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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chocolate Lips -- Day Dreamin'

Got my latest package from CD Japan a couple of days ago. It included another in the "Light Mellow" series of J-AOR/City Pop songs, and my new acquisition has the subtitle of "Dancing" which I would really never have associated with anything kayo.

I came across one of the tracks which is easily the shortest song on the disc at under 3 minutes. "Day Dreamin'" is this short n' sweet tune of light pop-funk which had me thinking of The Dazz Band on Ovaltine (for those in Japan, think of Milo). And the band behind it is Chocolate Lips. I never heard anything of these guys before and the only information that I could find was through the liner notes in "Light Mellow Dancing". Vocalist Miho Fujiwara(藤原美穂)had been doing her fair share of backing vocal work for some more famous singers when saxophonist Jimmie L. Weaver came to Japan and had a chance to listen to her at some live house. A conversation ensued and voila, Chocolate Lips was born.

"Day Dreamin'" was a track on Chocolate Lips' self-titled album from 1984. My impression is that the album is one of the rare of the rare, something that even the liner notes hint at when the author mentioned that it might be found at a pretty high price in some old music store. In fact, the notes also state that it is the first time that "Day Dreamin'" has been put onto any CD.  I am further impressed to find out that the original music video actually exists on YouTube. Along with Weaver and Fujiwara who both created the song, I'm assuming the third fellow in the video is James Norwood on bass after referring to the liner notes. For such a pleasantly funky tune, it was pretty funny seeing the guys film the video in what looked like a suburban house in New England. Maybe they were trying to be ironic.

In any case, the song isn't too long but it's got that fine 80s R&B vibe that I used to listen to all the time on the radio. I don't know whether Chocolate Lips ever released any further albums or whether they even lasted the year, but perhaps it might be time for me to go on another rare album expedition.

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