Credits

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.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mariko Takahashi/Ami Ozaki -- Stop My Love


(Excerpt -- Track 1)

There are a few videos on Youtube featuring this song by Mariko Takahashi(高橋真梨子), but I went for this one simply because I liked the picture above. The lady there rather sums up my image of Ms. Takahashi (Sorry but the original video was taken down.)

In any case, "Stop My Love" was a song that I first heard on a tape that my parents had picked up for me in Japan during their travels there back in 1985. Titled "More 5th Love Affair", the song was written and composed by Ami Ozaki(尾崎亜美), who also created the song that launched Takahashi's solo career in the late 70s, "Anata no Sora wo Tobitai"あなたの空をと翔びたい).

Right from the haunting whispers of the title by the backup singers, "Stop My Love" is perhaps the antithesis of the joyful "Anata no Sora wo Tobitai" and the heart-on-her-sleeve torch song, "For You" which came out on Takahashi's 1982 album, "Dear" along with "Stop My Love" as the opening track. Ozaki and Takahashi contribute to a story of trying to get out of a doomed relationship or the memories of one and utterly failing. The melody seems to reflect that struggle with the music flowing between a gentle piano ballad and a defiant rock declaration in the refrain. Meanwhile, Takahashi also adds that extra layer of sadness and resignation before angrily spitting out the words "The End" and "Stop My Love", making another thrust to get out. The singer has always been at home singing in a number of genres such as folk, jazz and pop, so Ozaki chose wisely when she gave Takahashi this song.

With such a powerful song to lead off "Dear", it was nice that the softer ballad, "My City Lights" followed up.

(cover version)

The creator of the song, Ami Ozaki, did her own cover in the same year as the Takahashi version via her 4th album, "Shot"(December 1982). Usually my impression of Ozaki is that of her performing these soft bossa nova or quiet pop tunes, so to hear her even doing something like "Stop My Love"was a bit of a surprise.

2 comments:

  1. You know, you just convinced me to buy "Dear" when I get my next paycheck. I love the contrast between the sad gentle verses and the powerful chorus. Takahashi is one of the singers who has been on my radar for quite a while and I find her a captivating and versatile singer. Looks like she can also pull off a rock persona wonderfully. Do you know if she has done any other songs in the genre?

    Just checked out your profile on the album and sampled the other tracks. Very satisfying.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, nikala.

      Yeah, at this point, I could only find three of the tracks on YouTube to talk about, but the entire album is great. For me, it's my favourite. "Ja, See You Again" is the very first Mariko song that I had ever heard, and from right then and there, I knew she was different. Of course, the centrepiece is "For You".

      Thanks kindly for the comments.

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