Farewell to Yamato Discography

After digesting the amazing music of the first Yamato story, fans’ expectations were sky-high when they walked into theatres for Farewell to Yamato in August 1978. When the movie hit its climax with the appearance of Zordar’s colossal Dreadnought, all eyes moved to Kodai on the bridge of Yamato. He listened to the advice of a ghostly Captain Okita and then turned to address the four crewmembers who remained to listen. Behind him rose the strains of a Miyagawa composition called The Scarlet Scarf.

For fans in the audience, it was a sublime moment. This song had been heard as the closing title on every episode of the TV series, and near the end of the movie version. Its simple progression of notes had absorbed and stored up all the emotions associated with the first story, and now they came pouring out again. Only someone with a heart of stone could have made it through that experience with dry eyes.

Such was the power of Hiroshi Miyagawa’s swan song for Space Battleship Yamato.

After the movie premiere, Office Academy published a deluxe hardcover book covering all aspects of the production. In it, Miyagawa said the following:

For my music career, I found the previous work as satisfying as climbing to the top of a big mountain. But this time, thinking about Yamato‘s devoted fans all over Japan, I often felt a pressure of responsibility that almost crushed me. The music for this work was born as a result of such struggles, so I can say with confidence that it will live up to the fans’ expectations. Through my music, I hope the listeners can feel the main theme of the film–love between a man and a woman, the love of human beings, and the love of the entire Universe.

Out of a desire to keep the “Yamato Sound” diverse and progressive, Miyagawa had written a new theme for the Comet Empire that would be performed on a massive pipe organ. The use of this grand instrument was inspired by Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in which Captain Nemo plays it to great effect. The Comet Empire theme was performed in the Beethoven Hall of the Musashino Academy of Music, partially by Miyagawa’s son Akira. The session was recorded by Atsushi Tashiro apart from the main orchestra, and it emerged as a favorite moment for both he and Miyagawa.

Another first for Farewell was the fact that its music was recorded in stereo, but it could only be heard that way on LP since Japanese cinemas at the time were only equipped with monaural speaker systems. Such inventions as Dolby Stereo were still over the horizon. The first chance anyone had to experience the story itself in stereo was by listening to Nippon Columbia’s drama LP. Another opportunity would not come up until the advent of home video.

Read more about the recording sessions here.

The Rival b/w Teresa Forever

45rpm single, 7/25/1978
Nippon Columbia, CK-515

Following the lead of their last single (Starsha, Thoughts Among the Stars), the music staff wrote two more “image songs” to commemorate the new film. As before, they were featured in the Farewell radio drama, which was broadcast shortly before the August 4 movie premiere. The Rival was sort of lost in time when its B side, Teresa Forever, rose to prominence as the end theme of Yamato 2, but once heard it is unforgettable. The song can be interpreted as Kodai’s dream-image of his nemesis, Dessler. Like The Scarlet Scarf, its meaning was clearer to older listeners. Teresa Forever took on a more personal viewpoint when transplanted to Yamato 2, where it came to symbolize her romance with Shima [Venture].

The Rival

Lyrics: Yu Aku

Music: Hiroshi Miyagawa
Vocal: Isao Sasaki

Two men are haunted
Connected by a thread that cannot be cut
They turn away, but cannot live
Call out, but to no avail
The connection between us
It was our fate to fight each other
I saw a samurai in the flames
Dessler, it was you

We had to meet
Each with the heavy burden of life
I point my finger and name my enemy
My heart burns hotly
We cannot change, even a little
We should drink to each other
I saw a samurai in the flames
Dessler, it was you

Click here for an alternate translation

Teresa Forever

Lyrics: Yu Aku
Music: Hiroshi Miyagawa
Vocals: Isao Sasaki and Feeling Free

Teresa, you are among the distant stars
Teresa, I offer my prayer of love
The starry glow of your skin
Turns to love in a person’s heart

A smile spreads across their face
Along with the veil of night

Teresa, an eternal smile
Teresa, an eternal smile
Teresa, crying from a distant light

I lay my palm against my chest
Speaking words of love
A shining from behind my eyes
A sunken treasure of love

Teresa, an eternal smile
Teresa, an eternal smile

Click here for an alternate translation

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

Above: Theme Song & BGM Collection, Main Title & Hit Song Collection, Best 4 EP, Terebi Manga Best Collection EP with New Voyage tracks, Isao Sasaki Best 24.

Below: Isao Sasaki New Hit Best 16, Isao Sasaki/Of the Man, Music Encyclopedia of Leiji Matsumoto 1999, Eternal Edition File No. 4, No. 10 and The Best II.

From Yamato With Love

45rpm single, 8/1/1978
Polydor Records, DR-6235

In another experiment to enrich the ‘Yamato Sound,’ Yoshinobu Nishizaki hired Kenji Sawada, one of Japan’s hottest pop singers at the time, to perform the end theme for Farewell. Along with his star power, Sawada (who went by the stage-name ‘Julie’) brought his own record label and his own composer into the mix, which created some tension in the ranks.

Hiroshi Miyagawa submitted four compositions to Nishizaki for the song, but in the end he went with one written by Sawada’s personal composer, Katsuo Ono. It was the one and only time a Miyagawa piece had been rejected in favor of another’s, but the decision accomplished its goal. The song received substantial radio airplay that helped raise the prestige of both Farewell to Yamato and anime music in general.

Fans first heard the song in a very emotional state at the end of movie, so it naturally evokes strong emotions even years later. It was later covered by Isao Sasaki in order to provide Nippon Columbia with clear copyright to release it themselves. In the meantime, a spoken-word version by Yoshinobu Nishizaki himself was recorded for the end of the Farewell drama album. The B-side of this single was an original Sawada tune that had nothing to do with Yamato, either thematically or stylistically.

From Yamato With Love

Lyrics: Yu Aku
Music: Katsuo Ono
Vocals: Kenji Sawada

If she is more gentle than a flower
If she is more beautiful than the stars
You will willingly die
to reach out and protect her

You have reflected upon this

And act willingly for the benefit

of the one you love
You speak as if this all this were so

If there is something I must tell you
Then perhaps that is all for now

Let’s not say goodbye now
Let’s not say goodbye now

Some day a song will return to her lips

Some day love will return to her heart
You spread your arms in an embrace
and proved your love

Though tomorrow seems distant

You act willingly for the benefit

of the one you love
You speak as if this all this were so

If there is something I must tell you
Then perhaps that is all for now

Let’s not say goodbye now

Let’s not say goodbye now

Yoshinobu Nishizaki & Kenji Sawada at the recording session/1978 sheet music

Click here for an alternate translation

Watch a live performance from 1991 here and another from 1999 here.

This song can be found on the following albums (see other discographies for data):

Above: Farewell to Yamato Drama LP & Complete Drama Cassette, Main Title Hit Song Collection, Song Collection CD, 4-song EP with Be Forever.

Below: Leiji Matsumoto World of SF Roman, Isao Sasaki/Of the Man, Music Encyclopedia of Leiji Matsumoto 1999, Eternal Edition File No. 10 ‘The Best,’ and ‘The Best II.’

Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato, Soldiers of Love

Symphonic album, 8/1/1978
Nippon Columbia, LP: CQ-7011 Cassette: CAK-662

A worthy successor to Symphonic Suite Yamato, this album was a true masterpiece. Fans who had attended the Symphonic Concert tour in July had already heard most of it, but this would have only intensified their desire to hear it again. Its most striking tracks were the Comet Empire and Andromeda themes, but other favorites included a trilogy written for Dessler and a track titled Great Love which accompanied Yamato‘s disappearance into space at the end of the film. Yet another highlight was a gorgeous instrumental rendition of the end song, From Yamato With Love.

Some of Japan’s top musicians participated in the recording, such as trumpeter Akira Miyashita, drummer Shuichi Murakami, and pianist Kentaro Haneda. The album was recorded in stereo, separate from the movie soundtrack, which would only be heard monophonically in theatres. BGM, by its nature, is usually structured for minimalism so as not to compete with dialogue and sound effects. Rearranging it for a symphonic performance allowed for a richer version that was not tied down to the pace of onscreen drama. In this way, the music could live up to its full potential. That said, two pieces from the album were actually used in the film, White Comet and Gatlantis.

Hiroshi Miyagawa’s liner notes:

The previous tunes for Space Battleship Yamato became familiar during the TV broadcast 4 years ago, and because they followed the story, the arrangements were fairly set in stone. However, since this time we’ll be using all new music for the movie, the audience won’t be familiar with it.

Unlike the serialized TV format, a movie is usually seen only once. If you happen to see it two or three times, then that’s a different story. But if you only see it once, the music doesn’t usually stay with you afterward. This is why the musical score was simplified, in order to make it easier to remember.

Yet it also needed its own personality. New characters are introduced this time, including the Comet Empire and Teresa. And even though Dessler appeared in the previous story, he didn’t have his own theme yet. The themes for Dessler and the White Comet were the most challenging to create. Those two scores needed to leave a lasting impact, and if I could accomplish that, I’d be satisfied as a composer.

I wanted everybody to become intimately involved with the score. I hope the new tunes have an unforgettable melody that will move one’s heart.

Click here for a complete track listing.

Like the first symphonic suite, this album was released on CD in 1985 (far left/Nippon Columbia, 32C35-7530) and reissued in 1995 (center/Nippon Columbia, COCC-12228). A remastered version was released in the 2004 Eternal Edition Premium box set (Columbia Music Entertainment, COCX-33021). Oddly, a picture in the liner notes was changed after the original LP release. Notes for the track titled Andromeda were accompanied by a still of the Andromeda at first. For some reason, the CD edition substituted a still of the EDF battleship.

Farewell to Yamato

Sonorama Ace Puppy Series “Sonosheet”, 9/1978
Asahi Sonorama, APQ-6004

Though Sonorama’s association with the saga would last all the way to the end, this was to be its last Yamato music release. Like the very first Sonosheet, one side contained two songs (the Yamato Theme and Teresa Forever) and the other contained a drama track titled Yamato Hasshin! [Yamato Launch].

Sonosheets would continue to appear in Sonorama’s children’s books (shown at right), but the disappearance of it as a separate form of merchandising was something of a touchstone. Thanks in large part to the wide appeal of other music releases, it was well understood that Yamato could no longer marginalized as children’s entertainment.

Farewell to Yamato, Soldiers of Love

Drama album 10/10/1978
Nippon Columbia, LP: CS-7077~8 Cassette: CHY-501~2

Though it was the first double-length Yamato release, the Farewell drama album was still only about half as long as the movie. This probably didn’t discourage many fans, though, especially considering it was the first opportunity anyone would have to hear the story in stereo. The next opportunity was five years away, when Victor released the movie on VHD with an upgraded stereo soundtrack in 1983.

Contained inside the foldout sleeve was a 12-page color storybook, the second largest collection of images that a fan could buy at the time. The first was in a ‘Roadshow’ special magazine published by Shueisha about a month earlier. But more would soon be on the way. Many more. In fact, Farewell would go on to become the subject of more publishing than any other film or series during the production years. An unexpected bonus at the end of this album was a spoken-word rendition of From Yamato With Love by none other than Yoshinobu Nishizaki.

This album was released once on CD (below) from Nippon Columbia in 1995 (COCC-12478~79).

From Yamato With Love b/w The Rival

TV Manga Series Space Action Spectacle
45 rpm single, 10/21/1978
Elec Records, EE1004

This oddball release was typical of smaller record labels at the time, a pair of songs licensed from separate publishers (in this case, Nippon Columbia and Polydor) with no extra money spent to license official artwork for the packaging. The songs are properly credited to their creators, but no vocalist is named, which would indicate that they are almost certainly cover versions. The market for products like this would actually intensify in later years, when they would evolve into tribute or nostalgia albums. Click here to view a gallery of such albums, all of which contain covers of the Yamato Theme.

Space Battleship Yamato Best 4

33-1/3 rpm EP, 12/25/1978
Nippon Columbia, CH-75

Capping off their single most successful year to date, Nippon Columbia collected all four of Isao Sasaki’s Yamato songs onto this one disc: The Yamato theme, Teresa Forever, The Rival, and The Scarlet Scarf. It was only a footnote for Sasaki, however, since Columbia had already turned his anime compilation LPs into a yearly event.

His Yamato songs had already appeared on three in a row (below, left to right):

Isao Sasaki/TV Main Title Theme Song Action (1976)
Isao Sasaki/The Scarlet Scarf (1977)
Isao Sasaki/Best 24 (1978)

Yamato: I Adore the Eternity of Love

‘New Disco Arrange’ album 12/1978
Polydor Records, LP: MR-3162 Cassette: Unknown

And now for something completely different. The first Symphonic Suite had demonstrated how flexible Miyagawa’s original score was, slipping easily into other genres and enriching its tonal vocabulary. Polydor’s second (and last) Yamato release pushed that idea to groovy lengths with an all-disco album that sampled from both Space Battleship Yamato and Farewell in bootie-shaking 120 beat-per-minute dance grooves. Listen here!

Over the entire span of Yamato music, it probably scored more firsts than any other release. It was the first cover album, the first dance album, the first proof of Miyagawa’s musical fluency, the first commercial score that was re-purposed as BGM (three of its tracks would be used in the Yamato 2 series), and the appearance of Yoshinobu Nishizaki on the promotional banner (called an ‘Obi’) was the first time a producer’s image was applied as a selling point. (The album was such a radical departure, Polydor probably felt it necessary to reassure fans that it was fully sanctioned by the ‘home office.’) To sweeten the deal, a strip of 35mm film frames was included as a bonus insert (below right).

Hiroshi Miyagawa’s liner notes:

I must confess that this album was very difficult to make. Because the themes of the Yamato movies are the love of humanity and of space, I didn’t want to make something that had a simple pop tune melody. And arranging that to disco was really difficult. Disco has a rhythm that’s made for dancing.

However, limiting yourself to a particular format is foolish, since music should have freedom of expression. You can’t make great music by saying that “pop music is this way,” and “jazz needs to be that way,” or “disco needs to be like this.” Constraining yourself to this rigid formatting leads to boredom, and listening to music made this way is a sad and excruciating experience. By breaking the mold of the genre you can enjoy the sound that comes from a freedom of expression.

I took on the challenge of creating Disco Yamato only to learn later how difficult it would be. I found it very frustrating, trying to arrange all of these popular tunes, like The Scarlet Scarf or Teresa’s Sigh or Dessler’s Theme into a disco beat without compromising too much of their original nature. Then there was the tune, Yuki’s Fate that just didn’t make it as a disco track. However, dancing to the soft tempo on the record isn’t a bad thing either.

So, how was the result? We’ll have to leave that to each individual’s preference. I’m pretty sure that those who feel it was all a wasted effort will not buy this album. And that’s fine by me, since I’m sure there are also those who will have fun with this new experience. Even if only one person likes it, that’s good enough for me. I’ll also be pleased if somebody who has never watched Yamato picks up this album. At any rate, I’d like the fans to dance to the music as if they were Kodai and Yuki.

Shown at right: a 1999 CD by Hiroshi Miyagawa and friends titled Vacation of Love from the U-Records label. It included some of the maestro’s early pop hits, lounge standards such as Fly Me to the Moon and–surprising all expectations–a cover of the the Yamato theme from I Adore the Eternity of Love. The structure of the song is the same, but the rearrangement with non-disco instruments gives it a far longer shelf life. Prior to 2012, this was the only place that music could be found on CD.

Space Battleship Yamato Theme song and BGM Collection

Compilation album, 2/1979
Tokuma Shoten, FL1001~2

After the strides made by Polydor, fans wondered what else might arise from another label besides Nippon Columbia, and they got their answer just two months later. Released by the Tokuma Publishing Company, this unique album featured a grab-bag of songs and instrumentals on the middle-ground hybrid format of 8″ flexidiscs, a grade up from the standard ‘phonosheets.’

Tokuma had struck gold by this time with the debut of their monthly Animage magazine in July 1978. Their first two issues had both carried Farewell cover stories, establishing a strong relationship with Yamato right out of the starting gate; strong enough to do an end-run around music publishing rights, apparently, since many of the tracks on this release were licensed by Nippon Columbia.

Disc 1 was largely given over to songs, which included three in ‘karaoke’ form: From Yamato With Love, The Rival, and The Scarlet Scarf. (The first two of which have never been re-released.) The second disc was entirely new: 10 minutes per side of coveted BGM tracks from the TV series and Farewell that were previously unreleased. It was the first indicator that fans didn’t care if they were monaural recordings. All they wanted was the pure sound. Fortunately, Nippon Columbia was paying attention.

Click here for a complete track listing.

Farewell to Yamato Final Complete Edition

Drama recording, 9/21/1982
Nippon Columbia, CWY-519~20

1982 was the penultimate year for merchandising, with Final Yamato looming just over the horizon. It was the last chance for experimentation, and Nippon Columbia outdid themselves with a rush of inventive releases. This dual-cassette drama recording of Farewell to Yamato was one of them, containing the entire unedited sound-mix of the movie on extended-length cassettes. Since Polydor still held the rights to Kenji Sawada’s recording of From Yamato With Love, the Isao Sasaki cover version was used here instead.

Farewell to Yamato Eternal Edition
File No. 2 and 3

2-CD set, 11/1/2000
Columbia Records, COCX-31154~5

The long-awaited complete score was finally released a full 22 years after the movie, generously spread across two CDs in the definitive Eternal Edition set. The entire soundtrack was reconstructed with a mixture of stereo tracks composed for the film and monaural tracks that were originally sampled from the first TV series. Bonus tracks on the second disc featured the live Yamato performances from Columbia’s 1978 World of Hiroshi Miyagawa LP. Read more about that album here.

Click here for a complete track listing of these discs.

Click here to read about the Eternal Edition series.

Yamato Sound Almanac Series, 1978-II Farewell to Yamato Music Collection

CD, 9/19/12
Nippon Columbia, COCX-37385

Yamato Sound Almanac Series, 1978-III Farewell to Yamato BGM Collection

CD, 9/19/12
Nippon Columbia, COCX-37386

Yamato Sound Almanac Series, 1978-IV Space Battleship Yamato New Disco Arrange

CD, 9/19/12
Nippon Columbia, COCX-37387

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.

The Music Collection album was a reissue of the symphonic album, the BGM Collection was a reissue of the material on the Eternal Edition discs, and the New Disco Arrange disc was the historic first release of I Adore the Eternity of Love on CD.

Read all about the series and find liner notes here.

Continue to the Yamato 2 Discography

Bonus Gallery: Advertising from Columbia and Polydor, giveaway posters from Columbia.

Special thanks to superfan Steve Harrison for research assistance.

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