|"Anri, Tom Mix called. He'd like his wardrobe back."|
Up to 1989, my musical knowledge of the ever-smiley Anri（杏里）was restricted to two of her big hits: "Olivia wo Kikinagara" (1978) and "Cat's Eye" (1983), both of which were representative of her earlier eras as a pop idol (not aidoru) and summery kayo singer under the aegis of Toshiki Kadomatsu（角松敏生）. But then thanks to one episode of "Sounds of Japan" on CHIN-FM, I had my first experience of Anri's 3rd era when the program decided to highlight her 12th dynamic album, "Boogie Woogie Mainland" (1988) with its infusion of American R&B and the production team led by composer Anri, lyricist Yumi Yoshimoto（吉元由美）and arranger Yasuharu Ogura（小倉泰治）.
The success of "Boogie Woogie Mainland" led to her next album, "Circuit of Rainbow", released right on the first day of summer 1989, continuing on with her new sound (although compared to what was going on with R&B in the United States at the end of the 80s, this new sound was probably more akin to what was being heard on the radios and stereos in America nearly a decade previously) and team of Anri, Yoshimoto and Ogura. I bought Anri's 13th album as one of my first purchases since starting my 2-year stint on JET in August of that year. Having been a fan of hers since those early 80s and seeing this fresh 6-week-old album on the CD shop shelves, it was simply a must-have for me as my very first Anri album.
Track 1 starts with the instrumental "Break of Dawn" before things start flying like that proverbial image of a jet plane leaving the runway on a lot of those City Pop albums with the title track itself. Although not quite as explosive as the title and opening track on "Boogie Woogie Mainland", "Circuit of Rainbow" is Anri's welcome to all of us listeners to her brand of summer holiday fun. The strings that start things off almost feel like the perfect cue for one of those California radio DJs to rat-a-tat off the beautiful weather before Anri comes on in. And the Jerry Hey horns let us know that the singer and her team are going to promise a nice smooth flight.
Somewhere deep in the bookshelves in my living room is the VHS tape (yes, folks, I do like my antiques) of "Circuit of Rainbow" which includes the official videos for the above title track and this one, "Groove A Go Go" (Track 8), an example of nighttime funk and pop which could be quite Janet Jackson-friendly. As for the video (which got taken down), I wonder if the Wachowski siblings had gotten their inspiration solely from watching "Ghost in the Shell".