrical terrain, and that’s certainly the case here. Belew Meanies can opt out too, since there’s nothing here you won’t find in spades on Discipline, Beat or Three of a Perfect Pair. As for Robin Scott fans, well, I’d save the money for hypnotherapy. Note that the Dutch release of Left-Handed Dream features a bonus 12-inch record with extra tracks as well as radically different track placement. If you’ve got the money and the inclination, I’d go Dutch on this one.

ARE 38404 back cover
ARE 38404 back cover

TRACK LISTING

    US track listing
  1. JUST ABOUT ENOUGH    (words: Robin Scott/Nick Plytas; music: Riuichi Sakamoto/Robin Scott/Adrian Belew)    4:34
  2. THE LEFT BANK    (words: Robin Scott; music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    4:22
  3. SLAT DANCE    (music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    2:48
  4. SARU TO YUKI TO GOMI NO KODOMO    (words: Shigesato Itoi; music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    5:07
  5. KACHAKUCHANEE    (words: Akiko Yano; music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    4:19
  6. THE ARRANGEMENT    (words: Nick Plytas; music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    4:48
  7. ONCE IN A LIFETIME    (words: Robin Scott; music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    4:53
  8. THE GARDEN OF POPPIES    (music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    5:36
  9. BOKU NO KAKERA    (words: Shigesato Itoi; music: Riuichi Sakamoto)    4:00

    NET track listing (incl. bonus tracks)
  10. TELL 'EM TO ME
  11. LIVING IN THE DARK
  12. SLAT DANCE
  13. VENEZIA
  14. BOKU NO KAKERA (unsure of track placement)
  15. KACHAKUCHANEE (unsure of track placement)
  16. SARU TO YUKI TO GOMI NO KODOMO (unsure of track placement)
  17. THE GARDEN OF POPPIES
  18. RELACHE
  19. THE LEFT BANK
  20. THE ARRANGEMENT
  21. JUST ABOUT ENOUGH
  22. ONCE IN A LIFETIME

CREDITS

RIUICHI SAKAMOTO -- keyboards, bass, guitar, drums, percussion, marimba, syndrums, vocals, computer programming, mixing
ROBIN SCOTT -- vocals, mixing
ADRIAN BELEW -- guitar and angry animals
HARUOMI HOSONO -- bass guitar, percussion
SATOSHI NAKAMURA -- tenor sax
KENJI NAKAZAWA -- flugelhorn
BRIGIT NOVIC -- background vocals
KAORU SATO -- falnged violin
KIYOHIKO SEMBA -- percussion, marimba, syndrums, bird whistle
YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI -- drums
ROBIN THOMPSON -- soprano sax, bass clarinet, didjeridu, sho, hichiriki
Hideki Matsutake -- computer programming
Mitsuo Koike -- engineer, mixing
Mark Dearnley -- engineer
Ashley Howe -- engineer

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
JPN 1981 Alfa LP ALR 28025 insert
NET 1981 Plexus LPX KMH 709226 w. bonus 12-inch record, lyric sleeve,
see NET track listing
US 1982 Epic LP/CS ARE 38404  
UK 1982 Epic LP 25109  

 

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