The real group beind the fictional band responsible for the jazzy new age funky classical music found in the wonderful Anime called Cowboy Bebop. They are heavily influenced by Yoko Kanno's wide and varied skills in many musical styles but the overriding influence this time seems to be jazz oriented.
I suspect that Watanabe and Kanno wanted to show through The Seatbelts that although the future may not be exactly bright and happy, but that humanity's sense of culture isn't dead either. Good jazz, classical, heros, etc. are timeless even in the future...
This is quoted from the back of the first Cowboy Bebop CD gives a little insight into their name. Keep in mind that Kanno speaks very good English but she probably didn't write this so the forgive the grammar and goofy spelling.
"THE SEATBELTS" - led by the sound producer Y.K. - are very hot & COOL & anarchy & peace & hard & soft & potato-like band. In 2048, immediately, they got famous in The Solar System Music Scene. It is said that the name of them came from their unique style of performance - all members wear the seatbelts for safety while they are playing. The members of "THE SEATBELTS" have extraordinarily diverse styles of music, which gives a wide variety to their own sound. However, personal information about them has been completely concealed. Producer Y.K. likes to refer to the standard tunes which many "SPACE - JAZZMEN" in GANYMEDE use as bases for improvisation as "THE TRADITIONAL GLOBAL FORM". That Y.K. is the leading interpeters of this form is a fact which Y.K. has proven since she first attained prominence on The Solar System Music Scene. These recordings of their First Album "COWBOY BEBOP" are from what could be called Seatbelt's "A bar of sweet-potate paste period". I don't know what the name of this period really means. "Tank!", the first tune in this Album, was ranked #1 in "The Solar System Music Hit Chart" in 2056. This tune really established Y.K. as a stylist and also as a great sound producer as well.
During late Fourties and early Fifties, "THE SEATBELTS" traveled around the planets for concerts named "Digging my POTATO tour". Recently, I came across an interview with Y.K. "We really enjoyed playing in large audience. We could stay safe during our play, because we all wore SEATBELTS, as you know. Then we got relaxed and it was fun." She continued in laughter, "There was only one thing we couldn't enjoy on this tour ... That's sea-rats meat in GANYMEDE." She is planning to release new album named "Vitaminless", "COWBOY BEBOP-NO DISK" in future. I'm really looking forward to listening to her New Works soon.
Notes by THE DOG in Back Yard (2071)
The Seatbelts are:
- Keyboards: Yoko Kanno
- Synthesizer manipulate: Keishi Urata
- Drums: Yauso Sano
- Bass: Hitoshi Watanabe, Maki Kitada
- Guitar: Tsuneo Imahori
- Percussion:Mataro Misawa, Ikuo Kakehashi
- Voices/Words/Lyrics: Tim Jensen
- Saxophone: Takuo Yamamoto, Osaum Koike, Masato Honda, Shigeo Fuchino
- Trumpet:Toshio Araki, Yusuke Hayashi, Kouji Nishimura
- Trombone: Yoichi Murata, Masanori Hirohara, Yunko Yamashiro
- Flute: Hideyo Takakuwa, Kazuhiro Iwasa, Mika Hayashi
- Tuba: Kiyoshi Sato
Also known to perform with The Seatbelts:
- Steve Conte
- for vocals in several English songs.
- Emily Bindiger
- for vocals in several English songs.
- Mai Yamane
- noted singer in the moving song Blue found on the 3rd CD Blue.
- Sydney with Sister R
- Aoi Tada
- For Wo Qui Non Coin and is coincidently the voice actress for Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV
- Jerzy Knetig
- Vocals on the operatic Ave Maria.
Published Seatbealt/Cowboy Bebop CDs are...
- VICL-60201 - Cowboy Bebop
- VICL-60248 - Vitaminless
- VICL-60202 - No Disc
- VICL-60203 - Blue
- VICL-60371 - Music for Freelance
- VICL-35297 - Ask DNA
- VICL-60756 - Future Blues
- VIZL-64 - Cowboy Bebop CD-BOX
In the grand traditions of Anime merchandise, the CB CD Box is very nice. The first thing to note about the limited edition CD Box is the CD single taped, a tape that looks kind of police tape-ish except it has a Ein on it. The slipcase for the box itself is cardboard, the actual CD book has a very nice Toshiro Kawamoto picture of the 5 main characters of Cowboy Bebop dress in 20s style(Faye with a Thompson!!). The cover of the 58 page booklet is graced by a very detailed JERICO 941 handgun.
The 4 CDs themselves are digital bliss for any Cowboy Bebop fan. The first 3 CDs somewhat follow the musical progression from the Session 1 to Session 26 starting with Tank! and ending with Blue very much in an alpha and omega manner. Mixed in between the music are bits of dialog that mark the episode progression including the very memoriable dialog in Session 26 before See You Space Cowboy and Blue.
The 4th CD has stuff from Earth Girls are Easy Seatbelts Live 2001 at Shibuya plus some tracks from Ask DNA and some BGM. This is a great live recording if nothing else to listen to the best jazz parts of CB played live if not for one track devoted to just Kanno and her piano.
Finally, no I have not listened to the kareoke CD single...I do not have a dog to partner with.
EXT's notes: I've updated the information since I've gotten my hot little hands on the Cowboy Bebop CD-BOX. The booklet in the box is actually quite informative and filled out some information! I am debating whether to move the CD Box information into its own shell. At the moment I am going to run with this and see how this node grows.