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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ginji Ito -- Ame no Stella (雨のステラ)

Once again, having started "Kayo Kyoku Plus" almost 3 years ago has paid off some dividends for me. With Marcos V. introducing me to my eventual purchases of singles by current aidoru such as especia and Tokyo Girls' Style, I'm also now indebted to nikala for providing me information on Ginji Ito's(伊藤銀次)"Baby Blue". With his brand of City Pop and 60s tribute in this album, I was attracted to tracks like "Planet Girl" and "One Way Ticket to the Moon", especially the latter tune since it was such a riff on good ol' Hall & Oates, one of my favourite American bands when I was in high school.

So when Xmas passed on by, I decided to buy "Baby Blue" after wondering about it for almost 2 years. And having put it into my computer hard drive for a spin while I was doing some translation assignment (and how I needed the music to get through my grunt work), I was still very enamored by the variety in this 1982 album.

nikala has provided some fine information on the tracks via her own article on "Baby Blue", so I just wanted to give a bit of a follow-up by talking about one song that she didn't cover, "Ame no Stella" (Rainy Stella) or as it's written on the back of the cover, just plain "Stella". It's another one of the relaxing ballads where Ito seems to be channeling a bit of Eiichi Ohtaki(大滝詠一)as he languidly croons about the wonders of the titular lady. This is nice hammock-and-sipping-alcohol music.

While Ito came up with the music, the words were provided by singer-songwriter and current jazz chanteuse Hiromi Kanda(神田広美). "Ame no Stella" also happened to be released as Ito's 5th overall single in April 1982. He wasn't all that prolific considering his very first single came out in 1972 and was hopping among a number of studios until he landed at Polystar where he recorded "Ame no Stella" and "Baby Blue" and spent the longest time of his career, releasing 7 albums and 9 singles there between 1982 and 1985.

Whenever I listen to a new album for the first time, my mind gets a little overeager and tends to process the entirety of the disc a little too zippily. So I'm happy to have listened to this new experience by Ito by itself and to appreciate it even more.

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