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.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Miki Imai -- Piece of My Wish

If a magnum opus could be chosen for the first pre-Tomoyasu Hotei chapter of Miki Imai's (今井美樹)discography, it would probably be her 7th single, "Piece of My Wish". I just missed out on getting this CD single since it came out in November 1991, a few months after I had returned to Canada from the JET Programme, and it was still the infancy of the Internet (what was it we were calling it back then.....the Information Superhighway?) and many, many years before YouTube and iTunes. So, it would be quite a few years before I finally got my own copy. However, I still had a friend/JET colleague who was a glutton for punishment and continued for a third year in Gunma Prefecture, and he was kind enough to mail me an audio tape of J-Pop songs including "Piece of My Wish".

Created by Yuuho Iwasato and Chika Ueda(岩里祐穂・,上田千華) two familiar faces in Imai's career during the early years, "Piece of My Wish" is one of the sweetest and most uplifting ballads I've heard. The first few bars of music come off as somewhat comical and whimsical before a richer, heart-tugging melody flows in. Iwasato's lyrics tell of looking forward to a new day with encouragement and hope after a night of crying. Over 20 years after its release, it still has quite the kick in it. Not surprisingly, it was also made into the theme song for a TBS drama with the appropriate title of "Ashita ga Aru kara"(あしたがあるから....There Is Tomorrow). Nice to listen to it after a hard day at work.

This song was definitely special. "Piece of My Wish" was Imai's very first No. 1 single and reached that important sales mark of 1 million. And it was the 9th-ranked single of 1992. Moreover, in Imai's career, it is only second to her later megahit, "Pride", as her most successful song. In a way, it was good that it never went into an original album of hers; it rather stands out on its own. However, of course, it's on a number of her BEST compilations.

As I mentioned at the top, I can imagine "Piece of My Wish" being a magnum opus for Miki Imai. And maybe it was a bit of a goodbye song for that first stage of her career which started in the mid-80s; the song retained that 80s Imai sound but from her next single, "Blue Moon Blue", that sound would start to change.

Miki Imai - Piece of My Wish

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