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.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Yuko Imai -- Airport

Well, up to about 10 minutes ago, I'd been thinking about putting up Miki Imai's (今井美樹)"Pride". Then as I was looking at some of the videos that were listed on the right side on YouTube after taking a look at Kingo Hamada's (濱田金吾)"Billie Holiday ni Se wo Mukete"(ビリーホリディに背を向けて), I saw another Imai. This is Yuko Imai (今井優子 relation to Miki), and it's a name that I have vaguely seen somewhere but never really explored.

However, like the higher-profile Miki Imai, Yuko Imai is also a singer-songwriter who had come on the scene at about the same time in the mid-80s. After the Tokyo native was scouted at the age of 18, she made her debut as a singer with "Kanashimi no Pavement"(哀しみのペイヴメント...Sad Pavement)in July 1987, and has released a total of 8 singles and 11 albums up to 2012. The song that hooked me tonight was "Airport" which was the B-side to her 4th single, "Sayonara wo Iwasete" (さよならを言わせて...March 1990) and a track on her 5th album, "Do Away" which came out in April 1990. 

"Airport" was written and composed by Imai, and once again, the hub to all places is also the centre for all things heartbreaking and romantic and memory-filled. I think it may have been the time that I discovered the song but I just found her melody so fitting for night-time listening. Also, in a way, the music seems to trace a passenger's path from waiting at the airport to boarding the plane with the soaring refrain reflecting the final take-off to parts unknown.  One of the commenters at YouTube mentioned that it is a long song at 7:28 but he/she and I would agree that it's paced such that it passes by quite naturally. As a white-knuckle flyer, I wouldn't mind listening to this as my plane either landed or departed. Anything to keep my nerves from shredding.

In any case, as I said for my first article on Hamada, I'm once again curious about finding out a bit more about this singer. And the other Imai's "Pride" will be on the way, I assure you.

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