Credits

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.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hikaru Nishida -- Namida no PEARL MOON (涙のPEARL MOON)


Since I wrote about Hikaru Nishida’s (西田ひかる) “Kitto Ai ga Aru” (きっと愛がある), I wished to write a second article about her, but this time from one of the late 80s songs she released. So, as I was finally able to buy the single, it was time to talk about “Namida no PEARL MOON”.

“Namida no PEARL MOON” was Hikaru’s sixth single, released in October 1989, and just like a bunch of songs of its time, it incorporated Eurobeat elements in the arrangement.

Although not noisy or frantic like the traditional Eurobeat songs, “Namida no PEARL MOON” is a melancholic pop song with some electronic touches thrown here and there. The pace is great and Hikaru, as a talented aidoru singer who never achieved the success she deserved, unleashed what was necessary to make this a great sentimental aidoru-pop song. Based on that, it’s probably my favourite among her songs, and she really had other nice works, such as the fun and playful “Pun Pun Pun” (プンプンプン) the already-profiled “Kitto Ai ga Aru”, and also her only Top Ten hit, “Tokimeite” (ときめいて).

Personally, I associate “Namida no PEARL MOON” with aidoru’s decay during the late 80s/early 90s. Not decay in the sense of something that became bad through time, but rather a feeling from someone who, in retrospective, knows that the good aidoru days were ending. So, it’s more or less some sort of lament... in fact, the melancholic melody in the chorus alongside the late 80s synths are also contributing factors to this feeling.

Then, “Namida no PEARL MOON” is, for me, the simbolically representation of the last swan song from the bubble-era aidoru world.

Far from being a hit, the single reached only #57 on the Oricon charts. Lyrics were written by popular aidoru lyricist Neko Oikawa (及川眠子), while music was composed by Hideya Nakazaki (中崎英也). As for the arrangement, Tetsu Nakamura (中村哲) was the responsible.

cute Hikaru-chan

3 comments:

  1. That was quite the interesting statement about "Namida no Pearl" being the last signpost of bubble-era aidoru. I remember covering what might have been the first signpost in the form of Seiko Matsuda's "Hadashi no Kisetsu". It was quite the voyage for aidoru-dom during that decade...coming from songs that had hints of the old 70s stuff by singers like Momoe Yamaguchi to the Eurobeat-driven tunes.

    Music was definitely changing during the late 80s and early 90s, and I guess the aidoru was not part of that process, although some groups hung on for a few more years. It would almost be another decade before a new wave came in.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, J- Canuck.

      Sorry for the late reply. Carnival days (last week) were pretty busy with lots of relatives at home.

      About that statement, it's more a personal feel than anything else. Maybe the performance posted above with the young Hikaru Nishida singing this sad Eurobeat piece in the middle of a Super Jockey audience accentuated this strange feeling. Seiko's Hadashi no Kisetsu, on the other hand, was really a starting point to aidoru's golden years. So,it's probably a consensus among everyone. That's not the case with "Namida no PEARL MOON", though, as it's a pretty unknown song (I even had to buy the single to listen to the full lenght version for the first time).

      But I do agree with you about aidoru's journey during the 80s. It was exactly like you described.

      In the late 80s/early 90s, there was a really strange heterogeneity in aidoru. For example, we had odd types like Chisato Moritaka, Aya Sugimoto (talked about this in my latest Sugimoto post), Reiko Kato and Minako Tanaka, which were sexy aidoru singers, but also a return to the more frilly and cute aesthetic with groups like CoCo, Wink and soloist Noriko Sakai. Both of them, in my opinion, were a failure if we consider if we consider a long-term successful singing career.

      In general, this period is pretty hard for me to understand, as aidoru singers were becoming quickly obsolete, and registers around internet, in English, are pretty difficult to find (videos and songs as well). I’m slowly trying to build a solid narrative about the theme, but it gets very confuse...

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    2. Hi, Marcos.

      I hope you and your family had a great time during Carnival. You have all of us Torontonians' envy. We're going to end up with the coldest February in the city's history...none of the days have gone above 0 degrees Celsius.

      That turn of the decade from the 80s into the 90s certainly would be an interesting time in Japanese music to dissect and analyze. Japanese pop was branching out in various ways with Shibuya-kei and a more laid-back guitar pop before the Komuro years started up.

      You mentioned Chisato. Well, I just read that she is actually going to her first hosting gig for the first new music show on Fuji-TV in 21 years. It's supposed to be debuting in April.

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