Originally published 18 October 2006

Seventies returnees

Southern All Stars (サザンオールスターズ)
Southern All Stars (サザンオールスターズ, Sazan Ōrusutaazu) is a Japanese rock/pop band. They released their debut single, "Katte ni Shindobaddo" (勝手にシンドバッド), on 25 June 1978 and have been on the charts ever since. With over 200 million albums sold worldwide, this band is not an ordinary band. In June 2005, they re-released 44 singles on the same day. The titles dated from their 1978 debut "Katte ni Sinbad" to "Tsunami" (January 2000). Every one of them went back into the Oricon charts, and the band basically took over the Top 50.

The band consists of five members: lead vocalist Keisuke Kuwata (桑田佳祐, born 26 February 1956), Yuko Hara (原由子, born 11 December 1956, and married to the lead vocalist) plays the keyboards, Kazuyuki Sekiguchi (関口和之, born 21 December 1955) plays the bass guitar on the drums is Hiroshi Matsuda (松田弘), and Hideyuki Nozawa (野沢秀行) plays the percussion.

During his studies at Aoyama Gakuin University, Kuwata Keisuke played in a band called "Better Days". There, he met Hara Yuko and Sekiguchi Kazuyuki, marking the beginning of the Southern All Stars. Superb lyrics and distinctive melodies made them famous and popular all over Japan. Due to their unique style, critics initially decried them as a "comic band"; however, these negative reviews faded over time. Once they released their third single, Itoshi no Erī (い と し の エ リ ー), a massive smash in 1979, the Southern All Stars became a leading name in the fast-paced Japanese music world. Their 44th single, TSUNAMI sold 3 million copies and won the 42nd Japan Record Grand Prize in 2000. In 2003, the band celebrated their 25th anniversary. Also, in 2003, HMV Japan announced Southern All-Stars as the No.1 Japanese pop artist in its survey of "Top 100 Japanese pops Artists" of all time.

In October 2005, they released their studio album Killer Street, which immediately rose to Number 1 on the Japanese charts. On 18 May 2008, Victor Entertainment announced that Southern All Stars would be taking a break in the following year. The artists themselves continued to pursue their individual careers. The band planned to get back together at some point in the future. In July 2010, singer Kuwata Keisuke was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer and all tours and releases of the band that were planned until the end of the year were postponed or cancelled completely. The cancer was surgically removed, and Kuwata performed as a solo artist with a new song on 31 December 2010 at the 61st Kōhaku Uta Gassen.

In their songs, the Southern All Stars cover a wide range of music and topics: love songs, ballads, sociocritical and humorous songs are all part of their repertoire.

Southern All Stars (サザンオールスターズ)


  • 勝手にシンドバッド (Katte ni SHINDOBADDO), 25 June 1978
  • 気分しだいで責めないで (Kibun shidai de Semenaide), 25 November 1978
  • いとしのエリー (Itoshi no ERĪ, Elly my Love), 25 March 1979
  • 思い過ごしも恋のうち (Omoisugoshi mo Koi no Uchi), 25 July 1979
  • C調言葉に御用心 (C chō Kotoba ni Goyōjin), 25 October 1979
  • 涙のアベニュー (Namida no ABENYŪ, Avenue of tears), 21 February 1980
  • 恋するマンスリー・デイ (Koi suru MANSURĪ DEI), 21 March 1980
  • いなせなロコモーション (Inase na ROKOMŌSYON, Live the Locomotion), 21 May 1980
  • ジャズマン (JAZZ MAN), 21 June 1980
  • わすれじのレイド・バック (Wasureji no REIDO BAKKU), 21 July 1980
  • シャ・ラ・ラ/ごめんねチャーリー (SHA RA RA/Gomenne CHĀRĪ, Sha la la / I’m sorry Charlie), 21 November 1980
  • Big Star Blues (ビッグスターの悲劇), 21 June 1981
  • 栞のテーマ (Shiori no TEEMA, Shiori’s Theme), 21 September 1981
  • チャコの海岸物語 (CHAKO no Kaigan Monogatari), 21 January 1982
  • 匂艶 THE NIGHT CLUB (Niji iro The Night Club), 21 May 1982
  • Ya Ya (あの時代を忘れない) (Ya Ya (Ano Toki wo Wasure nai)), 5 October 1982
  • ボディ・スペシャル II (BODY SPECIAL), 5 March 1983
  • EMANON, 5 July 1983
  • 東京シャッフル (Tōkyō Shuffle), 5 November 1983
  • ミス・ブランニュー・デイ (MISS BRAND-NEW DAY), 25 June 1984
  • Tarako, 21 October 1984
  • Bye Bye My Love (U are the one), 21 October 1984
  • メロディ (Melody), 21 October 1984
  • みんなのうた (Minna no Uta, Everybody’s song), 25 June 1988
  • 女神達への情歌 (報道されないY型の彼方へ) (Megami Tachi e no Jōka (Hōdō sarenai Y Kei no Kanata e)), 12 April 1989
  • さよならベイビー (Sayonara Baby), 7 June 1989
  • フリフリ'65 (Fri Fri Sixty-five), 21 November 1989
  • 真夏の果実 (Manatsu no Kajitsu, Fruits of midsummer), 25 July 1990
  • ネオ・ブラボー!! (Neo Bravo!!), 10 July 1991
  • シュラバ★ラ★バンバ SHULABA-LA-BAMBA/君だけに夢をもう一度 (SHURABA★RA★BANBA/Kimi Dake ni Yume wo Mō Ichido, SHULABA-LA-BAMBA / The dream only to you again) ,18 July 1992
  • 涙のキッス (Namida no KISSU, Kiss of tears), 18 July 1992
  • エロティカ・セブン EROTICA SEVEN, 21 July 1993
  • 素敵なバーディー (NO NO BIRDY) (Suteki na BĀDĪ (No No Birdy), Wonderful birdie (NO NO BIRDY)), 21 July 1993
  • クリスマス・ラブ (涙のあとには白い雪が降る), Christmas Love (Namida no Ato ni wa Shiroi Yuki ga Furu), 20 November 1993
  • マンピーのG★SPOT (Mampi’s G-spot), 22 May 1995
  • あなただけを ~Summer Heartbreak~ (Anata dake wo ~Summer Heartbreak~, Only You ~Summer heartbreak~), 17 July 1995
  • 愛の言霊 ~Spiritual Message~, 20 May 1996
  • 太陽は罪な奴 (Taiyō wa Tsumi na Yatsu, The sun is a crime fellow), 25 June 1996
  • 01MESSENGER ~電子狂の詩~ (ZERO-ONE MESSENGER ~denshi Kyō no Uta~, Electronic maniac’s song), 21 August 1997
  • BLUE HEAVEN, 6 November 1997
  • LOVE AFFAIR ~秘密のデート~ (Love Affair ~Himitsu no DĒTO~, LOVE AFFAIR ~Secret date~), 11 February 1998
  • PARADISE, 29 July 1998
  • イエローマン ~星の王子様~ (YELLOW MAN ~Hoshi no Oujisama~, Yellow Man ~Prince in Star~), 25 March 1999
  • TSUNAMI, 26 January 2000
  • HOTEL PACIFIC, 19 July 2000
  • この青い空、みどり ~BLUE IN GREEN~, 1 November 2000
  • 涙の海で抱かれたい ~SEA OF LOVE~ (Namida no Umi de Dakare tai ~Sea of Love~, I want to be held in the sea of tears ~SEA OF LOVE~), 23 July 2003
  • 彩 ~Aja~ (Coloring ~Aja~), 14 April 2004
  • 君こそスターだ/夢に消えたジュリア (Kimi Koso SUTĀ da / Yume ni Kieta JURIA, Only you are the star / Julia disappears in a dream), 21 July 2004
  • 愛と欲望の日々/LONELY WOMAN (Ai to Yokubō no Hibi, Every day, love and desire), 24 November 2004
  • BOHBO No.5 / 神の島遥か国 (Bohbo NANBAA FAIBU / Kami no Shima Haruka Kuni, BOHBO No.5 / God’s island, the world so far), 20 July 2005
  • ロックンロール・スーパーマン ~Rock’n’Roll Superman~ (Rock’n’Roll Superman)
  • DIRTY OLD MAN ~さらば夏よ~ (DIRTY OLD MAN ~Saraba Natsu yo~), 2006
  • I AM YOUR SINGER, 2008

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