Artisan (album)

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Artisan tatsuroyamashita.jpg
Studio album by Tatsuro Yamashita
Released June 18, 1991
Genre Japanese pop
Length 44:08
Label MMG/Moon Records, Warner Music Japan
Producer Tatsuro Yamashita
Tatsuro Yamashita chronology
Joy: Tatsuro Yamashita Live
Season's Greetings

Artisan is the studio album recorded by a Japanese singer-songwriter Tatsuro Yamashita. It was released in June 1991, led by a string of hit singles he produced.

One of them, "Endless Game" was featured as the theme for a TV drama Yūwaku aired on TBS in 1990. It was released as a single in April 1990, and became his third top-5 hit as a performer on the Japanese Oricon singles chart. Also in the same year, Yamashita contributed a song "Without You" for Debbie Gibson, which was issued as a Japan-only single and the bonus disc for Japanese edition of her third album Anything is Possible. Yamashita rewrote the song and recorded by himself, under the title "Sayonara Natsu no Hi". His rendition of the song was released as the second lead single for Artisan in May 1991. It gained a similar commercial success to its predecessor, though it couldn't reach the top-ten on the chart.

The lead-off track of Artisan is a song dedicated to the late Osamu Tezuka, a Japanese cartoonist who deceased in 1989 ("Atom" is a protagonist for Astro Boy, one of Tezuka's most prominent works). In 1992, it was released as the fourth single from the album. He also sings of a painting Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway by J. M. W. Turner on the third track entitled "Turner's Steamroller" which similarly became a single. Fifth track of the album is a cover version of "New York is a Lonely Town", a song written by Anders/Poncia and recorded by their group The Trade Winds. Yamashita interpreted the mid-1960s U.S. top-40 charting hit, slightly changing the part of the lyrics. On the eighth track, Yamashita's spouse Mariya Takeuchi wrote the lyrics to his composition. Aside from "Mighty Smile", the couple wrote three songs together for Masayuki Suzuki's second solo album Radio Days in 1988. [1] Among them, Yamashita recorded "Misty Mauve" for Artisan, although it was not released until 2002 on his Rarities album.[2] The closing track of Artisan is a cover version of The Young Rascals' 1967 U.S. number-one hit.[3] It has been also the ending theme for Sunday Songbook, a weekly radio program that Yamashita has hosted since 1992.

Artisan became his first album that was not released on LP. Like his 1989 live album Joy, illustration for a front cover of Artisan was drawn by Andre Miripolsky, who painted a cover art of Bette Midler's 1983 No Frills album. It debuted at the #1 on the Oricon, and spent 20 weeks on chart with sales of over 700,000 copies in total. In December 1991, the album won the 33rd Japan Record Awards for "Best Pop/Rock Album" and "Excellent Albums" prizes.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Tatsuro Yamashita, except where indicated

  1. "Atom no Ko (アトムの子, Atomu no Ko?)" - 4:26
  2. "Sayonara Natsu no Hi (さよなら夏の日?)" - 4:36
  3. "Turner no Kikansha (ターナーの汽罐車, Tānā no Kikansha?) -Turner's Steamroller-" - 4:34
  4. "Kataomoi (片想い?)" - 4:39
  5. "Tokyo's a Lonely Town" (Vincent Poncia Jr., Pete Andreoli, lyrics adaptations by Yamashita) - 2:41
  6. "Human (飛遊人, Hyūman?)" - 1:48
  7. "Splender" - 5:25
  8. "Mighty Smile (Mahou no Hohoemi (魔法の微笑み?))" (Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi) - 3:14
  9. " "Queen of Hype" Blues" - 5:15
  10. "Endless Game" - 4:10
  11. "Groovin'" (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 3:20



Japan Record Awards
Year Title Category Winner
1991 (33rd) Artisan[4] Best Pop/Rock Album Tatsuro Yamashita
Excellent Albums

Chart positions[edit]


Year Album Chart Position Weeks[5] Sales[6] RIAJ Certification
1991 Artisan Japanese Oricon Weekly Albums Chart (top 100) 1 20 710,000+ 3× Platinum


Year Single B-Side (or Double A-Side) Chart Position[7] Weeks Sales RIAJ Certification
1990 "Endless Game" "The Theme from Big Wave" [Live version] Japanese Oricon Weekly (top 100) 5 17 180,000 Platinum
1991 "Sayonara Natsu no Hi" "Morning Shine" 12 20 185,000 Platinum
"Turner's Steamroller" "Only with You" [Live version] 30 7 38,000
1992 "Atom no Ko" "Blow" 18 11 95,000 Gold
1998 "Blow" [Remix] 88 1 2,000

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog number
Japan June 18, 1991 MMG/Moon CD AMCM-4100
June 2, 1999 Warner/Moon WPCV-10026


  1. ^ 鈴木雅之 Radio Days - goo 音楽 "track listing of the album Radio Days by Masayuki Suzuki" Check |url= value (help). (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  2. ^ Rarities (CD sleevenotes). Tatsuro Yamashita. Warner/Moon Records. 2002. 
  3. ^ "allmusic ((( Groovin' > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  4. ^ a b "History of the Japan Record Awards - List of the 33rd Award Winners" (in Japanese). Archived from Japan Composer's Association the original Check |url= value (help) on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  5. ^ 山下達郎-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "(Highest position and charting weeks)" Check |url= value (help). (in Japanese). Original Confidence. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  6. ^ Yamachan Land (Japan's charts archives) - Albums Chart Daijiten - "Tatsuro Yamashita" Check |url= value (help) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  7. ^ Yamachan Land (Japan's charts archives) - Singles Chart Daijiten - "Tatsuro Yamashita" Check |url= value (help) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
Preceded by
Scene II by Aska
Japanese Oricon Weekly Chart number-one album
June 25 - July 1, 1991 (one week)
Succeeded by
Washing by Mariko Nagai