Behind The Mask 35th Anniversary

 

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Alors que le single « Off The Wall » s’impose sur les ondes des radios du monde entier, de l’autre côté de la planète, au pays du soleil levant, la nouvelle formation Yellow Magic Orchestra composée de Yukihiro Takahashi, Ryuichi Sakamoto et Haruomi Hosono prépare la sortie de son nouveau single intitulé « Behind The Mask ». Le groupe affirme des sonorités électro-pop avant-gardistes qui s’affirment rapidement dans le monde de la musique du début des années 80.

 

 

 1979


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Solid State Survivor – LP

  • Année de sortie : 1979
  • Pays : Japon / Réf: ALR-6022
  • Alfa Records


 

Solid State Survivor – CD

  • Année de sortie : 2003
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: 513446
  • Epic Records (Alfa Music)


 

YMO – Micro Sampler – Micro Disc

  • Année de sortie : 1980
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: YMO-5
  • A&M Records



 

Behind The Mask – 12″ Promo

  • Année de sortie : 1979
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: SP-17129
  • A&M Records


 

Behind The Mask – 12″ 

  • Année de sortie : 1980
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: AMSX 7559
  • A&M Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Promo 

  • Année de sortie : 1979
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: 2261
  • A&M Records


 

 Behind The Mask – 7″ 

  • Année de sortie : 1980
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: AMS 7559
  • A&M Records


 

de nombreuses versions live et remixées sont également disponibles sur un grand nombre de pressages du groupe. 

 

 

 

 

 1984


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Pulse – LP 

  • Année de sortie : 1984
  • Pays : Europe / Réf: FL84698
  • Planet Records


 

Pulse – CD 

  • Année de sortie : 1990
  • Pays : Europe / Réf: ND 90554
  • RCA Records


 

Pulse – CD 

  • Année de sortie : 2008
  • Pays : Japon / Réf: BVCM-35429
  • BMG Records


 

Pulse – CD 

  • Année de sortie : 2012
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: CDBBR 0127
  • Big Break Records


 

Big Twelve Inches « Groovin’ You » – CD 

  • Année de sortie : 1999
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: 7446499621-2
  • BMG Records


 

Behind The Mask – 12″ Promo 

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: JD-14024
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 12″ Single 

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: RPST 110
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 12″ Single 

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : Allemagne / Réf: FC 4024
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Promo 

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : France / Réf: PB 61598
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Promo 

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: JH-13943
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Promo 

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: JH-13943
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Single

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: RPS 110
  • Planet Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Single

  • Année de sortie : 1985
  • Pays : Allemagne / Réf: FB 3943
  • Planet Records


 

 

 

 

 1986


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August – LP

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: 925 476-4
  • Duck / Warner Records

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August – CD

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: 9 25476-2
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

August – CD

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Allemagne / Réf: 7599-25476-2
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

August – CD

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Australie / Réf: 925 476-2
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

August – CD

  • Année de sortie : 2000
  • Pays : U.S.A. / Réf: 9362-47736-2
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

Behind The Mask – 12″ Single

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: W8461
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Promo

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Espagne / Réf: M-3725
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Single

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Royaume-Uni / Réf: W 8461
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Single

  • Année de sortie : 1986
  • Pays : Japon / Réf: P-2228
  • Duck / Warner Records


 

 

 

 1987


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUQYB-Xy31k


 

Behind The Mask – CD EP

  • Année de sortie : 1987
  • Pays : Japon / Réf: MCD3-1071
  • MIDI Inc. Records


 

 

 

2010


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Behind The Mask – CD Promo

  • Année de sortie : 2011
  • Pays : France / No Ref
  • Sony Music / Epic Records


 

Behind The Mask – 7″ Single

  • Année de sortie : 2011
  • Pays : Europe / Réf: 34-788083
  • Sony Music / Epic Records


 

Behind The Mask – DVD Promo

  • Année de sortie : 2011
  • Pays : France
  • Sony Music / Epic Records


 

 

 

 

 

Chris Mosdell Exclusive Interview

 » We all have masks we wear « 


Bento Book (new)

Chris Mosdell, could you please tell us more about your career as a lyricist, poet, author, composer, vocalist and illustrator?

I have always regarded myself primarily as a lyricist, and thus all the other epithets are sub-plots that, at one time or another, have had a relevance to my lyric writing. I seem to have been writing lyrics for eons, and the one complimentary characteristic I can say regarding my personality is that I’m obviously driven by an innate regimentation a bit like a drug addiction. I write, without fail, every morning for at least two hours. The rest of the day is spent in Tokyo (the hub of life!) being irradiated by the city’s energies the charge I need to revitalize myself for the next day. Yes, I have released three solo albums, written numerous poetry collections, and written and illustrated a series of wacky children’s books (www.goofyguru.com) but still, above all I am a lyricist.

In 1976, you moved from London to Japan. What were your motivations?

Very simple! I was desperate to get the hell out of England and serendipitously, I met someone who had just returned from Tokyo. On a whim and with the spirit of Harry Houdini in tow, I left for those, what I thought were, and still are, “exotic” shores.

Laser Lyricist

You’re the original lyricist and creator of the song « Behind the Mask » issued on the album « Solid State Survivor » of the Japanese group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) including Yukihiro Takahashi, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono. Could you detailed all stages of the creative process and your meeting with Yukihiro Takahashi (founder of the group Yellow Magic Orchestra)?

On arriving in Tokyo a series of my poems was published in the English language newspaper, the Japan Times. By chance Yukihiro Takahashi, who at that time was a member of Sadistics (post Sadistic Mika Band, a group who toured Britain with Roxy Music) discovered them and asked if he might use them for a girl singer he was producing at the time. Naturally, I had no objection, even though I regarded them as poems rather than lyrics. Still, that was when our partnership began, and which evolved into countless other musical projects including YMO.

I suddenly found myself being a “lyricist,” and began, obsessively writing hundreds (literally) of songs that I was hoping would be put to music. With YMO I would give them a great pile of lyrics that they could pick through and choose ones they particularly liked. These were post-punk times and I was reflecting a city that, to me, was a classic dystopian environment, faceless, impersonal, fast, and technocratic. These motifs became my thematic template. I even gave YMO a complete free rein, to not only select the lyrics they liked, but to, in fact, chose particular verses or phrases that might fit a musical piece. Most of my original lyrics are much lengthier than those on the albums, and often cut and pasted, a la William Burroughs. Eventually, when they had made their selection, they would then ask me for further lyrics for an addition musical verse or chorus line.

The single was released in 1980 was incredibly successful in the whole world and also in Europe. Could you please tell us how you lived this exploding and quick success?

Very simply, as always. Yes, it was pretty startling to have such meteoritic success but the Japanese regard modesty and humility as virtues, and even though it was an astounding time in the “Technopolis,” all I really did was scribble on. There’s an axiom in Japan that says “To continue is to succeed,” and that’s what I’ve always tried to live by. Anyway, the little ol’ lyricist always takes a back seat, a kind of shadowy character outside the ring of the spotlight.

Masque_Noh

At the same time, Michael Jackson was interested in recording this song. He wrote additional lyrics and arrangements. He recorded is own version of the song. Could you give us your memories on his recording desire? How was the partnership organized and who was involved?

The original “Behind the Mask” was based on the image of the classical Japanese masked drama, Noh, and also on a poem by W.B. Yates entitled “The Mask.” These were the seeds of the lyrics––a bare-boned, unemotional mask behind which lies a hidden personality. The Michael Jackson version has no relevance to the inert, expressionless “mask” I had in mind.

Théâtre Noh

Of course, this was decades ago, but it seems Quincy Jones visited Tokyo and discovered the song, unbeknownst to me at the time. Even when I found out that fact, Michael Jackson meant little to me. My musical taste was far to the left of his musical sphere. Still, when I realized the situation I actually wrote another complete lyric, upbeat in the Michael dance-vein and had it sent, with a personal letter to Michael and Quincy, suggesting this new alternative. How much, if any of the lyrics were used or help inspire the new version, I have no idea. Japan was the other side of the world, an isolated island at sea in early 80’s communication and I literally heard nothing until I was told that Michael had recorded the song and it was on the Thriller album!

Again, this meant little to me (pre-Thriller!!) but I was told that Michael had added a new melody line and additional lyrics and also that his publishing company would like (rather demanded) that both myself and Sakamoto share the publishing with Michael. At the time I said fine, as did Ryuichi, but it seems my Japanese publishing company thought otherwise and declined the offer. After all, the original copyright was Ryuichi’s and mine, and naturally my publishing company had every right to refuse. Ha, in hindsight, not such a clever move! Of course, the next thing I knew was that the song had been taken off the Thriller album and put in the vaults. Of course, this is when its second lease of life began!

Did you have any contact with Michael Jackson’s team or Michael Jackson himself? Have you validated the new lyrics? Did you listen to MJ’s new version?

That was all left to my publishing company. Obviously there was a dialogue between the parties but I was not involved. After sending the new lyrics that I wrote I heard nothing until the song was released on the album after Michael death.

The new version of the song including Michael Jackson’s new lyrics and arrangements was used on the next versions by Greg Phillinganes (Pulse – 1985), Eric Clapton (August – 1986) & Ryuichi Sakamoto (Behind The Mask EP – 1987), As an author what are your impressions on these versions? Were you involved in writing new lyrics for the Greg Phillinganes version?

You can still hear pieces of my original lyrics in Michael’s chorus where he either kept a complete line or tweaked a word. But all other versions are based on Michael’s rearrangement of the original song. I once met Greg Phillingales when I was working in the recording studio with Boy George in LA, and we had a chat about the song. But basically it was Michael’s baby and Greg had adopted it.

In 2010, after the death of Michael Jackson, his version was finally released as a single with brand new arrangements from Greg Phillingales, what were your impressions?

Of course it’s far removed from the concept and starkness of the original, but it’s a wonderful song that Michael sings at the peak of his powers. It’s a pity it was taken off the Thriller album, but I suppose all good things are worth waiting for. And if it hadn’t been yanked off, none of the song’s astounding odyssey would have taken place!

SHIBUYAHEAD

35 years later, what are your impressions on the path of this song?

The song’s journey is like a Homeric adventure, an unpredictable road that has ricocheted its way through the music world. I think, if I recollect correctly, I wrote the original lyrics on a scrap of tissue paper in McDonalds in the centre of Tokyo and rode home on my bicycle and pounded them out on an old bust-up typewriter. Since then the song has had a charmed life completely out of my control. I have just sat back and watched and listened. It’s miraculous really, and from such lowly beginnings.

Finally, could tell us who’s behind this mask?

Every one of us. We all have masks we wear, but to quote Yeats: “It was the mask engaged your mind, /And after set your heart to beat, / Not what’s behind.”

www.chrismosdell.com


 

 

 

BONUS


Avec le Yellow Magic Orchestra, « Behind The Mask » s’écoute bien souvent sur support jaune ! 

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En Argentine « Cerca de la Mascara » !

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Remarquable interprétation !

 

Merci à Richard Lecocq et Marc Mercey
pour leur aimable contribution

 

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