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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Akemi Ishii - JOY

"JOY" is Akemi Ishii's(石井明美) 4th single released in July 1987 as a theme song for a Fuji-TV romantic drama. And it also happens to be her first single that doesn't have that Latin's a straight mid-tempo pop song. Written by Tetsuya Chiaki(ちあき哲也) and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), despite the uplifting title and the happy melody, the lyrics take things into Charlie Brown-ville once more as Ishii sings about a wistfully resigned person affected by that familiar trope of kataomoi (unrequited love). To her, it's OK to have everything remain a dream, to just remain friends, just to have that occasional drink, and to cry alone. AAUGH! That Little Red-Haired Girl (or Boy) must seem even farther away now.

"JOY" was also the title of Ishii's 2nd album which was released in August of that year. I came across it in the mail-order section of an old issue of "Eye-Ai", and hearing her first few singles, I decided to draft one of my first money drafts and get the CD. Ahhhh.....those early pre-Amazon years; I actually wrote on a slip of paper to buy a Japanese disc.

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