Part one : LPs
I always have a good look at any Stereo test records I come across in the wild. More often than not they just contain high and low frequency tones and a few bits of classical music, but now and again you turn up some better stuff.
Quite often older discs will have a track with Jimmy Takeuchi or Tokyo Cuban Boys, and when you get into the 70s there tends to be a focus on Jazz and more esoteric music. Then of course there are the cover versions of hits of the day by Japanese session/pick up bands, which often provide the pearls amid the pigswill.
Here are a few of the LPs for starters, and I'll add 7 inchers and more sound clips later if there's enough interest.
DAM Original Pro Use Record
This one shouldn't need any introduction. Side one is all pretty forgettable, but side two has Fukamachi Jun's 13 minute funk/fusion wig out Bamboo Bong
Denon PCM Testing Your equipment
Catchy titles like Wow and Flutter Test, Overall Test from Band1 to 4, and Intermodulation Test say it all really. Nice cover, though ... and fun to play around with the speed settings
One of my personal faves, this has it all. Channel check, Faux-Latin, lounge cover of Street Fighting Man, and Terauchi Takeshi's surf version of Rashomon. And that's only side 1. Side 2 has Enoch Light doing covers of Shaft, Proud Mary, The Doors' Touch Me, and Marrakesh Express.
Sony SQ Chikyu ha Hitotsu
2 tracks by Chase, and Sly & the Family Stone - Life, otherwise fairly forgettable.
Technics Audio Inspection
Great version of Caravan by Maeda Norio, otherwise nothing special on here for me.
Technics Audio Inspection 7
Cool Jazz, a bit of disco-funk, and Rod Stewart doing Maggie May
Trio SQ 4CH Stereo record
Hits of the day including Sanatana, Chase, The Byrds, Janis and a couple of concessions to electronics with Milton Subotnick and Walter Carlos. Latin music is represented by El Chiclo courtesy of The Grand Orchestra Tipica Kenwood and there are also covers of The Boxer and Baby Elephant Walk
Victor SEA System
45rpm effort with mainly tones to check your speaker alignment and frequency response. Couple of nice Latin bits from Onodera Masashi and Los Indios and Suzuki Norio and His Rhythm Aces.
Yamaha Speaker Fair Session II
This one is sought after for samples, but sounds like tepid Jazz Funk to my ears. Japanese musicians in LA in the early 80s as part of Yamaha's keyboard "R&D".