2006 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title For The Love & You
CD Label Toshiba-EMI/Express
CD Number TOCT-16006
Music by: Jiro's
Number of tracks 15
Running time 45:73
Number of discs 1
Year of release/manufacture March 30,2005

REVIEW July 30, 2006 - Updated August 08, 2006

Review courtesy of Robert Storch

Jiro Sugita is probably not known to most of the Western world, but in Japan he's been making music since the late 60's and has had a rather interesting career path. Starting out around 1967, he joined "NORIHIKO HASHIDA AND THE SHOEBELTS", a group that didn't last too long, though they did release a couple of albums. Norihiko Hashida was the featured singer here and has had a successful solo career himself. Around 1970, Jiro Sugita left to form another group with fellow singer Jiro Morishita - the resulting partnership was simply called "JIRO's". They appear to have released only two albums in the 70's before Mr. Sugita went solo in 1972 - this album from '71 and a live LP in '72. I have been told that after the group broke up in 1972, Mr. Morishita became a successful producer of Radio Kansai, among other things I am sure. In 2002 they reformed and released a reunion album (ENCM-2014) where they re-recorded a lot of the songs from their first album. The live LP from '72, titled "GOOD-BY JIRO'S", has also been issued on CD in a cardboard LP-style sleeve with 24bit remastering (TOCT-25206).

This CD, "FOR THE LOVE & YOU - JIRO'S 1", is really the album that launched his career, and to this day contains many of his best songs. Tracks 1 & 14 are perhaps the biggest hits here and have also appeared on countless Jiro Sugita "best of" compilations and live CDs. The numerous English cover songs on the album will be familiar to most, and pretty much stay true to the originals, but with a more "pop" sound. Overall, this album is a mixture of styles - a little folk, some pop/rock, and even a dash of soft pop/easy listening. For those not familiar with Mr. Sugita, he has a very strong and distinctive voice and has recently turned 60 this year. These days he is probably more comparable to Neil Diamond than, say, Rob Thomas!

Aside from the pair of tunes featured in the film BYE BYE JUPITER (CA35-1073/ETP-90276) (1983), Jiro also contributed two songs to the soundtrack of Toho's CREST OF THE WOLF (VPCD-81175) (1973) and may have participated in other film projects as well. His association with Toshiba-EMI/Express started with the group "Shoebelts" in the late 60's and lasted until the late 1980's as a solo artist. He has since worked with a few other labels. This album must be an important one in his catalog (I have also heard that the first song in particular is very well regarded in Japan), as it seems to have been reissued many more times than some of his other Toshiba CDs, with most others remaining out of print. There is a 1992 CD (TOCT-6583) as well as a '98 release (TOCT-10123), a 2003 re-release in a cardboard LP-style sleeve with 24bit remastering (TOCT-25108), this 2005 version (TOCT-16006), which I presume is the remastered '03 disc repackaged in a jewel case, and a 2006 re-release of the cardboard LP-style sleeve again (TOCT-25108). While Jiro Sugita may not be everyone's cup of tea, I find his Toho soundtrack work to be very enjoyable, and if anyone reading this review also likes his JUPITER tracks and a more commercial style of music, than you might like this CD too.

ENTER THE JIROS
The Jiros (1971)

Track translations courtesy of John Cassidy

  1. Children Don't Know Of War
    (Sensou Wo Shiranai Kodomo Tachi)
    Written by Osamu Kitayama
    Composed by Jirou Sugita
    Arranged by Shunichi Makaino
  2. Maybe Tomorrow
    (Meibii Toumorou)
    Composed and Written by Tom Evans
    Arranged by Norio Maeda
  3. The Throbbing Of This Heart (You Don't Have To Say You Love Me)
    (Kono Mune No Tokimeki Wo)
    Composed and Written by Giuseppe Donaggio and Vito Pallavicini
    Arranged by Norio Maedad
  4. For Love And You
    (Ai To Anata No Tame Ni)
    Written by Osamu Kitayama
    Composed by Jirou Sugita
    Arranged by Shunichi Makaino
  5. Takeda's Lullabye
    (Takeda No Komoriuta)
    Folk Song - Arranged by Nozomu Aoki
  6. The Circle Game
    (Saakuru Geemu)
    Composed and Written by Joni Mitchell
    Arranged by Nozomu Aoki
  7. Friends Of The Heart (With A Little Help From My Friends)
    (Kokoro No Tomo)
    Composed and Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
    Arranged by Norio Maeda
  8. From The Sunlit Sky
    (Asayake No Sora Kara)
    Composed and Written by Yoshinobu Morishita
    Arranged by Nozomu Aoki
  9. Mamako
    Composed and Written by Kouta Fujiwara
    Arranged by Nozomu Aoki
  10. Yearning For Phoenix (By The Time I Get To Phoenix)
    (Koi Wa Fenikkusu)
    Composed and Written by Jim Webb
    Arranged by Norio Maeda
  11. I Am A Rock
    (Ai Amu A Rokku)
    Composed and Written by Paul Simon
    Arranged by Norio Maeda
  12. From Within The Mirror
    (Kagami No Naka Kara)
    Written by Osamu Kitayama
    Composed by Jirou Sugita
    Arranged by Shunichi Makaino
  13. A Lover's Concerto
    (Rabaazu Koncheruto)
    Composed and Written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randall
    Arranged by Nozomu Aoki
  14. Because Of You
    (Anata Dake Ni)
    Composed and Written by Jirou Sugita
    Arranged by Nozomu Aoki
  15. Look Around You
    (Kimi No Mawari Wo Mitsumete Goran)
    Composed and Written by Yoshihiro Nakamura
    Arranged by Nozomu Aoki