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, October 17, 2013

Yoshie Kashiwabara -- No. 1

When I bought that first BEST 4-LP album of Yoshie Kashiwabara(柏原よしえ), I had heard some of her hits such as "Haru Nanoni"(春なのに) and was very acquainted with her voice. So it was a bit of a surprise when I heard her debut song, "No. 1". She frankly sounded like she had a bad head cold! But it was still interesting to hear since I have often wondered how these singers, especially aidoru, sounded when they first started out. Akina Nakamori(中森明菜) was a lot more high-pitched when she launched with "Slow Motion", and Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子) was more the opposite when she sang "True Love".

For a song that was released in June 1980, there was something of an old-fashioned sound to "No. 1" as if Kashiwabara had debuted back in the early 70s. And perhaps that was because the pair behind the creation of her debut was Yu Aku and Shunichi Tokura(阿久悠・都倉俊一), the same duo behind the big hits for Pink Lady. Considering the songwriting pedigree, though, "No. 1" never reached its titular rank on Oricon, settling for a peak of No. 76. Still, despite the somewhat inauspicious launch, Kashiwabara would become one of the more popular aidoru of the early 80s, even attracting the current Crown Prince of the Imperial Family.

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