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.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Akina Nakamori -- Firestarter

There was a time in the mid-to-late 1980s when I was kinda wondering where Akina Nakamori (中森明菜)was going musically. I mean, I appreciate now that she was trying out different styles way beyond what folks had been expecting her as an aidoru-turned-pop superstar, but at the time I was trying out her albums at that time like "Fushigi" (不思議)and "Stock", I thought she was going a bit too eclectic on me.

Still, I remember her 1988 12th album, "Stock" as Akina's foray into rock music. Seeing that cover of her in the leopard-skin and the long black hair, I thought she was trying to emulate Canada's Lee Aaron, the metal queen of the Great White North during the 80s. One of the songs on that tape that was quite memorable for me was "Firestarter". Written and composed by Sandii and Makoto Kubota(久保田麻琴), both members from Sandii & The Sunsetz, Akina was doing her best to screech out those lyrics against that pounding electric guitar. And then when she was giving full throat to the title itself, I started thinking, "Akina Nakamori....the Lee Aaron of Japan"...well, maybe not. But I just had to imagine the possibilities of this former aidoru becoming a potential inspiration for much headbanging.

"Firestarter" was never released as a single but "Stock" peaked at No. 2 and became the 14th-ranked album of 1988 after its release in March of that year.

And here is Lee Aaron herself with "Metal Queen".


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    Akina was really trying out new songs at the time. Stock and Femme Fatale, for example, were very strong albums, while the latter is also my favorite studio album from her. Back to "Stock", "Firestarter" was really a highlight and this performance from the "Femme Fatale Tour" is very sexy. I'd love if the full concert got released some day. Another great gem from the Stock album is "Foggy Relation", the album closer with I'm not mistaken.

    One last thing about "Firestarter", I've seen somewhere that it was chosen to be released as a single, but the idea was dropped. In fact, the legend says that "Stock", as the name induces, was a collection of stocked songs that were "potential singles" back in the day.

    1. Hi, Marcos.

      I didn't know that information about the possible derivation of "Stock". I have to say that I was surprised that "Firestarter" didn't get its official status as a released single because of the pedigree of the songwriting team.


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