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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoshimi Iwasaki -- Vacance

Forgive the bad timing of this entry. I'm actually returning to school for my final year of post-secondary studies tomorrow, and I'm sure many students around the world aren't that thrilled about this time of the year, but it never hurts to dream about summer vacation. Hope you had a fun one. Here's a gift for you all: a sunny tune by Hiromi's younger sister Yoshimi Iwasaki (岩崎良美). I've listened to a number of her works over the past couple of months, and "Vacance" stands out thanks to those chirpy techno synths, the interludes with galloping drums, and the celebratory vocals in the chorus. The line where Yoshimi sings "Nami ni naritai" ("Kaze ni naritai" in the second verse) is wonderful. The whole melody is an aural equivalent of a freeway drive by a Mediterranean coast. Would like to visit that part of the world someday.

"Vacance" originally appeared on  her fifth studio album, "Cécile", released in June 1982. A month later, it took on a single status as a second half of her double A-side single "Margarita Girl/Vacance" (マルガリータガール/Vacance). The lyrics were written by Yuko Kanai (金井夕子) under her pen-name Mei Aoki (青木茗), but the composer was surprising: the radical rocker Panta (パンタ). Listening to the song carefully, I can sense a subtle rock edge underneath the windy poppiness of it all. The arrangement was handled by Nobuyuki Shimizu (清水信之). I don't have the Oricon data for the album, but according to this page, the single peaked at No.41 spot on the charts and sold 36,000 copies.

Here's Yoshimi performing the song with a glowing smile on (what looks like) "Yoru no Hit Studio". (Sorry that particular video got taken down.)

Source: hitchartmania blog


  1. Thanks for putting this one up, nikala. Yep, I can sense that sunny highway drive sound, and for some reason, my mind registered the band Styx as the melody streamed by.

    Most people will know Yoshimi for "Touch", but I feel that there has been some more interesting stuff in her discography that has been unknown to me so far. I read somewhere that in the early years of her career, she tended more toward City Pop.

    1982 seems to have been quite the banner least where this blog is concerned. We now have 100 songs for that year, the highest number for any year.

  2. Hi, nikala.

    "Vacance" reminded me of something Seiko Matsuda would dazzle in. Well, the techno blips were probably too much for her, but the sunny vibe and the typical early 80s aidoru vibe would be perfect for her. Somehow, this song reminded me of Beach Boys, a nice drama from 1997 I watched last month.

    As for Yoshimi Iwasaki, it was nice to hear she was Hiromi's sister. Something like Miho Nakayama and Shinobu Nakayama some years later.

  3. I just have to post this. Yoshimi Iwasaki with her single "Gomen ne Darling". But who's that backing dancer, dressed in a schoolgirl uniform and wearing pigtails, bopping away behind Yoshimi's right shoulder?

    1. Looks like there were quite a number of celebs backing her up. I recognized Hiromi Go right off the bat, and it was nice to see the other Hiromi supporting her little sis. I'm not sure but maybe that was Yoshie Kashiwabara on the other side?

  4. Wow, i didnt know Hiromi has a sister, for a moment i was like hmmm her voice reminds me of someone, they sound kinda alike!
    thank you so much for this

    1. Hello, Angel. And you're very welcome. Yoshimi didn't achieve quite the same level of fame as her older sister, but I think she has her devoted cadre of fans as well.


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