The melodic guitar and piano playing and vocal harmonies of Tokyo-born Makato Kubota laid the foundation for Tokyo-born and Hawaii-raised vocalist Sandii (born: Sandy O'Neale) rise to international stardom. With endorsements from David Bowie and The Eurythmics, Kubota and Sandii's band, Sandii and the Sunsetz, had the potential to become one of the top bands in Japan. Their 1982 single, "Sticky Music," was a top three hit in Australia. Their albums, including Immigrants in 1982, La La La La Love in 1986 and Rhythm Chemistry in 1987, were among the first to successfully blend western and eastern instrumentation and pop influences.
Meeting in 1974, Kubota and Sandii agreed to pool their resources, three years later, when they formed Makoto Kubota And The Sunset Orchestra. With Sandii's sultry vocals and sensual persona backed by Kubota's hook-laden instrumental wizardry, the group seemed destined for success. Their debut album, Eating Pleasure, released in 1980, was produced by Haroumi Hosono of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, as was the group's second album, Heat Scale, the following year.
Although they never achieved predicted commercial heights, Kubota and Sandii continued to work together. In 1986, the group's name was changed to Sandii And The Sunsetz. During the 1990s, Kubota and Sandii have worked under Sandii's name with Kubota serving as producer of their albums. In addition to his collaborations with Sandii, Kubota has released three memorable solo albums. While Rhythm Romance and Live Sunset 64'40 were limited to Japanese distribution, Second Line, released in 1979 by Nippon Columbia, was internationally distributed. Recorded during the summer of 1978, the album featured guest appearances by Levon Helm, Steve Cropper and Bobby Charles.