Yukihiro Takahashi, the musician best known as the drummer and lead vocalist of the world-renowned group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), has passed away. He was 70.
Takahashi announced in 2020 that he underwent surgery for a brain tumor, and he had been receiving treatment since then.
Takahashi was born in Tokyo, and was already working as a studio musician while he was still in high school. During college, he first performed as the drummer of Sadistic Mika Band (which the late Kazuhiko Katoh founded in 1972), and the band later toured in the United Kingdom and other countries.
Takahashi then formed YMO with Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto in 1978. YMO‘s pioneering technopop sound with synthesizers became popular not only in Japan, but also on overseas tours. Their hits include the signature song “Rydeen” and the 1981 albums BGM and Technodelic. In addition to drumming and singing for the group, Takahashi also spearheaded their stage fashion, as exemplified by iconic red ensembles inspired by China.
Takahashi also had a successful solo career, and he later formed other groups such as The Beatniks duo with Moonriders‘ Keiichi Suzuki, the pupa band with Tomoyo Harada and Ren Takada, and the METAFIVE band with Keigo Oyamada (Cornelius). Outside music, he found success as a fashion designer and starred in films, notably those directed by the late Nobuhiko Obayashi such as Shigatsu no Sakana, The Discarnates, and Labyrinth of Cinema.
In anime, Takahashi composed the song “Families” for Nadia – Secret of Blue Water. He also contributed to the soundtrack of Appleseed: Ex Machina and penned songs for Ghost in the Shell Arise and Mr. Osomatsu. YMO‘s songs have appeared on the soundtracks for the anime Only Yesterday, Maria Holic, and Sound! Euphonium.
Several of Takahashi’s close collaborators and fellow musicians held a concert last September to commemorate Takhashi’s fifth decade as a musician, although Takahashi himself could not appear at the concert.
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun via Hachima Kikō
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