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, March 19, 2015

Kyoko Endo -- Koi no Nikki (恋の日記)

Today I'm still recovering a bit from writing Part 1 on Yu Aku's(阿久悠)body of work (Part 2 to come perhaps sometime during the weekend...I hope) and then there is the new pile of translations to complete. So I decided to keep things rather light tonight.

Actually, I was happy to get my newest 3 CDs in the mail this morning, so I got the BEST of Yoshimi Iwasaki(岩崎良美)and Yukiko Okada(岡田有希子)and a rare album by this relatively obscure chanteuse by the name of Keiko Kimura(木村恵子). Speaking of which, I also decided to give another listen to another singer who didn't quite make superstardom but has quite the nice voice, singer-songwriter Kyoko Endo(遠藤京子). I listened to that BEST CD of hers which I got several months ago and again noted her willingness to cut a wide swathe through the genres from jazz to City Pop.

Well, I saw her debut album of December 1981, "Operetta" and the tracks on it. One was the peppy "Kokuhaku Telephone"(告白テレフォン), her debut single from the same year that I've already profiled, but then I saw this other track's title, "Koi no Nikki" (The Diary of Love). My memory was instantly jogged to another song with the same title and went "Hmm...could it be...?" I listened to it and confirmed that it was the cover of the Neil Sedaka original, "The Diary" from 1958

The reason I knew was that I had covered this exact song when vocal group Hi-Fi Set did its own Japanese cover back in the late 70s. I loved their jazzy interpretation and I also like Endo's own jazzy version. However unlike Hi-Fi Set's longer and more clubby take on Sedaka, Endo performs "Koi no Nikki" in the original English and it sounds more like a dreamier lullaby. Her English is not native but I was still impressed with the fact that this pop singer went for a straight jazz ballad in her first album and did well with it. I've always liked singers who could try different genres, and perhaps I might actually get one of Endo's studio albums one of these days, including "Operetta".

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