- Seibu Keisatsu Part II
1931 born Tatsuya Takahashi (real name Tatsuro Takahashi) is one of the most well known band leaders in Japan, and a very talented tenor saxophonist as well. Takahashi started his career in 1961 and after years of hard work, he moved to Tokyo and became the fourth bandleader of the Tokyo based big band called Tokyo Union in 1966. That was the point when the band was really starting to gain reputation and become a big name in the scene. In that point their name was also settled as Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union. Basically they were a strict jazz band, but they did some pretty good soundtrack scores too. Seems that along anime, the Japanese people had also a very strong thing to detective series throughout the 1970s and 1980s. (kinda same way as the Germans in the 1980s). So it was kind of natural, that Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union did their share of the soundtrack albums to several different detective series. Among these was a soundtrack to the series called Seibu Keisatsu Part II (literally Western Police). Actually they did more than one of these albums, but we’ll talk about this one particular now. Seibu Keisatsu was a detective drama series that was running from 1979 until 1984, with total of three seasons. Part II and Part III (seasons two and three) soundtracks were mainly played by Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union, while the Part I (season one) was by The Hornets. As expected, the soundtrack music varies from dramatic themes and mellow moods to some funky jazz and hectic chase funk.
The opening track “ワンダフル・ガイズ ～ TVサイズ” (Wandafuru gaizu ~ TV saizu) starts the album with the known quality of the Tokyo Union, it’s a typical uptempo detective theme with some disco feel in it. “ワンダフル・ガイズ ～ フルサイズ” (Wandafuru gaizu ~ furusaizu) is a full version of the same track, while the first was a shortened one fitted for television. Next one, “気分は最高” (Kibun wa saikō), instead is a very mellow and kinda sad track. Then comes “デンジャラス・チェイス” (Denjarasu cheisu). The name means dangerous chase, but it’s still a very nice midtempo jazz track in a Tokyo Union way, not a hectic chase theme. “ハッピー・ボーイ” (Happī bōi) is just what the name happy boy stands for. An happy but short track with a certain circus feel. Then comes two sad mellow tracks, “トワイライト・ストーリー” (Towairaito sutōrī) and “ロンリー・ポリスマン” (Ronrī porisuman). Well with the names like twilight story and lonely policeman, what else they can be. The last track on side a called “ジャングル・ヒーロー” (Janguru hīrō) is a killer uptempo chase theme with some percussion works, nice melodies and occasional guitarwork. The first track on side b is “パトカー・コンボイ” (Patokā konboi), again a quite nice uptempo detective theme but the cheesy disco feel gives it a little minus. After a mellow “ダーティー・ヒーロー” (Dātī hīrō) comes “スーパー・チェイサー” (Sūpā cheisā), the best track on the album. It’s a very blaxploitation-like uptempo chase funk track but with again some cheesyness. With a name like super chaser, what else you actually expect but a chase track. Too bad it’s a quite short one. Again there’s a one mellow drama song “哀愁のエアポート” (Aishū no eapōto) before we get to another uptempo track. “サラブレッド” (Sarabureddo) has some slightly annoying guitarwork, but despite that it’s a very nice one. And the same order continues to the end. First mellow and dramatic “友情” (Yūjō), then uptempo discoish “軍団マーチ” (Gundan māchi) and last one “サンセット・ハーバー” (Sansetto hābā) is again a downtempo drama track. Overall Tatsuaya Takahashi & Tokyo Union did their job quite well as this is a very decent soundtrack among the countless others that came from Japan during the 1970s and 1980s.
Wandafuru Gaizu ~ Furusaizu