Be Forever Yamato Discography

Above: the music staff (both old and new) was well-represented at the 1980 Be Forever press conference. From left to right: Animation director Tomoharu Katsumada, Leiji Matsumoto, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Composer Hiroshi Miyagawa, Singers Isao Sasaki and Akira Fuse, Lyricist Yoko Yamaguchi.

By the time Yoshinobu Nishizaki and his crew started work on Be Forever Yamato, the saga had knocked down so many barriers and standards that a new film was practically a guaranteed blockbuster. But to their eternal credit, they took nothing for granted. Every single aspect of Be Forever was amped up to make it the single biggest marketing blitz Japan had ever seen. And since music was Yamato‘s strongest natural resource, it was placed front and center throughout the promotional buildup.

Previous success with songs and albums indicated that multiplying them for this round would multiply overall success. Isao Sasaki’s schedule of personal appearances was booked solid, giving him every possible opportunity to sing the Yamato Theme again. And ‘Festival in Budokan,’ the mother of all Yamato concerts probably required as much planning and coordination as the movie itself.

In what must have been an extremely rare moment of free time during the hectic summer of 1980, composer Hiroshi Miyagawa wrote the following essay, which was published the Be Forever Roman Album:

Miscellaneous thoughts on Yamato Music

A life’s work

Like Mr. Isao Sasaki, I have been completely absorbed in Yamato for the past five or six years. Including Be Forever, I have produced five or so LPs. With BGMs, I think I have composed around 400 pieces. For me, the process itself is my personal epic. If I continue like this, Yamato music will become my life’s work. Sooner or later, people may forget that I am also the composer of Una Sera de Tokyo.

Tchaikovsky

Whether you like it or not, Yamato‘s music has restrictions. When thinking about the image of the former Imperial Navy and the classical essence woven into the story, such genres as modern jazz or reggae are not appropriate. It has to be classical. And, for some reason, Tchaikovsky is the best fit. Mr. Nishizaki seems to like Tchaikovsky, and so do I…


Promotional pendant from Nippon Columbia

A Fight with Real Swords

Lately I have been dying to compose BGM for live action films. Compared to these, the amount of BGM required for anime is excessive. This is a built-in problem. For example, when the picture shows a simple, motionless background, it definitely requires sound. Without that it falls flat. In live action films, even in a scene where man and woman only stare each other, we can feel their breathing. And if such a scene is supported by wonderful acting, we would find an unsophisticated BGM rather annoying.

Naturally, we need less music in live action films. But I am not saying it’s just matter of quantity. Rather than a BGM that ceaselessly plays on, I feel I could create one which complements the live acting of living people. But of course. I composed Yamato BGM with seriousness.

Crossover

If I Compare the music of Yamato to a color, is should be blue. Almost transparent blue. The woman closest to this image is Sasha, who makes her debut in Be Forever. She is elegant but serious, and also has sex appeal. This may sound like self-praise, but Yamato music will be epoch-making in the history of anime. Like Mr. Nishizaki, I always seek for something new that imitators will not be able to catch up with. Although some may say the purpose of anime BGM is to make the audience cry, that shouldn’t be all it does. Music needs elaborate techniques and carefully-added accents, I think.

By the way, this is just my opinion, but is Sakezo Sado [Dr. Sane] indispensable? Mr. Matsumoto may not like this, but I feel the character is annoying. Like an awa odori dance combined with the music of Tchaikovsky. Well, if someone is looking for a crossover, maybe that’s it.

Read a review of the Be Forever music here.


Pendant of Stars b/w Face in the Stars

45rpm single, 7/1/1980
Nippon Columbia, CK-567

By now it was a given that Isao Sasaki would sing another ‘insertion song’ for the movie, and his was the first to be heard. It follows Yamato‘s launch from the asteroid base Icarus and expresses Kodai’s feelings of loss after being parted from Yuki. The song is more akin to mainstream music than the average anime theme, carrying on the spirt of The Scarlet Scarf.

The B-side, Face in the Stars, was the first Yamato song written by a woman, pop songwriter Yoko Yamaguchi. It carries a decidedly more feminine tone, especially when performed by rising star Mitsuko Horie. It would be the first of four songs she would add to the Yamato catalog. Not heard in the film, it classifies as an ‘image song,’ in this case evoking Starsha’s thoughts of her daughter.


Super Robot Spirits Concert.

Pendant of Stars

Lyrics: Yu Aku
Music: Hiroshi Miyagawa
Vocals: Isao Sasaki

To she who gave me a pendant of stars
The one that glitters around my neck
As I venture into deep space
Where time and distance become the same

Saraba, Saraba, Saraba, Saraba [farewell] Goodbye, goodbye, my darling

The song that we space travelers sing
As I press my lips to yours in song
When again I meet you, my love
On our beloved Earth sometime in the future

Our hearts are connected by a pendant of stars
I warm it in my hands and think of my daughter
Its fasteners may one day rust and break
But it will shine forever in my chest

Saraba, Saraba, Saraba, Saraba
Goodbye, goodbye, my darling

To the ones I leave behind on my journey
And my beautiful daughter who dances, dances
Until the day I find my beloved
And see again my beloved Earth

Until the day I find my beloved
And see again my beloved Earth

Face in the Stars

Lyrics: Yoko Yamaguchi
Music: Hiroshi Miyagawa
Vocal: Mitsuko Horie

Looking with a lonely gaze
From somewhere, a quiet calling

That one is love
That one is dream
That one is day
That one is Sasha

We parted with a smile
I will never forget it
Looking with a lonely gaze
From somewhere, a quiet calling

That one is love
This one is kiss
That one is yesterday
That one is tomorrow

If love can bring us together
If there is a shining star
Looking with a lonely gaze
From somewhere, a quiet calling

These songs can be found on the following albums (see other discographies for data):

Top row: Be Forever Drama album, Festival in Budokan, Eternal Edition File No. 6, No. 10, and ‘The Best II.’
Middle row: 4-song EPs (2) with New Voyage tracks, Main Title Hit Theme Collection, Song Collection CD, The World of Leiji Matsumoto (LP).
Bottom row: The World of Matsumoto (CD), Music Encyclopedia of Leiji Matsumoto 1999, SF & Space Animation Vol. 2, Mitsuko Horie Anime Best Hit, Best & Best.


Love Until That Day b/w Galaxy Legend

45rpm single, 7/1/1980
King Records, K07S-1

Akira Fuse was another big name during the Yamato heyday, and his career continued long after his contribution. He also actively participated in the summer events, first as a member of the lineup at the initial press conference (shown at the top of this page) and later as a performer in both the live radio drama and the Festival in Budokan.

Love Until That Day is the buoyant, uplifting theme at the end of the film that perfectly combined Fuse’s voice with Miyagawa’s arrangement and Yu Aku’s lyrics. Another version was later performed by Isao Sasaki for release on Nippon Columbia albums. Galaxy Legend was another song produced for the film that was recorded and released three separate times in the space of a month. This single’s B-side presented Fuse’s rendition, which has never been reissued.

Akira Fukuzumi, a producer at King Records, wrote the following comments about Fuse’s song:

It is generally thought that in order for one’s music to be larger than life, this must also be true of their character. I think you can say that about our artist, Akira Fuse.

Mr. Fuse’s song Love Until the Day occupies a proud domain from the first time you hear it. Its slow tempo seems unconcerned with the passage of time, as if it could last forever. Its recording went comparatively smoothly. Its composition was in great flux right up to the last moment, but all that work lead to a song of great strength and sophistication.

Anime music has come a long way, and Yamato is like the romantic dream of a youth. Even if I were to hear such music in a foreign film, the sound and image would flow effortlessly, making the movie stronger even if I could not fully understand it. Mr. Fuse wanted to express the feeling of a child growing up. Even 100 years from now, the message of his song will still be clear.

Love Until That Day

Lyrics: Yu Aku
Composition and Vocals: Akira Fuse
Arrangement: Hiroshi Miyagawa

A hundred years from now
The children who will resemble us
Will not forget to smile and sing
All people will know love
The ground will flow with green
A delicate flower will bloom in the sun
Until that day, until that day, until that day

Love cannot whither or die
A hundred years from now
We become what we dream
Beautiful in our nakedness
All people will know love
The stars will glitter and shine
A gentle song will rise from the heart
Until that day, until that day, until that day

Love cannot whither or die
Do you love someone?
Is it someone close to you?

This song can be found on the following albums (see other discographies for data):
Be Forever Drama, Eternal Edition File No. 10 & ‘The Best II,’ Main Title Hit Song Collection, Song Collection CD, Music Encyclopedia of Leiji Matsumoto 1999.
Also available on a 4-song EP, shown farther down.


Be Forever Yamato Music Collection

Symphonic Album, 7/1/1980
Nippon Columbia, LP: CQ-7051 Cassette: CAK-711

This album was released slightly over a month before Be Forever‘s premiere and contained symphonic arrangements of Miyagawa’s score from the first half of the movie. The last track on this album was titled Second Lieutenant Kiman, but after the album went to press the character’s name was changed to Alphon.

The recording of this score brought two important changes to Symphony Orchestra Yamato. First, master violinist Tsugio Tokunaga joined the ranks as a permanent fixture, making possible a greater emphasis on violin solos. Second, pianist Kentaro Haneda began to climb the ranks and was heavily involved in the arrangement of both this and the second symphonic album. For him, it was a major step forward in what would become a prolific career in the post-Yamato years.

Click here for a complete track listing.


Galaxy Legend b/w Life of Love

45rpm single, 8/1/1980
Victor Entertainment, SV-7030

Considered one of Yu Aku’s best-loved lyrics, this recording of Galaxy Legend was used as a postlude to Be Forever, played in theatres after the end credit roll and preserved on every subsequent home video release. It was sung by newcomer Hiromi Iwasaki (below left), who also performed Life of Love for the B-side. Overheard while Kodai contemplates the loss of Yuki, its feminine viewpoint was undoubtedly well-received by Yamato‘s majority contingent of female fans. It was the second of two songs written by Yoko Yamaguchi, who had this to say about the experience:

Over and over, I think Yamato embodies the magic of “first love” which people have always dreamed about. While writing this song, I was irritated with the fact that love could not be expressed in words. Fortunately, Ms. Iwasaki was a capable singer despite her youth who could capture and express the feeling between the lines, and it was an unexpected pleasure for her to sing my words.

Galaxy Legend was later recorded by Mitsuko Horie for release on Nippon Columbia albums.


Galaxy Legend

Lyrics: Yu Aku
Composition: Hiroshi Miyagawa
Vocals: Hiromi Iwasaki

I cannot see the thread which unites our hearts
I desire to make sure of the knots with my own eyes
I desire it more so if we are separated
I desire it more so if each of us is alone

When I look up, the Galaxy streams across the sky
Love in the human world is like a star
To love is to believe
To believe is to love
To love

Even if I can exchange half of my heart with yours
And unite as one, I still desire to see you
Only one person forever
Only one love forever

When I close my eyes, happy days cross my mind
I remember the star of my beloved always glittering
To love is to believe
To believe is to love
To love

To love is to believe
To believe is to love
To love

Life of Love

Lyrics: Yoko Yamaguchi
Music: Osamu Totsuka
Vocal: Hiromi Iwasaki

If I hold you in my arms
Can you, will you, try to get away?
So happy together, in love with each other
The stars forever twinkle to our love

Love is felt strongest when we’re apart
When I close my eyes I see love so clear
Let’s meet again at the end of this dark night
I await you, my love
Just like the wind and the light in the sky

The storm that overwhelms me
Will courage and love remain?
A promise, a burning kiss
The call of the eternal stars

When you part, you understand love
In your time of loneliness, you can see it
You hold on for the day you can meet again
I am waiting for you
Like the wind and light that fill the sky

These songs can be found on the following albums (see other discographies for data):
Top row: Eternal Edition File No. 10 ‘The Best’ & ‘The Best II,’ Main Title Hit Song Collection, Song Collection CD.
Bottom row: 4-song EP, Mitsuko Horie Anime Best Hit, Mitsuko Horie/Walking Songs, Music Encyclopedia of Leiji Matsumoto.


Be Forever Yamato Music Collection Part 2

Symphonic Album, 9/10/1980
Nippon Columbia, LP: CQ-7052 Cassette: CAK-712

This was one of the first Yamato albums that included actual score from the film. When the movie went into its ‘Warp Dimension’ changeover, the picture size widened and the soundtrack shifted from monaural sound to 4-channel stereo. It was the first time cinematic sound quality measured up to what could be heard on an LP, so it gave the orchestra a rare opportunity to place a symphonic arrangement directly into the film.

Click here for a complete track listing.

Both of the Be Forever Music Collection albums made their way to CD 15 years later in the double-disc set shown below left (Nippon Columbia, COCC-12230~31), which was part of the 1995 reissue of the entire Yamato catalog. They were remastered for the 2004 Eternal Edition Premium set, shown below right (Columbia Music Entertainment, COCX-33021).


Be Forever Yamato and The New Voyage

33-1/3 rpm EP, 9/10/1980
Nippon Columbia, CH-3009

Since The New Voyage and Be Forever were essentially a single body of work (unofficially referred to as ‘Yamato Part 3′) it was a natural to pack four of its songs onto a single release. Yamato!! The New Voyage and Sasha My Love from the first story, backed with Pendant of Stars and Face in the Stars from the second.

Be Forever Yamato

Drama album, 10/10/1980
Nippon Columbia, LP: CB-7099~7101 Cassette: CBY:527~8

The extraordinary length of Be Forever meant that even when edited down it still needed three LPs to hold it all…which lead to the first Yamato triple album set. It opened up into a 14-page color storybook with substantial passages from the script. Like the movie, the first half is recorded in mono and shifts to stereo in time with the ‘Warp Dimension’ changeover. The song Life of Love was re-recorded by singer Mitsuko Horie in order to clear the copyright for Nippon Columbia, and since a sample of Tchiakovsky’s Swan Lake (Act 3 No. 17 Allegro and Waltz) was used as source music inside the lair of the Dark Nebula Empire, the track itself appeared on this album.

The triple-LP set became the triple-CD set shown below, in Columbia’s 1995 reissue of all the Yamato drama albums, along with a miniaturized–and simplified–version of the storybook. (Nippon Columbia, COCC-12482~84)


Space Battleship Yamato 4 Song Single

33-1/3 rpm EP, 12/10/1980
Nippon Columbia, CH-3016

Approaching the end of another record-breaking year of Yamato music sales, Nippon Columbia released this all-Sasaki EP that featured signature pieces from each of the three blockbuster theatrical films: the Yamato Theme, From Yamato With Love, Pendant of Stars, and his cover of Love Until That Day. But Columbia had one more album pending before the year was out, and it was truly one of a kind…












’80 Yamato Festival in Budokan Live

Live concert album, 12/25/1980
Nippon Columbia, LP: CQ-7059~60 Cassette: CAK-717~8

If Tokyo can be said to have its own Carnegie Hall, it would have to be the Budokan Martial Arts Arena. This goliath was originally built for the 1964 olympics and later became a world-class venue for large-scale rock concerts. Yamato‘s arrival here was as good a measure as any of how far it had come.

The Festival was one of the two biggest promotional events of 1980 (the other being a sea crusise), seen by over 20,000 people when it was performed twice on July 24. It had been over two years since a live Yamato recording was released (on The World of Hiroshi Miyagawa, 1978) and though this double album did not include some of the non-musical portions of the concert, the real treat even decades later is to hear the heartfelt reactions of the audience caught in the grip of Yamato fever.

Read a full account of the Festival in Budokan (and other concert events) here.

First CD release, 11/21/1995: COCC-13037~38

Second CD release, 11/21/2012: COCX-37392


Be Forever Yamato Original BGM Collection

CD, Nippon Columbia
COCC-12872 (1995 edition/above left), COCX-33203 (2005 edition/above right)

The pure soundtrack of the film was finally released 15 years after the film itself in the mid-90s revival that finally brought Columbia’s entire catalog to CD and augmented it with new albums like this one.

Click here for a complete track listing.


Be Forever Yamato Eternal Edition
File No. 6

CD, 12/30/2000
Columbia Records, COCX-31157~8

In 2000, a Be Forever music collection was released as part of the Eternal Edition CD series. This disc faithfully reproduced all the music used in the film, including some cues that vary from the earlier BGM Collection. This disc was packaged along with Eternal Edition File No. 5, which featured the soundtrack to The New Voyage.

Read the translated Eternal Edition liner notes here.

Click here to read about the entire Eternal Edition series.


Yamato Sound Almanac Series, 1980-I Be Forever Yamato Music Collection Part 1

CD, 11/21/12
Nippon Columbia, COCX-37392

Yamato Sound Almanac Series, 1980-II Be Forever Yamato Music Collection Part 2

CD, 11/21/12
Nippon Columbia, COCX-37393

This reissue of the two symphonic albums contained an entire extra album: the Yamato Choral and Piano Suite, arranged by Jo Hisaishi (composer of the Studio Ghibli films) and originally released in 1979. It had been issued on CD once before, but quickly went out of print and became a collector’s item. Side A is presented on Part 1 and Side B is on Part 2.

Yamato Sound Almanac Series, 1980-IV Be Forever Yamato BGM collection

CD, 5/22/13
Nippon Columbia, COCX-37394

This disc collected the music actually heard in the movie (as opposed to rearrangements heard on the symphonic albums) along with three bonus tracks that were recorded for Be Forever but not used until Yamato III.

The Sound Almanac series was an ambitious 2-year project (2012-2014) to reissue the entire Yamato catalog on 30 discs, all remastered to “Blu-spec CD” quality and brimming with bonus tracks. Extensive new liner notes introduced classic Yamato music to new fans brought in by Yamato 2199 and also contained plenty of previously-unknown trivia for the veterans.

Read all about the series and find liner notes here.


Continue to the Yamato III Discography

Below: Music advertising from Nippon Columbia and King Records, 1980

Special thanks to superfan Steve Harrison for research assistance.

3 thoughts on “Be Forever Yamato Discography

  1. Been comparing BGMs and Eternal Editions lately, here’s the list of tracks on the Be Forever BGM but are not on the Eternal Edition or EE Premium CDs (a good 37 min. of music):
    Title/Time/Track No.
    ————————————————————-
    Double Nucleus Bomb 0:27 1 of 26
    Premonition Of Evil 1:01 2 of 26
    Premonition Of Misfortune 0:43 3 of 26
    The Enormous Double Nucleus Bomb 0:24 4 of 26
    Movement Begins At The Double Nucleus Bomb 3:29 5 of 26
    Two Who Believe In Each Other 1:25 7 of 26
    Dark Star Cluster Empire 3:45 9 of 26
    New Space 2:34 12 of 26
    New Space~Double Galaxy 3:16 13 of 26
    Double Galaxy (w Infinite Universe) 1:16 14 of 26
    Yuki’s Encounter (with Alfon) 2:14 16 of 26
    Death Of Alfon 2:59 17 of 26
    Mio’s Sorrow 2:39 19 of 26
    Mio’s Happiness 2:17 20 of 26
    Yamato’s Counterattack 2:01 22 of 26
    Wounded Soldier 3:39 23 of 26
    Birth Of A New Galaxy 2:50 26 of 26

  2. I had a friend in Japan who sent me some songs from Yamato 2199 and I can’t identify a song he gave me. It’s listed in Japanese, the CD he copied it from had the organ music at the beginning and a beautiful ‘waltz’ style song that I would like to find it. Does anyone know what volume of the soundtrack would have it ?

    • There’s no 2199 CD that starts with such a piece, so it’s probably from a different Yamato production. My guess would be the original Yamato Symphonic Suite from the 70s, or a mix of tracks from different sources. You should get some clarification from your friend.

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