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.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mariya Takeuchi -- Quiet Life

I bought Mariya Takeuchi's(竹内まりや)8th album, "Quiet Life" through mail order during those 3 years that I had been back in Toronto between long-term stays in Japan. I'd bought one of her BEST discs and a few of her CD singles in Japan, but this was my first purchase of an original album by her. And as the title may denote, it falls into Takeuchi's skill set of easy-listening pop. One of my favourite tracks in the album is "Forever Friends", a happy-go-lucky and skippy sort of tune with assist from hubby Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎). It, and almost all of the other tracks, were written and composed by Takeuchi. There's also a bit of a tribute to John Lennon in there.

"Manhattan Kiss" is a track that was also released as Mariya's 20th single in May 1992 as the titular theme song for the Japanese movie starring actress/singer Ayumi Ishida(いしだあゆみ). Masato Honda provides the urban sax. The single peaked at No. 11 on Oricon and was the 97th-ranked song of the year.

(cover version)

"Kokuhaku"告白....Confessions) was originally released as her 19th single all the way back in September 1990. It's a well-titled song since it was used as the ending theme for one of the weekly suspense dramas on TV at the time. I'd first heard it when it was playing on the speakers at a household goods store that I'd been visiting in Numata City. Then when I heard it being played at the end of that suspense drama, I went out and got the CD single. It peaked at No. 3 and ended up as the 51st-ranked song of 1990.

As for the album itself, after its release in October 1992, "Quiet Life" (Mariya's first album in 5 years after 1987's "Request") ironically made quite the big noise by hitting the top spot on the charts and becoming the 17th-ranked album of the year. It was a million-seller and earned the singer a Best Album award at the Japan Record Awards. There are other tracks that also helped earned "Quiet Life" its accolades. Among them are: "Lonesome Season", a cover song of and a tribute to the late aidoru Yukiko Okada(岡田有希子) (already profiled under her name and Takeuchi's); a wonderful version of "The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme; and another Mariya hit, "Single Again". It wouldn't be wrong to say that this album is one of her landmark productions.

Mariya Takeuchi -- Quiet Life

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