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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Miki Asakura -- Misty Twilight (ミスティ・トワイライト)

The name of this singer has been one that I've often seen as I flicked through "Japanese City Pop" over the years. The one album of hers that was listed in that bible was "Hip City" (as shown below), and I couldn't quite figure out whether Miki Asakura(麻倉未稀)was a bidanshi guy or a girl judging from that cover photo. Well, the above photo helped clear things up.

Something that I hadn't realized was that Asakura was responsible for the Japanese cover versions of a couple of American 80s pop movie themes, "What A Feeling" from "Flashdance" and "Holding Out For A Hero" from "Footloose". I have heard those versions before but never identified the voice behind them, although Asakura's take on Bonnie Tyler's hit (the latter song) was appropriately husky.

I will get to at least one of them in the near future but I wanted to start with her debut, "Misty Twilight" which came out in August 1981. The song was written by Machiko Ryu(竜真知子)and composed by Yuji Ohno(大野雄二). Ohno was also the fellow behind the famous theme song for "Lupin The Third", and with this song, he further shows his good way around a Latin/jazz melody. And Asakura back at the beginning seemed to have been channeling a bit more Junko Yagami(八神純子)in her vocals. Perhaps there was even some resemblance to that brand of Fashion Pop exemplified by chanteuse Asami Kado(門あさみ)at the time.

Not sure how "Misty Twilight" fared but it is included in Asakura's debut album, "Sexy Elegance".

The song was also used in a commercial for apparel company, Onward Kashiyama. You can make your own conclusions (or snarky remarks) about the ad.

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