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Tomita's Greatest Hits

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Album Review

Isao Tomita's electronic covers of classical pieces may sound outdated and primordial, but his rather basic keyboard applications and simplistic approach are rather interesting, mainly because of their austerity. Overshadowed by keyboard kingpins like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Rick Wakeman, who were making lengthy progressive rock opuses in the '70s with the same means of instrumentation (only to a greater extent and with a greater degree of pretentiousness), Tomita's material was somewhat bypassed. His Greatest Hits sums up most of his worthy accomplishments, with the exception of The Planets, an electronic adaptation of Holst's most famous work that should be heard on its own. The best track from that album is represented here in the form of Mars, while other notable pieces such as Debussy's Claire de Lune and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition are just as interesting. Tomita's straightforward and undecorated style of keyboard playing may not harbor the whirlwind frenzy of other artists, but this is where the adoration lies. Even his version of the Star Wars theme is somewhat attractive, while Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra sounds charmingly conventional to say the least. Classical fans may indeed shudder, but tastes that are geared toward the rawest form of the Moog synthesizer and the like need only this album to experience Tomita's informal brand of keyboard work.

Customer Reviews

Isao Tomita is genius.

I give it 4 stars because it is Tomita. The collection itself is not exemplary of his best material. Unavailable on itunes are his classic Debussy album, and the perhaps greater Ravel album. Tomita was not "overshadowed" by Rick Wakeman or ELP as the above reviewer suggests. He was unconcerned. His electronic treatments of classical pieces are meticulous and imaginative and should not be referred to in the same milieu as prog-rock synthesists.

His best is not here

Good/Great album, but unfortunately, his best album is no longer available here. If I were going to only BUY one Tomita album, it would hands down be his Debussy album, Snowflakes are Dancing - w/ Claire de Lune and the popular song, Arabasque #1 (from the PBS show "Star Hustlers"). iTunes used to have it. I have the actual CD but did review it here a few years ago.

Tomita's... Greatest Hits...

Where to begin with this one... I am a huge fan of Tomita, owning several of his albums all of which I truly enjoy... In all honesty & in my humble opinion any fan or anyone having an interest in listening to Tomita's work would be better off buying his albums as a whole which would be much more enjoyable then listening to selected tracks on this Greatest hits album... I believe that most fans would enjoy his individual albums complete & straight threw then to listen to selected tracks put together for this Greatest hits album... Unfortunately most of his catalogue is not available on I - Tunes, & hard to find in general... His cd's are available online but some are expensive... But I still say buy his cd's & if you can stay away from this greatest hits...

Tomita's Greatest Hits, Isao Tomita
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Customer Ratings