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CH 054CD CH 054CD

Originally reissued in 2006 by Chapter Music, this is the 1972 debut album by Sachiko Kanenobu, an artist generally acknowledged as the first Japanese woman to release an album of her own songwriting. It's a near-perfect folk masterpiece, alternating full-bodied arrangements (produced by Harry Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Happy End) with Sachiko's lonesome guitar and pure, soaring vocals. Discovered as a precocious 18 year-old in Osaka, Sachiko was signed in 1968 to Japan's first real independent record label, URC (Underground Record Club), who changed Japan's musical landscape irrevocably in the late '60s and early '70s with artists like Happy End, Folk Crusaders and Kenji Endo. Sachiko was the only female artist on this era-defining label. But just a few months before Misora (roughly translated as "Beautiful Sky") was released, Sachiko left Japan and secretly emigrated to America to marry music critic Paul Williams (Crawdaddy, Rolling Stone). She did not record again for almost a decade and didn't release another album until 1992. Instead, she settled with Williams in small-town California and raised two sons. Misora was released in her absence and promptly disappeared. World-renowned science fiction writer Philip K Dick, a Williams family friend, actually encouraged Sachiko to return to music in the early '80s. He was executive producer for a single recorded in 1981, but sadly died before he could realize his ambition to produce Sachiko's comeback album. Still, Sachiko was inspired by his encouragement to reinvent herself as a "folk-punk" singer, forming new band Culture Shock in the mid-'80s. Sachiko still performs to this day, and since Misora was rediscovered by Japanese fans in the early '90s, she has returned to her homeland many times to perform. Misora is now regarded as a landmark in Japanese musical history, and Sachiko is revered there as a true underground folk pioneer. Truly mellow, still relevant, and sounding as fresh as the day it was recorded, Chapter Music's edition of Misora is the first for the English-speaking world, featuring extensive liner notes, lyrics translated into English by Sachiko herself, and never-before-seen photos from the singer's own archives.