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, January 21, 2016

Asako Toki with Sho Wada from TRICERATOPS -- Human Nature

I remember Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" getting heavy rotation on the radio back in the early 1980s and also in my ears and heart. It was a wonder that I didn't rush out and get "Thriller" in those days but it wouldn't be until well into my time teaching in Tokyo that I finally got the classic album. By that time, I was no longer listening to radio so hearing the song again (and every other song) fired off waves of nostalgia for the R&B of my youth.

Speaking of my Tokyo days, I have to give my thanks to Tower Records since it was there that I had first heard of Asako Toki(土岐麻子), the chanteuse of contemporary mellow pop. It was often the case that I entered the huge Shibuya branch and when I got onto the 2nd floor, there was a display of one of her albums. Always interested in giving artists that I had never heard a chance, I put the headphones on when her 2011 BEST compilation of covers and commercial songs "LIGHT!" was first released. Among one of the tracks was her own version of "Human Nature" with Sho Wada(和田唱)from the rock band TRICERATOPS. Suitably mellow and more acoustic than the original by Jackson, I was quite struck at how close Wada sounded to the legendary Michael.

In any case, the duet by Toki and Wada plus some of the other tracks (one of them is "Gift", a duet with EPO) did the trick and I bought my first Toki album. But actually, her version of "Human Nature" originally came out on her 13th studio album from 2010, "Ranhansha Girl"(乱反射ガール...Girl of Diffuse Reflection)which I would also purchase some time later. It would peak at No. 32 on the album charts.

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