Tokyo Rose (album)

Last updated
Tokyo Rose
Tokyo rose.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1989
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Andrew Wickam
Van Dyke Parks chronology
Tokyo Rose
Fisherman & His Wife

Tokyo Rose is an album by the American musician Van Dyke Parks, released in 1989. [1] [2] The album concerns the intersection between Japanese and American cultures and economics. [3] [4]



The album's first song, "America", is an adaptation of "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)" with numerous pentatonic shifts characteristic of Japanese music, played on a combination of standard Western instruments and traditional Japanese instruments, such as the biwa and the koto. Syd Straw and Danny Hutton sang on the album. [5] "Manzanar" is about the internment of Japanese Americans. [6]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Chicago Sun-Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [8]

The Philadelphia Inquirer called the album "an ambitious suite of songs dealing with the politics, cultures and economies of a changing world." [9] The Chicago Sun-Times deemed it "a gorgeously idiosyncratic piece of work," writing that "the string arrangements that dominate this album are every bit as beguiling as we've come to expect from Parks." [8] The Times determined that Parks's "music ploughs its charming, obscure and highly original furrow, faintly evoking Gilbert and Sullivan or Rodgers and Hammerstein rather than any discernable acknowledgement of rock, soul or pop." [10]

The New York Times wrote: "Sustaining a tone like the innocence and hardheadedness of E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime, Mr. Parks begins in pre-Sony times. As history and dreams flash through the orchestral arrangements, they begin a century-long prelude to an even closer future the two nations may share." [11]

Track listing

All songs written by Van Dyke Parks, except track 1, which is public domain, arranged and adapted by Parks; track 10, Japanese lyrics by Amy Furumoto.

  1. "America" – 3:47
  2. "Tokyo Rose" – 5:08
  3. "Yankee Go Home" (features vocal of Danny Hutton) – 6:27
  4. "Cowboy" – 4:35
  5. "Manzanar" – 6:02
  6. "Calypso" (features vocal of Mari Iijima) – 4:27
  7. "White Chrysanthemum" – 4:00
  8. "Trade War" – 4:40
  9. "Out of Love" – 3:18
  10. "One Home Run" – 4:00


See also

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  2. Lester, Paul (Aug 26, 1989). "Albums: Van Dyke Parks". Melody Maker. 65 (34): 38.
  3. Heim, Chris (11 Aug 1989). "Rock Revivals". Friday. Chicago Tribune. p. 80.
  4. Radel, Cliff (August 18, 1989). "Van Dyke Parks Tokyo Rose". USA Today.
  5. Gilbert, Calvin (August 25, 1989). "A true artist delights with eccentric new album". Fun. The Advocate. Baton Rouge. p. 2.
  6. Darling, Cary (August 25, 1989). "Pop Albums". Orange County Register. p. P36.
  7. "Tokyo Rose - van Dyke Parks | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic .
  8. 1 2 McLeese, Don (August 14, 1989). "New Release". Chicago Sun-Times. Features. p. 35.
  9. Milward, John (17 Aug 1989). "The Composer's World". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. F1.
  10. Toop, David (September 2, 1989). "Moving forward to the past". Features. The Times.
  11. Hunter, James (1 Apr 1990). "Recent Releases". The New York Times. p. A34.