Vinyl-a-Day 13: Kiyohiko Ozaki - Second Album (Phillips, 1971)
I first heard the late Kiyohiko Ozaki while visiting Tokyo in January, 2019. We were at a vinyl bar, Dogenzaka Rock, located in Shibuya (Definitely check it out if you’re there) where I asked the DJ/bartender to play the “Frank Sinatra of Japan.” He put on this album and I was completely blown away by this Japanese megastar with his soaring voice and those trademark sideburns. 'Second Album' contains his biggest hit 'Mata Au Hi Made' ('Until the Day We Meet Again'). A little know fact is that he was also a talented English vocalist (his first album consists of Japanese covers of popular English-language hits at the time like ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’) and a version of the song was released in English. That said, it’s better in Japanese.
You may have to search the title in Japanese but YouTube has dozens of uploads showing Kiyohiko Ozaki performing this classic at different stages throughout his long, successful career. I’ve included my personal favorite which shows him in the 70s replete with a full orchestra, flanked by cheerleader dancers. His other hits include his cover of “My Way” and "Love Theme from The Godfather.”
Look him up on YouTube and follow that voice and those sideburns down the rabbit hole, you won’t regret it. Last, that night at the bar, I cut a slit in a facemask so that I could still drink beer and wear a mask. This was just before COVID and was I was having fun with the fact that a lot of people wore masks every day while out in Tokyo. I’d say that joke didn’t age well. Happy Friday!