Saturday, April 25, 2015

Asakawa Maki | 18 albums

[Re-upped once more on April 25, 2015, at a reader's request]

When I was in Tokyo in mid-2010, I spent a couple of full days wandering around almost all of the 9 floors of the massive Tower Records superstore in Shibuya. 

When I got off the escalator at floor 2, which houses Tower Shibuya's extensive J-Pop and J-Indies stock, I was immediately struck by a kind of mini-shrine made up of of the CDs of Asakawa Maki, most of which seemed to feature grainy black & white photographs of the singer on the cover, often smoking.

I had no idea who this mysterious enshrined singer was, but after a bit of YouTubing and Googling, I was able to figure it out. Asakawa Maki was born on January 27, 1942, in Nagoya--she'd have been 70 years old this month had she not died in 2010, just shy of her 68th birthday. She got her start singing in U.S. Army bases, but got her big break in a series of concerts organized by avant-garde poet and playwright, Shuji Terayama in 1968. (Terayama would write lyrics for a number of her early songs.)

Over the next 40 years, Maki (as she was often referred to) released some 30 records, only slowing down in the aughts. She continued to perform live up until her death. She was one of the greatest, most expressive singers of all time, not just in Japan, but in the world.

Listen to "House of the Rising Sun" live

Asakawa Maki II
Asakawa Maki no Sekai
Blue Spirit Blues
Cat Nap

Darkness I
Darkness II
Darkness III
Darkness IV

Maboroshi no Onna-tachi
Nothing at All to Lose

Rear Window
Ura Mado Maki V
Yami No Naka Ni Okizari


Barron said...

It will take me awhile to get thru 17 records, but based on the video it will be well worth the effort.

Thank you!

musique said...

Thank you a lot!

Holly said...

Dear lord! I did some judicious you-tubing myself to determine if I wanted to commit to this downloading/listening endeavor. Affirmative.

That said, any guidance on where to start w/b most appreciated you vastly prefer any lps or specific songs?

Anonymous said...

c'est introuvable en france ou hors de prix en import

Anonymous said...

sublime voix
merci pour ces merveilles

Eric2 said...

Thanks, I am enjoying the treats of your blog.
I d/loaded and then listened to one track at random: 'Anata Nashi De' off of Hitomoshigoro. Isn't this "Trying to Live My Life Without You?" (Eugene Clay's song made popular by Otis Clayand later Bob Seger). I'm just curious if this is just the JP version of this or is being put out as a different song?
Also you mention "she'd have been 80 years old this month had she not died in 2010". I think you meant 70 years old.

Jolene said...

Thank you a lot.
A generous act like this needs a compliment.

Gary said...

Glad to see y'all are enjoying this one.

Eric, you're right; she'd have been 70, not 80. Math is not, obviously, my strong point!

Holly, I personally love Cat Nap, but her range is such that it would be hard to determine what would be best to dig into. When I first started finding her work, I went through it more or less chronologically.

Anyway ... thanks for the props, everyone!

Gary said...

Oh, and Eric, I think you're right about that song. Just did a compare and contrast. Maki did a lot of covers translated into Japanese. Or, it could just be a swipe or homage.

Hard to tell not knowing the language!

Eric2 said...

And I also err'd as it is Eugene Williams who wrote that song and Otis Clay who popularized it. Or so says Wikipedia. :D

Jesze said...

Thanks for this epic collection. I have several, but I think you pretty much filled all the gaps. Many thanks again.

Internet resident said...

Christmas in April! I've actually listened to 3 albums of hers before and was looking to look for just one new one to listen to. But instead I found a lot more. Thank you so much.

Anna said...

Thank you so much for this!

Anonymous said...

my favorite song is "sakamichi".
thanks a lot.

Friend said...

I love the time & thoughtful writing you put into this blog.
Thanks for sharing!

tim said...

Thank you soso much. I was in tokyo last year and remember seeing Maki Asakawa no Sekai and Maki II on vinyl but I wasn't familiar with her music enough to buy them. Since then she's become one of my favourite japanese musicians. To this day I still regret not picking them up!

Drehrumbum said...

I have an important question. I can'tfigure it out not able to read or understand japanease. there seems to be a problem with MAKI VI in your download...

There are like 12 files in the folder. MAKI VI has 8 songs (release 1974). There is a re-release availabale but i miss the songlist, because it is out of stock seemingly everywhere. But comparing the first 8 songs, they all seem to be completly different ones.

So might you be able to just check if there is some sort of mistake in the uploaded files?

thanks a lot.

greetings from high germany

Drehrumbum said...

Ok. Fgured it ou. Seems like MAKI VI contains the same files as 浅川マキの世界, her first record from 1970. So that seems to be wrong, or I totally messed up managing the files into my "system" ;)

If there really might be a mistake... could you reupload MAKI VI.


from Germany

Gary said...

All albums + 1 have been reupped in separate folders.

Hyde said...

wow. amazing!

Barron said...

Glad you re-upped this. I went to my archive to see what the 'extra cd' was and discovered that the whole collection must have been lost when moving files to a much larger drive.

Great stuff! Thank you--a second time.

Skye said...

Thanks so much! I have a friend in Japan and will be able to get some on wax, very helpful to hear before I commit to buy! Love Asakawa Maki.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much.

MPBECO said...

Thanks ! wonderful upload.

pat said...

Hi - could you please reupload again? Thanks!

Unknown said...

Second that! Please :) Can't find these anywhere on-line.

paprika said...

Would love to pay for the digital files ripped from the vinyl, before i get the vinyls :)

Unknown said...


Dear, could you re upload those files, we want to hear this amazing woman!!, please!!!

Many thanks and best regards

Mt Fuji Records said...

Arigato first of all.. Maki is indeed a special one. I own several original copies on vinyl of her 2nd has been reissued this year...

Any chance you re upload the links perhaps on a different website like Mega because all links are dead.

sumyum said...

Looks like these have been re-upped already but thought I would ask if you could re-up them once again? Recently discovered her and would love to get even one or two of her records.
Thank you-

sumyum said...

Would be much appreciative if you would re-up these links-

Meagan Elizabeth said...

Any chance of re-upping in 2018? Thank you :)

Aza said...

Please reupload thanks love this songs thanks

367 loser said...

please re-up this!!!

Iky said...

Hello Gary,

Could you reupload please? I love her music and I can't find it.... thanks !

ChoppinH. said...

Id appreciate if you could reupload this. Big thanks! Peace

ChoppinH. said...

Id appreciate if you could reupload this! Big thanks! Peace