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, December 9, 2015

Mayumi Shibata/Aming -- Shiroi Page no Naka ni (白いページの中に)

Mayumi Shibata(柴田まゆみ)is a singer that doesn't have a whole lot of information about her. There is no entry of her on J-Wiki but there is a Facebook page which led me to a website devoted to her on Google. According to her profile, she was born on February 2nd and released what I think was her only single in 1978 titled "Shiroi Page no Naka ni" (On A White Page) which she had written and composed. After that, it would be another 14 years before she released anything new, and then in 2004, there was an album which came out on CD titled "Shiroi Page no Naka ni and more tracks".

So there is some mystery about her but no mystery about her single. I enjoy it very much. It's very much in the relaxing-as-chamomile tea category of ballad. It has that sort of nostalgic arrangement that I've enjoyed with the strings and keyboards, and the lyrics seem to bring an inspiring message about getting over a bad period and starting fresh on that new fresh page. Shibata won a prize at the 15th Yamaha Popular Song Contest in 1978 with "Shiroi Page no Naka ni".

The female duo of Aming(あみん)covered the song in their 2nd album from December 1983, "Memorial". When I heard the intro, I had thought that it was a wholly different song just with the same title but the lyrics were indeed the same. Instead of the wistful and sadder-but-wiser tone in the original, there was an even more optimistic bent to this version which made it sound almost like a City Pop tune, thanks to arranger Ichizo Seo(瀬尾一三).

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