Eiichi Ohtaki

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Eiichi Ohtaki
Eiichi Ohtaki.png
Eiichi Ohtaki in 1981 promoting A Long Vacation.
Background information
Birth name Eiichi Ohtaki (大瀧 榮一)
Also known as
  • Eiichi Ohtaki (大滝 詠一)
  • Eiichi Ohtaki (大瀧 詠一)
Born (1948-07-28)July 28, 1948
Esashi District, Japan
Died December 30, 2013(2013-12-30) (aged 65)
Tokyo, Japan
Years active 1969–2013
Associated acts Happy End
Website http://www.fussa45.net

Eiichi Ohtaki (July 28, 1948 – December 30, 2013) was a Japanese musician, songwriter and record producer. He first became known as a member of the rock band Happy End, but was better known for his solo work. In 2003, Ohtaki was ranked by HMV Japan at number 9 on their list of the 100 most important Japanese pop acts.[2]

Ohtaki used three different ways to spell his name in Japanese, all pronounced the same way. Born as Eiichi Ohtaki (Japanese: 大瀧 榮一, Hepburn: Ōtaki Eiichi?),[3] he used the characters 大瀧 詠一 to spell his name in songwriting credits, and 大滝 詠一 as a singer.[2]


Ohtaki was born in Esashi District, in what is now part of Ōshū. Before joining Happy End, Ohtaki was guitarist in a group called Taboo with future Blues Creation singer Fumio Nunoya.[4] Happy End produced three albums before officially disbanding on New Year's Eve 1972. Ohtaki had already released his first self-titled solo album back in November.

He produced the rock band Sugar Babe, and continued to produce its members Taeko Onuki and Tatsuro Yamashita after the group's break up.[5] Their only album Songs was the first release on Ohtaki's record label Niagara Records in 1975.[2]

Ohtaki, Yamashita and brief Sugar Babe member Ginji Ito released an album titled Niagara Triangle Vol. 1 in 1976. The collaboration was cited by MTV as one of the six Japanese supergroups that changed the history of Japanese music.[6] Six years later Ohtaki released Niagara Triangle Vol. 2 in 1982, this time collaborating with Motoharu Sano and Masamichi Sugi.[7]

Ohtaki's 1981 solo album A Long Vacation is particularly well-known and highly acclaimed. It was one of the first albums to be issued on CD,[8] was named "Best Album" at the 23rd Japan Record Awards,[9] certified double platinum by the RIAJ and has been re-released in 20th anniversary and 30th anniversary editions. In 2007, it was named the 7th greatest Japanese rock album of all time by Rolling Stone Japan; the list was topped by Happy End's Kazemachi Roman.[10]

Following his 1984 album Each Time and 1985 single "Fjord Girl" (フィヨルドの少女), Ohtaki largely retired from activities as a solo artist. Instead he focused on composing for and producing other acts. In 1997, he released the single "Shiawase na Ketsumatsu" (幸せな結末), which was used as the theme song for the TV drama Love Generation and sold over a million copies.[11] The single "Koisuru Futari" (恋するふたり) was released in 2003 and used as the theme song for Tokyo Love Cinema.


After choking on an apple and collapsing in his Tokyo home at 5 p.m. on December 30, 2013, Ohtaki was rushed to a hospital but died shortly afterwards.[12][13] His official cause of death was a dissecting aneurysm.[14]

Ohtaki was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 56th Japan Record Awards in 2014.[15] In March 2016, an album of previously unreleased material titled Debut Again was released posthumously. Referred to as hist first album in 32 years, it features Ohtaki singing songs that he composed but which were originally released by other artists.[16]


Studio albums
  • Eiichi Ohtaki (大瀧詠一, 1972)
  • Niagara Moon (1975)
  • Go! Go! Niagara (1976)
  • Niagara Calendar (1977)
  • Let's Ondo Again (1978) credited to "Niagara Fallin' Stars"
  • A Long Vacation (1981)
  • Each Time (1984)
  • Debut Again (2016)
Niagara Triangle albums


  1. ^ "City pop revival is literally a trend in name only". The Japan Times. 2015-07-05. Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Top 100 Japanese pops Artists - No.9". HMV Japan (in Japanese). 2003-11-22. Retrieved 2016-01-13. 
  3. ^ "大滝さん 提供楽曲は軒並みヒット「風立ちぬ」「冬のリヴィエラ」「熱き心に」". Sponichi (in Japanese). 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  4. ^ "Blues Creation". Japrocksampler. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  5. ^ "Happy End's Eiichi Ohtaki Dies at 65". Exclaim!. 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  6. ^ "6 Japanese Super Groups That are Changing J-music History". MTV81. 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  7. ^ "NIAGARA TRIANGLE Vol.2 Anniversary Edition". CD Japan. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  8. ^ "大瀧詠一さん、CDアルバム16年ぶりチャートイン". Sponichi (in Japanese). 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  9. ^ "第23回 日本レコード大賞". Japan Record Awards (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  10. ^ "Finally! "The 100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time" Listed". Exclaim!. 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  11. ^ "大滝詠一さんが急死、65歳 解離性動脈瘤で ドラマ主題歌「幸せな結末」がミリオンセラー". The Huffington Post (in Japanese). 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  12. ^ "大滝詠一さん急死 リンゴのどに詰まらせ(tr: Otaki Eiichi's Sudden Death, Chokes on Apple)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2013-12-31. 
  13. ^ "ミュージシャンの大滝詠一さんが死去 (tr: Otaki Eiichi's musicians death)". NHK (in Japanese). 2013-12-31. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. 
  14. ^ "Singer-songwriter Eiichi Ohtaki dies after collapsing at home". Japan Today. 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  15. ^ "大滝詠一、貴重なナイアガラ音源満載の12枚組BOX全楽曲を発表". Natalie (in Japanese). 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  16. ^ "大滝詠一さん"新作"ジャケ写公開 38年ぶり本人写真使用". Oricon (in Japanese). 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 

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