Original album cover
 The Yellow Magic Orchestra were electronic pioneers just like Kraftwerk, Can and Tangerine Dream. They managed to inspire many bands like The Human League and Simple Minds. The band members are: Haruomi Hosono (bass, keyboards, vocals), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums, lead vocals) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, vocals). 
YMO in 1981 Takahashi/Sakamoto/Hosono
Hosono started his career in the band Happy End and when that band ended in 1972 he became evolved in the recording of several electronic albums for japanese artists. Sakamoto worked with Hosono during live performances of his live band in 1976. Yukihiro Takahashi recruited Sakamoto to produce his debut solo recording in 1977 following the split of the Sadistic Mika Band. Hosono invited both for the recording of his solo album "Paraiso" to be released in 1978. Then again in 1978 the three worked on the next solo album from Hosono titled "Pacific" which included an early version of the song "Cosmic Surfin" that ended up on the debut album of the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Later in 1978 Sakamoto released his first solo album titled "Thousand Knives Of Ryuichi Sakamoto". Hosono contributed his skills on the title song of that album.
Back of the album cover
After working so much together they started their band and the debut album was a mixture of exotic songs and computer games inspired songs. "Firecracker (aka Computer Game)" became a hit in Europe and the US. "Behind the Mask" which YMO had first produced in 1978 for a Seiko quartz wristwatch commercial was released as a single and ended on the second album titled "Solid State Survivor" only to be released in Japan at that time. The song was later recorded by Michael Jackson with new lyrics and was intended to be included on his album "Thriller". Despite the approval of Sakamoto and Chris Mosdell who wrote the original lyrics it was not released on "Thriller" because of legal issues with YMO's management. By 1980 YMO became the most famous band in and from Japan until 1982. The third album was "X∞Multiplies" and was made up from songs, instrumental and comedy sketches. Worldwide the album was released without the sketches and combined with 4 songs from the Japanese album "Solid State Survivor". Then the band changed their music style and becoming more mature with their 1981 album "BGM (Back Ground Music)".
Taiso - single cover
That style further evolved on the next album also from 1981 titled "Technodelic". It is considered to be the first album in history including loops and samples. The songs are sometimes strange and particulary the last 2 instrumentals sound like movie soundtracks. "Key" is more in their earlier style. "Seoul Music" is the only weak song on the album. "Neue Tanz" is just as groundbreaking compared to Kraftwerk's "Boing Boom Tschak" (which came out five years later). "Pure Jam" has an infectious melody and the best one is the atmospheric "Gradated Grey". In all songs you can hear traditional asian sounds in electronic style. The same quality could be heared on Sakamoto’s second solo album “B2 Unit”. After the release of "Technodelic" Sakamoto and YMO became involved in working with other international artists like the band Japan and in 1983 Sakamoto appeared in the movie "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" together with David Bowie.

This is definitely the most impressive work they have made in their career.
YMO together with Japan
Sakamoto together with David Bowie in "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence"
Pure Jam / Neue Tanz / Stairs / Seoul Music / Light In The Darkness / Taiso / Gradated Grey / Key / Prologue / Epilogue
Pure Jam
Gradated Grey

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