Singer ANRI/杏里 has always struck me as a lot more westernized than many of the Japanese singers from the 80s. With her tall frame (168 cm - 5.6 Ft) and dark exotic looks she could very well pass for a Japanese-American from Hawaii or perhaps other 東洋人/Non-Japanese Asian. Unlike some of her contemporaries like 竹内まりや/Takeuchi Mariya she hadn't really lived or studied in America or abroad, yet like 山下達郎/Yamashita Tatsuro and 中原めいこ/Nakahara Meiko her songs definitely have a very distinct "American Pop" sound and style. Perhaps that's why I've been a fan of hers since I first heard her songs in the early 80s.
J-Canuck has covered ANRI a lot in his previous posts including how she got her unique name and her former modeling background but I'll add some additional trivia (compliments from J-Wiki).
A lot of ANRI's songs would be used as campaign CM songs including 「HAPPYENDでふられたい」, 「SURF & TEARS」, 「SUMMER CANDLES」, 「スノーフレイクの街角」, 「Sweet Emotion」, 「Back to the BASIC」, 「嘘ならやさしく」, 「あの夏に戻りたい」 and 「もうひとつのBirthday」.
While 1986's 「ザ・杏里」 is far from being a definitive collection of her works, I like it a lot mainly for sentimental reasons. It was one of the first Japanese CDs I bought in Japan and it has a lot of songs that I personally love that aren't often included in later albums. I also think it captures the two faces of ANRI - the "Queen of Summer" love ballads and the singer of funky American-Pop styled music.
Here's the track list:
「16ビート」 "Sixteen Beat" sounds almost like it could fit as the theme song to one of 大映テレビ's 80s teen dramas or perhaps even 「スケバン刑事」. With its great infectious up-tempo electronic beat and ANRI's haunting melancholy lyrics it easily became one of my all-time songs from her. Kudos to frequent song writing partner 三浦徳子 /Miyura Yoshiko and composer 尾一三/Seo Ichizou for a brilliant song.
「モーニング スコール」 "Morning Squall" (1986) is often included in ANRI's "Best of" albums and deservedly so as I think it is one of her quintessential "Surf and Beach" songs with a nice R&B feel to it and a great musical hook. ANRI collaborated on this song with another female songwriter 吉元由美/Yoshimoto Yumi along with composer 入江純/Irie Jun with lyrics by 羽田健一/Haneda Kenichi. ANRI previously had teamed up with Yoshimoto/Irie/Haneda for her 1985 single 「オリエンタル・ローズ」 "Oriental Rose" which was another great up-beat song.
(2017: Unfortunately, JTM relayed to me that the Live365 Channel was closed down in the last year.)
|Click here to go to the Live365 Channel|
Just give a shout-out and we will play it.