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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Minako Yoshida -- Ai wo Omou Mama (愛を思うまま)


Last month, it was once again time to pull the trigger on the credit card and get a couple of discs. One was the smooth-as-brandy "Seventh Avenue South" by Yoshitaka Minami(南佳孝), and the other was this one, Minako Yoshida's(吉田美奈子) 6th album from October 1978, "Ai wo Omou Mama - Let's Do It" (note to Amazon: lower the shipping costs a tad).

(contains first few tracks at least)

Some months previously, I had gotten Yoshida's 5th album, "Twilight Zone" and it had this atmosphere of listening to the soulful singer in an intimate nightclub. It was a wonderful experience and my highlight was the great "Koi wa Ryuusei"(恋は流星). There are even more fine times ahead on "Ai wo Omou Mama" starting with the title track itself which has Yoshida, who wrote and composed it, in full-blown disco mode along the lines of "I Love The Nightlife" by Alicia Bridges. The critic who covered the album in "Japanese City Pop" was not particularly thrilled with this particular track although he praised the album in general, saying that it just seemed out of place with the other tracks. Well, although it is a short, somewhat repetitive number, it's still fun to listen to and perhaps Yoshida wanted to start things off with a bang when compared to the relatively low-key feeling of her previous album. The song also was released as her 4th single in November 1978.


(album excerpts only)

Track 2 is "Koi no Te Hodoki"(恋の手ほどき...I'll Teach You All About Love) which sets the album template of light soul which can apply to daytime as well as nighttime listening. Yoshida also wrote this one but her good buddy, Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎), took care of the melody. I love her voice soaring here.



"Neko"(猫...Cat) is a nice mix of funk n' disco by Yoshida that has her strutting the streets of 70s Roppongi or Shinjuku, enjoying the nightlife and baring her claws once in a while. Perhaps she and Bridges had a fine time on the town back then. The version above, though, seems to have gotten quite the embellishment in concert.



"Toki yo"(時よ...Time) is a bluesy ballad about those two ships passing in the night and perhaps keeping it that way. It was the B-side to the single version of "Ai wo Omou Mama"....a pretty nice cool-down song to complement the high times of that A-side. That Asian exotica intro is interesting.

The other tracks are pretty fine as well. There is Yoshida's cover of a Carole Bayer Sager ballad, "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love", and the last track, "Kage ni Naritai"(影になりたい...I Wanna Be Your Shadow)with Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一) helping on composing duties.

As I said, "Ai wo Omou Mama" is fine for listening at any time of the day, but for me, it just seems that I'm drawn to listening to it in the darker hours.

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