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.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ruiko Kurahashi -- Uwasa Still Love You (噂)

This is a song that I found out from YouTube, and on hearing it, it gave me further incentive to track down that first album of Ruiko Kurahashi(倉橋ルイ子), "Without Sugar"(1981). As I mentioned in my first post of the singer for "Never Fall In Love" which came from the same rare album, Kurahashi and her songs really chimed in with me for some much as I loved (and still love) those first several aidoru tunes and pop songs from Japan for that weird and wonderful mix of the East and the West, hearing Ruiko's music seemed to also bring in another dimension of time and place, notably an earlier age and European. In a way, I guess, she may have had a contemporary in Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子) from the early 80s....aside from the techno aspects. Strangely enough, one of the tracks in "Without Sugar" was created by Ohnuki.

"Uwasa Still Love You" (Rumours -- Still Love You) is a little different stylistically from that other ballad, "Never Fall In Love". The latter song has that typical Kurahashi sound from that early time, but "Uwasa", written by Fumiko Okada(岡田冨美子) and composed by Katsuo Ono(小野克夫), seems to be a musical mix of that sound with a bit of 70s folk thrown in via the guitar. The video starring Kurahashi is admittedly corny, but it does have her actually smiling....not exactly something she's known for when performing on TV (although I did hear that she had actually appeared fairly regularly on a comedy-variety show at that time).

As her career progressed into the 80s and into the next decade, Kurahashi's fashion became more and more sophisticated before she surprisingly took on a more pop-punkish look in the early 90s. But when she debuted, she took on a more relaxed look of informal lounging-around-the-house wear such as in the video and on her earlier album covers. When I finally caught one of her concerts in Minami-Aoyama, I was happy to find out that she was actually very engaging and chatty with the audience.

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