Japanese cult rock heroes the pillows answered the call of thousands of fans around the world to release their music outside of Japan digitally. Last month Japanese music specialists JPU Records released 22 singles from the band for digital download and streaming for the first time. Now, these releases have been joined by 14 studio albums, a self-cover EP, and vocalist Sawao Yamanaka’s solo album Nonocular violet in making over 220 tracks available officially for the first time to an international audience.
To commemorate the worldwide digital release, the band is asking fans to tweet their favourite songs from the recently available songs with the hashtag #thepillows30 for a playlist of the top 30 tracks according to fans.
Amongst the album releases is 1998’s LITTLE BUSTERS, and album which, according to The Japan Times, is one of ten albums that should have been included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. There’s also follow up album HAPPY BIVOUAC, which was highly recommended by the users of r/JapaneseMusic on Reddit where a thread about the releases became the top topic amongst the subreddit’s 65k members. The album, along with several others, include tracks that were also used in the soundtrack to cult anime series FLCL, of which the pillow’s supplied the entire soundtrack to. In total, the albums range from 1994’s KOOL SPICE, right up to 2018’s REBROADCAST which includes the track ‘Ningendomo’, which includes yoko of noodles and Yoshinori Arie of VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE.
Frontman and the pillows leader Sawao Yamanaka’s solo album Nonocular violet has also been made available. His solo work sees him work with a number of fresh talent from Japan’s rock scene, with members always changing from one album to the next. This album he’s joined by Chiba O’Reilly of THE BOHEMIANS on drums, Yusuke Kimura of ArtTheaterGuild on guitar, and Takumaru Anzai on bass.
Tracks such as ‘Ride on shooting star’ have already been streamed over five million times on Spotify, why not join them and blast some of the pillows’ timeless classic tracks.