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Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the pioneering figures of Japanese electronic music, demonstrates his versatility on this change-of-pace album. Released in 2004, 04 is dominated by Sakamoto's prowess on the acoustic piano, and features excerpts from several of his scores for motion pictures (including his music for Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence), television commercials (such as a campaign for Louis Vuitton), and video games ("Seven Samurai: Ending Theme" was composed for the PS2 game Seven Samurai 20XX).
When the Scorpions finally broke through to the mainstream in 1982, RCA released numerous compilations of the band's earlier work from the '70s. By no means should one think The Best of the Scorpions is for diehards only – the music here is quite enjoyable. RCA would go on to release several more Scorpions compilations (Best Of, Vol. 2, Hot & Heavy, Best of Rockers 'n' Ballads, etc.), but the original Best Of is still the wisest purchase.
With 1971's Fragile having left Yes poised quivering on the brink of what friend and foe acknowledged was the peak of the band's achievement, Close to the Edge was never going to be an easy album to make. Drummer Bill Bruford was already shifting restlessly against Jon Anderson's increasingly mystic/mystifying lyricism, while contemporary reports of the recording sessions depicted bandmate Rick Wakeman, too, as little more than an observer to the vast tapestry that Anderson, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire were creating…