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.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Yoko Oginome -- Bijo to Yajuu (美女と野獣)

The first person I saw on TV when I moved into my upstairs room of my homestay in Gunma Prefecture happened to be Yoko Oginome(荻野目洋子) in some sort of drama. As is often the case for aidoru-turned-superstars, it doesn't take long for a singer to end up treading the boards in some network show. At that point, I was wondering if the songbird behind the crazy-popular "Dancing Hero" of the mid-80s was still singing anymore.

Well, she still was, of course. And in my first couple of months in my new home, I did get a couple of BEST compilations by her to help launch my embryonic CD collection, but my thoughts had been that Oginome was starting to do a slow fade from the singing side of things. And certainly the frequency of her singles releases was lessening. However in June 1991, just a month before my departure back to Canada, she came up with a new song, "Bijo to Yajuu" (Beauty and the Beast).

One of the things that attracted me to Oginome was some of those dance moves she revealed on shows like "The Best 10". And it seemed like I hadn't been seeing those too much anymore during my 2 years in Japan. However, with "Bijo to Yajuu", she was back on stage with her choreography intact again, but this time, the sound was not the Eurobeat of "Dancing Hero" but more of a dance-music funk. With Toshinobu Kubota(久保田利伸) providing the music and the background vocals, I wasn't surprised. The lyrics were by Masumi Kawamura(川村真澄) who had written the words for Misato Watanabe's(渡辺美里)"My Revolution" half a decade previously. Listening to her 22nd single, it seemed like a bit of a new direction for Oginome.

"Bijo to Yajuu" peaked at No. 20 on Oricon and was also a track on her 13th album, "Trust Me" which went as high as No. 25 on the album charts.

Yoko Oginome -- Bijo to Yajuu

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