Adult Contemporary Music in Japan

Monthly Recommended Discs Page

Many Adult Contemporary Music CDs are still being released every month. So, I would hereby show you Adult Contemporary Music CD New Releases ( also including Reissues) information as "Recommended Discs of The Month". I would highly recommend you to buy several albums by reading my personal reviews. In addition, I would also give you release information regarding other remarkable recent releases supported by one of the well-known on-line music stores "CD Now" and "Amazon.com" as "Noteworthy Discs of The Month".


 

Past CD review index
by Artist Name
 

Contents

 

 

Past Recommended Discs of The Month

February, 1996
March, 1996
April, 1996
May, 1996
June, 1996
July, 1996
August, 1996
September, 1996
October, 1996
November, 1996
December, 1996
January, 1997
February, 1997
March, 1997
April, 1997
May, 1997
June, 1997
July, 1997
August, 1997
September, 1997
October, 1997
November, 1997
December, 1997
January, 1998
February, 1998
March, 1998
April, 1998
May, 1998
June, 1998
July, 1998
August, 1998
September, 1998
October, 1998
November, 1998
December, 1998
January, 1999
February, 1999
March, 1999
April, 1999
May, 1999
June, 1999
July, 1999
August, 1999
September, 1999
October, 1999
November, 1999
December, 1999
Jan/Feb., 2000
March, 2000
April, 2000
May, 2000
June, 2000
July, 2000
August, 2000
September, 2000
October, 2000
November, 2000
December, 2000
January, 2001
February, 2001
Apr/May, 2001
May/June, 2001
July/August, 2001

September, 2001

Oct/Nov., 2001

Dec 01 /Jan, 02

         
 

 


RECOMMENDED DISCS OF May, June 2002


NEW RELEASES

 

AMBROSIA / LIVE AT THE GALAXY

<ACM Rating: >
 

Ambrosia, they keep on rolling almost over 30 years when the group started to perform on the stage. This would be the first Ambrosia "Live" CD recorded September 1, 2001 in Santa Ana, CA at the Galaxy Theater and be the first new release since their best collection CD with three new tracks "Anthology" in 1997. You can listen to 9 tunes live versions appeared on their "Anthology" CD; "Nice, Nice , Very Nice", "You're The Only Woman", "How Much I Feel", "Biggest Part Of Me" and so on. In addition to those, a famous Beatles song "Magical Mystery Tour" is covered by Ambrosia. Please note that "In My Life" on this "Live" CD is not another Beatles tunes but the original song done by Tollak Ollestad which has been already included in Tollak's solo CD "Northern Lights" (2000). You may worry about David Pack's absence. I can give full guarantee about this, Shem Schneck fully fill this gap and sometimes sings rather better than David. Actually I saw their live performance without David Pack due to sickness at Disneyland Paris in the fall of 1997 and I was very much surprised to see how wonderful Shem sings "Biggest Part Of Me". And I am convinced again that Shem is really great by listening to this "Live" CD.

 
    • Label: Coach House Records, Inc., USA (CHCD1004)
    • Release Date: May 18, 2002
    • Producers:Ryan Hafer and themselves
    • Ambrosia is:
      • Joe Puerta: Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
      • Burleigh Drummond: Drums, Vocals
      • Christopher North: Hammond B-3 Organ, Keyboards
      • Shem Schneck: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass
      • Tollak Ollestad: Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonica
      • Doug Jackson: Lead Guitar
Ambrosia / Live at the Galaxy

International Order

  • Tracks:
    1. Nice, Nice, Very Nice
    2. Livin' On My Own
    3. You're The Only Woman
    4. Mama Don't Understand
    5. Somewhere I've Never Traveled
    6. In My Life
    7. Time Waits For No One
    8. How Much I Feel
    9. Magical Mystery Tour
    10. Drink Of Water
    11. Holdin' On To Yesterday
    12. Biggest Part Of Me
 

Listen Before You Buy !

 

 

 


 

 

MECCA / MECCA

<ACM Rating: >
 

What is "Mecca"? " Mecca" is the new project featuring Two ex-TOTO members. Who involves? The answer is Fergie Frederiksen on lead vocals and David Hungate on bass. Please note that the Mecca recording session has been already done in Nashville and other places. You can get more detailed information at Mecca Official Homepage and also Mecca on Now &Then Productions website which you should check out now! At last but not least, please note that Japanese version of this awaited CD also includes a bonus track "Mischievous". Probably you will agree with my opinion that Mecca is the best project for Fergie before/after Toto days. Moreover, it is easily imaginable that many of you will keep the name of Joe Vana in your mind for waiting his future activity.

 
    • Label: Frontiers Records, Italy/ Now & Then Productions, UK<FRCD-110> (Japan: Marquee/Avalon<(MICP-10297>)
    • Release Date: April 22, 2002 (Europe), April 24, 2002 (Japan)
    • Producers: Jim Peterik, Larry Millars
    • Musicians:
      • Joe "JV" Vana: Lead Vocals
      • Fergie Frederiksen: Lead Vocals
      • Mike Aquino: Guitars
      • David Hungate: Bass
      • Shannon Forrest: Drums and Percussion
      • Jimmy Nichols: Keyboards
    • Additional Musicians:
      • Keyboards: Jim Peterik, Barb Unger
      • Background Vocals: Thom Griffin, John Melnick, Jim Peterik
Mecca / Mecca

 

International Order

 

Melody Blvd.

 

  • Tracks:
    1. Velocitized
    2. Without You
    3. Can't Stop Love
    4. Silence Of The Heart
    5. You Still Shock Me
    6. Mecca
    7. Wishing Well
    8. Close That Gap
    9. Blinded By Emotion
    10. Falling Down
    11. Mischievous <Japanese version bonus>

 

 


 

 

MICHAEL SEMBELLO / ANCIENT FUTURE (The Lost Years, Part 1)

<ACM Rating: >

Michael Sembello re-embarks now with his selected collection CD from his 90's solo projects "Caravan Of Dreams"(1992), "Backwards In Time" (1997) and "Bridge" project (1997) plus his biggest hit "Maniac" jazz version included in Randy Waldman's 3rd solo album "UnReel" (2001). In those era, Michael Sembello tried to be more multi-cultual and succeeded to merge such influences into his hyperacid Latin music style. Now, Michael Sembello has returned to his roots on the East Coast where it all began and we will see what he does there. Probably, the next project will be another different cornerstone of his musical journey. Based on my observation, most of the tracks on this CD are basically same as those original version, but some tracks must be differently edited for this CD; sometimes shorter, other times longer as shown below.

Song Title
Original Version
This CD Version
Heavy Weather
06:35
06:12
Too Much Bizarre
04:53
05:25
One Planet, One People
05:49
06:11(Jap), 06:04 (US)
Maniac
05:49
05:34
The Life Of My Broken Heart
05:12
05:51
You Can Never Go Home
05:06
05:56

 

    • Label: Legend Records, USA (LGD-0002)
    • Release Date: May, 2002
    • Michael Sembello: Producing, Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums
    • Additional Musicians:
      • Guitar: Edu Falcao, Michael O'Neil
      • Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta, Greg Bisonette, Raymond Pounds
      • Percussion: Humberto Hernandez
      • Keyboards: Greg Phillinganes
      • Piano: Randy Waldman
      • Bass: Nathan Watts, Alfred Rubalcava, John Patitucci
      • Sax: David Boruff
      • Trumpet: Gary Grant
      • Background Vocals: Edu Falcao, Gina Haley
Michael Sembello / Ancient Future

International Order

 

Michael Sembello's official web

Michael Sembello's official website
  • Tracks:
    1. Rub The Stone *
    2. Heavy Weather +
    3. Too Much Bizarre *
    4. One Planet, One People #
    5. Maniac ##
    6. Rocking Chair *
    7. Dangerous Questions *
    8. The Road To Lonely *
    9. The Life Of My Broken Heart *
    10. I Believe In You *
    11. You Can Never Go Home *
    12. Where Are We Now? +

     

    + : taken from the album "Caravan Of Dreams"

    * : taken from the album "Backwards In Time"

    # : taken from "The Bridge"

    ##:taken from Randy Waldman's album "UnReel"


 


 

THE ARNOLD McCULLER BAND / LIVE

<ACM Rating: >

Arnold McCuller is often described to be "a singer's singer", because of his rich distinctive tones enhancing the recordings and gigs of many top performers such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Linda Ronstadt, Phil Collins, Lionel Ritchie, Michael McDonald and James Taylor. However, you should note that Arnold also has released 4 studio recording solo albums; "A Part Of Me That's You"(1984), "Exception To The Rule"(1994),"You Can't Go Back" (1999) and "Back To Front" (2001). Arnold McCuller and his band recorded a Live 2 CD Set called “Live at The Baked Potato" on Feb 15, 2002.

    • Label: What's Good Records, USA (WGR-85003-2)
    • Release Date: May 28, 2002
    • The Arnold McCuller Band is:
      • Arnold McCuller: Lead Vocals
      • Brad Cole: Keyboards
      • Corky James: Guitar
      • Mel Brown: Bass
      • Toss Panos: Drums
      • Lamont VanHook: Backing Vocals
      • Fred White: Backing Vocals
Arnold McCuller / Live

International Order

 

Listen Before You Buy !

 

Listen Before You Buy !

 

  • Tracks:
  • Disc 1
    1. You Can't Go Back
    2. Baby King
    3. Love Is Healing
    4. First Of May
    5. When Did You Leave Heaven
    6. Close To Heaven
    7. Song For Silas
    8. Ought To Know By Now
    9. Lazy Nina
    10. The Goodbye Look
  • Disc 2
    1. Nick Of Time
    2. Paper Walls
    3. I Can't Make Your Love Me
    4. When Your Life Was Low
    5. Look Up From Your Life
    6. Give Me Something Real
    7. I Am A Camera
    8. I Thought About You
    9. Ain't That Peculiar
    10. You Can't Go Back
    11. My Funny Valentine
    12. Emily

 

 


  

BERNIE CHIARAVALLE / LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

<ACM Rating: >
 

Bernie Chiaravalle was born in San Francisco and grew up in San Rafael, CA. In 1985, Bernie moved to Los Angeles with the band called "Page One". Right after disbanding "Page One" in 1987, Chiaravalle sent his demos to David Pack of Ambrosia and this made big influence to his musical career. David Pack was telling Michael McDonald about him and started to work with Michael McDonald over the years. Thus, Bernie Chiaravalle got the opportunity to co-write 4 songs with Michael McDonald for the album "Blue Obsession" (2000). Following Michael McDonald, Bernie Chiaravalle moved to Nashville in 1998 and started to work with many talents living in the Music City including Larry Carlton for co-writting a beautiful ballad song called "Til I Hurt You" <featuring Michael McDonald> on Carton's album "Fingertips" (2000). You can also find him again as a co-writer of a song called "On The Night" when you listen to Michael McDonald's wonderful Christmas album "In The Spirit" (2001). Alongside those works as a songwriter and/or a session guitarist, Bernie released his own first solo album "Driven By Desire" in 1997, which revealed his hidden talent as a vocalist. His music reminds me of Julian Lennon, probably because of his voice. Now, Bernie would proudly present you his 2nd solo effort "Life As We Know It" featuring Michael McDonald and Amy Holland on harmony vocals. Worth listening to it.

 

  • Label: Bernoit Music, USA (CD Serial #: none)
  • Release Date: May, 2002
  • Producer: himself
  • Bernie Chiaravalle: Lead Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Percussion
  • Additional Musicians:
    • Michael McDonald: Harmony Vocals on (Track 4, 6)
    • Amy Holland: Harmony Vocals (Track 2)
    • Charles "Chaz" Frichtel: Background Vocals (Track 10)
    • Jon Goodwin: Background Vocals (Track 9)
    • Harry McCarthy: Drums (Track 2)
    • Tim Lorsch: Violins (Track 10)
Bernie Chiaravalle

 

International Order

 

Bernie Chiaravalle

Bernie Chiaravalle 's official website

 

  • Tracks:
    1. The Love You Want
    2. The Way To My Heart
    3. Two Good-byes Away
    4. You Alone
    5. Life As We Know It
    6. Where' You Runnin'
    7. Someday You Will
    8. The Way It Looks From Here
    9. Then Again, Maybe Not
    10. Only So Much
    11. My Only Chance

 

 

  


MISSING PIECES

 

LIONEL'S DAD / ONE MORE LIFETIME

<ACM Rating: >

Mark T. Williams has been touring over the years with well-known artists such as Don Henley, Cher, Air Supply, Eddie Money, Crosby Stills & Nash, Tina Tuner, Paul Rogers etc. In 1995, Mark started to release his own solo effort as Lionel's Dad, which shows not only his songwriting ability but also his vocal talent. His voice is very similar to his young brother, Joseph Williams. Since then, Mark managed to find out his time to record his materials and released 2 more solo albums; "Driving Music" (1998) and "In A Dream" (1999). Now, we have another one "One More Lifetime" here. Mark already started his next solo effort which will probably be released as the album "Break The Normal" near future.

    • Label: Andromeda Discs, USA (AND044)
    • Release Date: March, 2002
    • Producer: Mark T. Williams
    • Lionel's Dad = Mark T. Williams: Drums, Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Cornet/Trumpet, Charrango/Mandolin, Alto Recorder
    • Additional Musicians:
      • Bass: Larry Antonino
      • Backing Vocals: Lionel Williams, Jesse Compagna, Larry Antonino, Jed Moss, Rex Wheeler, Diane Adams, Clifford Rehrig
Lionels Dad / One More Lifetime
International Order

Andromeda Discs

  • Tracks:
    1. Creepy Little Meeting
    2. So You Say
    3. One More Lifetime
    4. Hold On
    5. We Had It All
    6. Used Up All My Chances
    7. Three Days
    8. What's Left Of Me
    9. There's Something About You
    10. Two Lonely Souls
    11. Stay The Same
    12. Sun It The Sky
    13. One Moment

 

 

 


 

REISSUES

 

THE JOE CHEMAY BAND / THE RIPPER THE FINER

<ACM Rating: >

Joe Chemay is one of well-known bass player / background singer for his versatile recording session works with big names including Elton John, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd (for the famous album "The Wall") in late 70's and early 80's. More recently, we can still find his name on many albums such as Shania Twain's smash hit album "Come On Over" (1999) and so on. Alongside busy studio session works, Joe formed his own band and recorded their own album in 1980. As the Joe Chemay Band, they got a deal with Unicorn Records, minor label distributed by MCA. Thus "The Ripper The Finer" was released early 1981 in the States, from which 1st single "Proud" was running up the pop chart and ranked #68 at the highest in March 1981.

    • Label: Victor Entertainment, Inc., Japan (VICP^61842) (Original Label: Unicorn Records, USA)
    • Release Date: April 24, 2002 (Original Release Year: 1981)
    • Producers: Joe Chemay, John Guess
    • The Joe Chemay Band are:
      • Joe Chemay: Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Background Vocals
      • John Hobbs: Acoustic Piano, Fender Rhodes, Synthesizer
      • Billy Walker: Electric and Acoustic Guitar
      • Mike Meros: Organ, Clavinet
      • Paul Leim: Drums, Percussion
      • Louis Conte: Percussion
      • Maxine Waters: Background Vocals
      • Julia Waters: Background Vocals
The Joe Chemay Band / The Ripper The Finer
International Order

 

Melody Blvd.

GEMM is your best source for impossible-to-find music!
Cruisin' Music at GEMM

 

Orignal US Version Jacket

 

This is the original US version LP jacket, which might be more familiar to you. When this album was originally released here in Japan, the jacket was replaced with the same artworks used for the reissued CD version of this time. Please note that you can find the original LP version artworks on the backside of the reissued CD booklet.

 

 

 

  • Tracks:
    1. Bad Enough
    2. Proud
    3. Once In A Life
    4. A Fine Line
    5. You Saw Me Coming
    6. Love Is A Crazy Feeling
    7. Holy Thunder
    8. One Needs Another
    9. Never Gonna Let You Go

 

 


 

 

FRANKIE BLEU / WHO'S FOOLIN' WHO?

<ACM Rating: >

It was 1975 that Frank Butoraci started his professional music career with the band Gabriel in Seattle. Gabriel released 2 albums for ABC Records; "This Star On Every Heel" (1975) / "Sweet Release" (1976) and then "Gabriel" (1978) for Epic Records followed. The band broke up without success except "Martha" from their 3rd album appeared #73 on the US chart. Thus, Frank sought for next step and contacted with his old fellow Joe Chemay. And as a result, the album "Who's Foolin' Who" was recorded with all the members of The Joe Chemay Band. And this album was released in 1982 as Frankie Bleu not Frank Butoraci. You will be satisfied with this album featuring excellent West Coast / AOR tracks such as "Who's Foolin' Who" and "Just For You". Enjoy the good 80's West Coast / AOR album now!

    • Label: Victor Entertainment, Inc., Japan (VICP-61841) (Original Label: Unicorn Records, USA)
    • Release Date: April 24, 2002 (Original Release Year: 1982)
    • Producers: Joe Chemay, Daphna Edwards
    • Musicians:
      • Guitars: Billy Walker
      • Bass: Joe Chemay
      • Keyboards: John Hobbs, Mike Meros
      • Drums: Paul Leim
      • Percussion: Luis & Wooody Conte
      • Sax: Joel Peskin
      • Background Vocals: Joe Chemay, The Waters
Frankie Bleu / Who's Foolin' Who?
International Order

 

Melody Blvd.

GEMM is your best source for impossible-to-find music!
Cruisin' Music at GEMM

 

Orignal US Version Jacket

 

This is the original US version LP jacket, which might be more familiar to you. When this album was originally released here in Japan, the jacket was replaced with the same artworks used for the reissued CD version of this time. Please note that you can find the original LP version artworks on the backside of the reissued CD booklet.

  • Tracks:
    1. Baby Don't Stop
    2. Who's Foolin' Who?
    3. Just For You (Suzanne's Song)
    4. Where Would I Be Now?
    5. Get Away
    6. I'm Waiting For Your Love
    7. Take Your Time (Vanessa's Song)
    8. You Never Ever Call Me Baby
    9. Baby We're Alive

 

 

 


 

CAROLE BAYER SAGER / SOMETIMES LATE AT NIGHT

<ACM Rating: >

Probably you are worrying whether the Japanese reissued CD version of this Carole Bayer Sager's 3rd album "Sometimes Late At Night" (1981) is the different remastered version without any sound defect. The answer is "Yes". This time you can get at last its perfect Japanese version totally different from US reissued CD which was literally terrible defects as bellow;
  1. Sound defect on track 12 "You Don't Know Me": lacking several tones 2 times (around 3 min 10 sec and 3 min 12 sec).
  2. Musicians credit was not accurate: Jay Graydon and some other names were deleted.
  3. Tracklisting on the jacket is not accurate: Track 5 "On The Way To The Sky" was missing.
All the problem are now solved. No defects anymore on the Japanese version. Please send your best regards to due diligence of Victor Entertainment, Japan!

  • Label: Victor Entertainment, Inc. Japan (VICP-61840) (Original Label: Boardwalk Music, USA)
  • Release Date: April 24, 2002 (Original Release: 1981)
  • Producers: Burt Bacharach, Brooks Arthur
  • Musicians:
    • Drums: Jeff Porcaro, Jim Keltner, Dennis St. John
    • Bass: Lee Sklar, Reinie Press
    • Guitars: Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson Jr., Neil Diamond, Richard Bennett, Doug Rhone, Steve Lukather, Tim May, Fred Tackett, Jay Graydon
    • Keyboards: David Foster, Michael Lang, Burt Bacharach, Tom Hensley, Ed Walsh, Ian Underwood, Alan Lindren
    • Horn Arrangement: Jerry Hey
    • Sax: George Young
    • Flugel Horn: Warren Luening
    • Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
    • Background Vocals: Michael Jackson, Franne Golde, Joann Harris, Melissa Manchester, Bruce Roberts, Richard Page, Steve George, Vennette Gloud
Carole Bayer Sager / Sometime Late At Night

 

International Order

 

Melody Blvd.

GEMM is your best source for impossible-to-find music!
Cruisin' Music at GEMM

 

  • Tracks:
    1. Prologue
    2. I Won't Break
    3. Just Friends
    4. Tell Her
    5. Somebody's Been Lying
    6. On The Way To The Sky
    7. You And Me (We Wanted It All)
    8. Sometimes Late At Night
    9. Wild Again
    10. Easy To Love Again
    11. Stronger Than Before
    12. You Don't Know Me
    13. Reprise

 

 

 

 


 

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS / VOICES

<ACM Rating: >

Cool Sound released one of the most excellent CCM various artists album. Suffice it to say that the 9 of 10 CCM various artists albums are too religious from the viewpoint of pure music lovers and sometimes encounter sseveral musically boring materials with musically excellent materials on an album at the same time. In this sense, this CCM various artists album "Voices" would be the best. Rick Thomson and Mike Mierau, producers of this album writes on the backside of the LP sleeve; "There are certain singers where voices are instantly recognizable. The Minutes you hear them, you know they're one of your favorites. Here on this record are ten new songs by ten great singers. It's a collection of amazing talents offering their voices to God." Actually this comment is true, you can enjoy Bryan Duncan, Bob Carlisle, Benny Hester, Tata Vega, Rick Riso, John Elefante, Tommy Funderburk and other great singers.

    • Label: Cool Sound, Inc., Japan (COOL-089) (Original Label: Sonic Creatchy Records - Myrrh- Word Records, USA <7-01-685906-1>)
    • Release Date: May 10, 2002 (Original Release Year: 1987)
    • Producer: Mike Mierau and Rick Thomson
    • Musicians:
      • Drums: Rick Thomson
      • Drum Programming and Overdubs: Rick Thomson, Mike Mierau, Mannie
      • Bass: John Pierce, Michael Hodg
      • Keyboards: John Andrew Schreiner, James Raymond, John Elefante, Tim Heintz
      • Guitars: Michael Hodge, Randy Thomas, Terrance Elliot, Dino Elefante
      • Sax: David Hlebo, Warren Ham
      • Horn Section: The Martin Brothers
      • String Arrangement: John Andrew Schreiner
      • Orchestration: Bill Kilpatrick
      • String Section: Andrew Byers, Liane Mautner, Steve Seharf, Martin Hutz
VA / Voices
International Order

 

Melody Blvd.

GEMM is your best source for impossible-to-find music!
Cruisin' Music at GEMM

  • Tracks:
    1. In Your Light (Tata Vega)
    2. Heaven Is Waiting (Bob Carlisle)
    3. Come As You Are (Bryan Duncan)
    4. Light Of The World (Matthew Ward)
    5. In Your Presence (Howard McCrary)
    6. Helpless (John Elefante & Kim Boyce)
    7. Heaven Must Have Sent You (Rick Riso)
    8. Teach Me Now (Bob Carlisle)
    9. Then You Call My Name (Benny Hester)
    10. Lift Up My Voice (Tommy Funderburk)

 

 


 

 

 

Many visitors asks me where these recommended CDs can be bought via Internet. So, I would give you the the several retailers links from this page also as bellow.

A.O.R. Specialized CD/LP Mailorder Retailers Page

 

 

Waiting for your Email to: takeito@cap.bekkoame.ne.jp

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