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About Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi

Starting as a folksinger of sorts in the late '70s, Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi developed into a greater force in Japanese music, bridging the gap between folk and rock, protest and sentiment. After winning a Yamaha-sponsored music contest in 1976, Nagabuchi worked his way into the recording industry with fairly astonishing speed. A short-lived contract with JVC failed to produce lasting results, but a move to EMI put Nagabuchi into the number one album position on the Oricon charts by his sophomore album. Soon after, a sentimental singer/songwriter piece, "Kampai," became something of an anthem for a modernizing country. As his fame grew but his sales declined, Nagabuchi continued recording album after album, moving further to the side of the modern singer/songwriter than other contemporary artists, building compositional skills, and fostering a more gravelly voice (much like Nat King Cole, Nagabuchi viewed the sound of his voice as needing more maturity or gravity). Success returned in 1987 with the album License, and the Oricon charts showed Nagabuchi at number one for each successive album through 1993 (six in a row). The result of his added work was a sound rivaling Bruce Springsteen's (1988's Tonbo, in particular, is comparable to the emotion and compositional style of the Boss). His output decreased somewhat in the following years, heavy with compilations, though his fan base continued to follow him. Nagabuchi's success remained high with a switch in 1997 to the For Life label, with 2008's dual albums Love and Songs easily landing him back in the Oricon Top Ten. ~ Adam Greenberg

Kagoshima, Japan
Sep 7, 1956

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