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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Akemi Ishii -- Hibiki wa tutu (響きはtutu)

After taking music fandom by storm in 1986 with the top-selling single of the year (and her debut one at that), "CHA-CHA-CHA", Akemi Ishii(石井明美) decided to stay on the pop-with-a-bit-of-Latin track with her 2nd single, "Hibiki wa tutu"(Echo is tutu....perhaps that last word is the Japanese onomatopoeia for kisses?).

(karaoke version)

Written by Yoko Aki (阿木耀子...who had written a lot of Momoe Yamaguchi's later hits in the 70s), and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi (筒美京平), the two of them try to get that feel of a Latin jazz club with Ishii as the headliner. Although I'm not sure how it fared week-by-week on the Oricon after its release in November 1986, it didn't break into the Top 100 unfortunately. But since I've enjoyed the Latin jazz genre (thank you, Tito and Desi) for most of my life, I still have a sweet spot for this very short song (less than 3 minutes)...especially when the baritone sax comes barreling in. I never even actually saw Ishii perform on any of the music shows, but it did come on her 2nd album, "Joy" the year after.


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this great post on 石井明美. 懐かしい! I haven't heard 響きはTuTu for the longest time. Forgot how catchy this song was. I always thought of Ishi as the "Queen of Covers" as a lot of her songs have been covers of 80s Europop songs - CHA CHA CHA (Cover of Finzy Kontini's CHA CHA CHA), 愛は嵐 (Cover of Stephanie De Monaco's - OURAGAN), 死んでもいい (morbid title cover of Berlin's - TAKE MY BREATH AWAY) and ランバダ (Cover of Kaoma's LAMBADA). Then again I guess a lot of J-Pop artists in the 80s did covers of Europop songs (荻野目洋子, BaBe, Wink, 成田勝, 中山美穂 etc.) Italiano-Pop artist Michael Fortunati in particular seemed to be a favorite source.

    Speaking of J-pop dance would it be okay to suggest another artist post? How about one for 藤井一子 She had a couple of hits like チェック・ポイント and バンクショット which were pretty good. Too bad she wasn't more popular as I really liked a lot of her songs like - モーニング・コール, スナイパー, BAD GIRL and アレルギー.

  2. Hi, JTM.

    Yeah, as I mentioned, she injected a fair bit of salsa into a number of her songs. And around the turn of the decade, she kinda did her national part for the Lambada craze that was sweeping the planet around 1990.

    As for Ichiko Fujii, to be honest, I'd never heard of her before you mentioned her name. Earlier, I went over to YouTube to take a gander of some of her stuff. For me, I think "Morning Call" stands out for me; her music kinda reminds me of what Anri was doing at about the same time.


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