Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Mariko Takahashi -- Aphrodite （アフロディーテ）
I'll tell ya...when Mariko Takahashi（高橋真梨子）gets a hold on a ballad, she can really hit it out of the park. Maybe it was because I hadn't heard this particular one in a long time, but listening to her 5th single, "Aphrodite" (August 1980), she just sounded perfect with that epic voice of hers. And what better song title to tackle for an epic ballad than one which is an ode to love and the Greek goddess representing the concept?
First hearing it on one of her BEST albums, "Aphrodite" reminds me in style of one of her even more recognized and beloved ballads, "For You" which came out a couple of years later. There is that soft-sung beginning which gradually ascends to that grand declaration in the refrain, and all throughout, Mariko's vocals are just so solid.
I ended up buying the original album where "Aphrodite" was placed as the first track, "Monologue", her 3rd which came out at the same time as the single. The album also has her jazzy torch song, "Uramado"（裏窓）, which I talked about last month. The majority of the songs on the album were written and composed by the Kisugi siblings, Takao & Etsuko（来生たかお・えつこ）, but for "Aphrodite", Toyohisa Araki and Koji Makaino（荒木とよひさ・馬飼野康二）were the creators. Makaino will probably be a future target for a Creator article since he's also been the prolific composer, weaving and arranging songs since 1967 for a huge spectrum of singers from Megumi Asaoka（麻丘めぐみ）to Berryz Kobo（Berryz工房）. In fact, he arranged Yoko Oginome's （荻野目洋子）huge hit of "Dancing Hero" and composed Arashi's（嵐）debut, "A-RA-SHI".