I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mariya Takeuchi/Tatsuro Yamashita -- Morning Glory

This song is aptly titled. It's just an aural version of orange juice...without the pits. Goes down really smooth. Veering a bit away from her Connie Francis approach to music, Mariya Takeuchi(竹内まりや) went to LA to make her 4th album, "Miss M". The Side A songs (remember, these were the days of LPs) were recorded there while the Side B songs were done in Japan. "Morning Glory" was a Side A tune, and it reflected that sheen of American AOR-ness which Takeuchi can do so well.

And it was quite the international collaboration...amongst Japan, Canada and the United States. The Japan side was represented by Takeuchi, Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)who had written and composed "Morning Glory", and Yasuhiro Abe(安部恭弘), EPO and Shigeki Miyata(宮田茂樹)provided backup vocals. From Canada, the David Foster helped arrange the rhythm section and was on keyboards. And from America, a good chunk of the band TOTO (Jeff Porcaro, David Hungate, Steve Lukather) was the rhythm section. And lastly, producer and arranger Jay Graydon (Al Jarreau, The Manhattan Transfer, etc.) was on guitar.

"Morning Glory" was never released as a single, although the album "Miss M" peaked at No. 14 on the Oricon weeklies.

Strangely enough, though, despite all the production that went into his (to be) wife's "Morning Glory", according to the write-up on YouTube for one of the videos (now presumably taken down), Yamashita was supposedly not all that satisfied with the result, saying it was just a bit too AOR for his liking. So, a couple of years later when he released the album "For You", he released his own version of "Morning Glory"with a Japanese production. To be honest, aside from a slightly more stripped-down feel, I can't really tell the difference between the two. They both sound like the City Pop/AOR I have always loved to listen to. You can judge for yourselves.

The above pictures are ones I took of the liner sheet from "Miss M". You can see Mariya, David Foster, the TOTO gang, Jay Graydon, and in the middle picture, between David and Jay is Bill Champlin, who also helped out on the album. Champlin was with the band Chicago and was lead vocal on the hit, "Hard Habit to Break" later in 1984.


  1. Now I remembered that I was really impressed when I listened to this song Morning Glory at very first time sung by an amateur band 30 years ago. I liked Tatsuro's tune better than Maria's at that time but now comparing their tunes,I think Maria's is better.

    1. Hi, Dossy. Thanks for commenting. Yeah, I have to admit that I like Mariya's better as well since I have always enjoyed a lot of the AOR music that was coming out from the States during the late 70s and early 80s. The Japanese seem to adore that era's music...every music store I was in over there had a good-sized AOR section.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.