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, February 25, 2015

Aya Sugimoto -- Gorgeous (ゴージャス)

I don’t know, but I can pretty much guess Japan haven’t created any mainstream female singer more outrageous than Aya Sugimoto (杉本彩).

The girl was a very bad singer that came to light around 1988, a time when the old and cute aidoru aesthetic was starting to melt down in what we might call its last breath with acts such as Wink and Noriko Sakai (酒井法子), for example. Meanwhile, ambiguous types of aidoru singers, like the sexy Chisato Moritaka (森高千里) and the edgy Shizuka Kudo (工藤静香), were also emerging around the same time of Aya Sugimoto.

In fact, Aya has always been the more “in-your-face” of the bunch, as Chisato Moritaka, although flashy and sexy, never really meant to create controversy.

Aya started her career with “Boys”, a cover of busty singer Sabrina Salerno’s Italo Disco hit from 1987, which had some memorable scenes of the Italian beauty “accidentally” showing her big breats in a swimming pool. Of course, as this wasn’t something very likely to happen in Japan, Aya’s performance, even though rich in "breast bouncing", was very tame if compared to Sabrina’s more “explicit” video.

After a somewhat tame start with “Boys”, Aya Sugimoto continued her career as a secondary class aidoru singer, and, in early 1990, she released what’s probably one of her most memorable hits, “B&S” (it was a moderate hit, but, for Aya Sugimoto’s standarts, it was a proper hit). Even though both “B&S” and the coupling song, “GIRL FRIEND”, are both great songs, what’s important for us here is how Aya’s image changed with this release.

The thing is, before “B&S” Aya had a sexy image, but one more natural and “girl next door”. However, starting with the release of “B&S”, and probably thanks to the success of the song, her image became quite raunchier, and that’s where our featured song, called “Gorgeous”, enters in scene.

“Gorgeous” was released as a single by Aya Sugimoto in early November 1990, and, alongside “Usagi” (うさぎ), a song which featured the girl wearing cheap bunny clothes, was one of the main standouts of the “Japanese Dream” album, released in late November 1990.

About the song itself, it’s an Eurodisco song that follows the same formula used by Aya since her debut with “Boys” a couple of years before. The song, with its bouncy sound, combined well with Aya’s choreography, and the outfit, which, by the way, strangely reminded me of one outfit Cher used in her “If I Could Turn Back Time” (1989) video, was obviously one of the main marketing strategies around her for this release.

In the end, “Gorgeous” is one of the highlights in Aya Sugimoto’s not very striking singing career. For me, she’s a very odd type of aidoru singer that, somehow, existed during aidoru’s dark days. And some people believe Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵) started the sexy trend... in all their innocence, they know little or nothing about Aya Sugimoto and other sexy ladies, such as Chisato Moritaka, Minako Tanaka (田中美奈子), Reiko Kato (かとうれいこ) and Akiho Sendo (千堂あきほ), to name a few.

Lyrics for “Gorgeous” were written by Saikure Go -???- (崔呉五), while music was composed by Akihiro Yoshimi (吉実明宏).

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Marcos.

    Yep, not the most talented of singers but I guess because you prepped me in your article, her voice wasn't too too bad. :) Sugimoto is still quite the in-demand panelist on variety shows since she doesn't hesitate to speak her mind and is more than willing to show off her sexuality. She definitely doesn't suffer fools gladly.

    As for that lyricist, I tried punching in his name at but couldn't come up with any reading. That must be one rare name!


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