"Ai wa Maboroshi"(愛は幻....Love is a Mystery), the last track on Side A of the album is one of three songs, the other two being the first two Side A tracks, that are considered to be also part of Ohnuki's former band's repertoire. According to the J-Wiki write-up, this was when the singer truly realized the fun of writing and composing after the lone Sugar Babe album "SONGS" was released. This is an interesting point considering that Ohnuki had considered leaving music after "SONGS" due to underconfidence on her part.
"I started living by myself when I was just 20, and so while living in the big city alone, you get that lonely feeling from time to time. I made that feeling into a song."
Only my observation, but I wonder if "Machi"was the seed for Ohnuki's growing disillusionment with city life that manifested itself in later songs.
"Grey Skies"is an album that I would recommend, along with Yuming's "The 14th Moon", for great Japanese New Music. Other tracks from the album are also on YouTube such as "One's Love", "Wanderlust"and "When I Met The Grey Sky", but they are live versions from a 1976 gig and the sound quality is not too good. If any of you want to buy it, I would suggest getting the re-mastered edition since it includes three bonus tracks, including the original demo for "Gogo no Kyuuiki"in which Ohnuki sounds almost like a high school student.
I have written about Ohnuki's troubled 3rd (at least at that time) solo album, "Mignonne", which forced her to re-evaluate her music and go into a very different direction. Although the singer was already evolving from her 2nd album, "Sunshower", I wonder what would have happened if "Mignonne" had been an immediate success. What would Ohnuki have sounded like going into the 80s?