Welcome to the first entry! 1981 was the pivotal year for me: got to go to Japan for a month on the graduation trip of Japanese Language School, did a homestay in Nara, saw so many vending machines that I thought they deserved voting rights...and music.
I finally got into music around that time with me diving into Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and the British New Wave, so my brain was attuned to hearing all sorts of stuff. When I went to Japan that year, then, I just got blown away by all this strangely appealing pop music that sounded Western but wasn't.
At the time, I'd started getting into the Yellow Magic Orchestra, so hearing the synths in the introduction immediately tugged at my ears. Plus his high voice made me wonder if Jun had earlier encountered a tragic castration accident. No matter....it was a pop song done in a style that I'd never heard before, and it, along with several other hit songs that year, put me on the path of kayo kyoku.
Update: October 2 2012
Saw Jun Horie make an appearance on NHK's "Kayo Concert"tonight. Usually the program features enka and mood kayo singers, but the now-51-year-old Horie also appeared to do his best (and only) hit. Man, 31 years just fly by....even tonight's rendition sounded very mood kayo-like.