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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Miho Nakayama/Toshiki Kadomatsu -- You're My Only Shinin' Star

I heard this song quite a lot via "The Best 10" and "The Top 10" from Miho Nakayama(中山美穂), and it was probably the one that I knew the best from her at the time due to the frequency of her appearances on the programs to perform this particular song. I also have to admit that I wasn't all that impressed with "You're My Only Shinin' Star" at the time either; perhaps it was the fact that the melody seemed to have been pushed into the background behind Miporin's voice, and frankly, I never thought that she had the strongest vocals when performing live on music shows.

But then hearing the original version on CD helped bring up my impressions of Nakayama's 12th single. Toshiki Kadomatsu(角松敏生) was behind the creation of this song in both writing and composing when it was released in February 1988, and it was here that I could hear the same Kadomatsu magic that made Anri(杏里) a star a few years earlier. Although it was released in the winter, I think "You're My Only Shinin' Star" makes for a great summer ballad. It had actually started life as the final track on Nakayama's 3rd album, "Summer Breeze" (released in July 1986), but in the following months, it was evident that it was becoming popular amongst the fans and even with Miho herself, so it was re-recorded into its own single. It was a winfall for all concerned as it hit No. 1 on Oricon and won the Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards. Eventually, it would become the 15th-ranked single of the year.

In November 1999, Kadomatsu released his own version of the song he had made as his 26th single with three different takes, including an English-language cover above. I've only listened to it once (as in half an hour ago), so my insights on it are even smaller, but I think it's more in the AOR vein. It peaked at No. 27. The first Japanese take is also available on Kadomatsu's first album of self-covers, "The Gentle Sex", released in January 2000; it hit No. 1 on Oricon.

courtesy of HubbleColor (Zolt)
from Flickr


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this great post on 中山美穂's 「You're My Only Shinin' Star」. This was one of ミポリン's first slow love ballads following a string of more pop idol dance songs like 「WAKU WAKUさせて, 「派手!!!」, 「JINGI・愛してもらいます」, 「ツイてるねノッてるね」, and 「CATCH ME」. Oddly enough she would later go on to primarily sing these type of slow love ballads later on in her career with songs like 「HERO」, 「あなたになら…」, 「幸せになるために」, and 「これからのI Love You」. I kind of preferred ミポリン's more dance/pop oriented songs especially those with a more of a EuroPop flavor like 「Virgin Eyes」, 「Witches」 and 「人魚姫」 although some of her remixes like those in her 『Makin' Dancin'』 and 『DANCE BOX』 were a bit too much.

  2. I couldn't agree more when you said that Miporin didn't have the strongest vocals on live music shows. I always thought she couldn't handle some of the higher notes and, to me, she always seemed kind of worried when singing live. Maybe she was aware of her vocals flaws. Who knows?

    I'm very in love with "You're My Only Shinin' Star" this week because I've just finished watching Miporin's 1987 drama "Mama wa Idol" where she sings this beautiful ballad acapella at the end of the series. I really liked this drama, besides its silliness. All in all, it was very fun to watch and Miporin was very cute as a housewife.

    And I agree with JTM, Miporin's dance/pop songs were always my favorites. Some of her b-sides were great too, especially the eurobeat inspired ones like "Rising Love" (from "JINGI Aishitte Moraimasu"), "Jealousy" (from "Hade!!!") and "BAD BOY" (from "CATCH ME").

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys. Although I had heard and seen Miho on videotapes of those music shows, I actually didn't start buying her CDs until I got "Virgin Eyes" in 1989. From around that time, I think she started shedding that aidoru image...enjoyed the jazzy feel of "Midnight Taxi" and the dance beat "Rosa". Now years later, ironically, I'm starting to check out her earlier stuff.

  4. I'd appreciate if you would link to the original source of any images you use: my photo from Antietam Battlefield can be found at Thanks.

    1. Hello, Zolt. And my apologies for not linking your photo properly. Thank you for the information.


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