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

tohko -- Bad Luck On Love ~ Blues On Life ~

Throughout the 4 years that I've been writing on this blog, I was scouring my brain for a particular singer that I had vaguely been able to remember back in the 90s. At the time, the name escaped me although I could remember an album cover of hers, but when I was writing the Creator article for Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉), my memories finally divulged the name: tohko.

For a while, she seemed to be the It girl on the charts as the music video for her debut single, "Bad Luck On Love ~ Blues on Life ~" got heavy rotation on the various music shows. Released in January 1998, it was written by Marc Panther from globe and composed by Daisuke Hinata(日向大介). Even though, the song wasn't directly a Tetsuya Komuro creation, there was something about the sound which fairly hinted at his involvement as producer. Plus, at the time she reminded me quite a lot of TK's then-ingenue (or not...not quite sure how long the relationship lasted) Tomomi Kahala(華原朋美). The reason that I could remember her at last was because her name (which was then written as トーコ until her 3rd single) was listed as being one of the Komuro Family.

However, "Bad Luck On Love" has a more down-to-earth sound to go with the girl-next-door look of tohko. When I was re-acquainting myself with the song, I have to admit that I couldn't quite remember the verses but then when the refrain came I could since it was always that part of the video which was shown on programs like "CD Countdown". Nowadays, my exposure to the latest Japanese pop music has mostly been restricted to anison and the AKB stuff so that it is nice to hear some of the mellower late 20th-century material again.

"Bad Luck On Love" peaked at No. 14 (spent 9 straight weeks in the Top 20) and went Platinum before becoming the 72nd-ranked song for 1998. It was also a track on tohko's debut album, "Tohko"(籐子)from August of that year which went all the way to No. 3.

As for the singer herself, she was born Tomoko Saito(斉藤朋子)in 1977 in Tokyo. She was a member of the Otowa Yurikago Kai(音羽ゆりかご会), a very famous children's choir which has performed a ton of anime and tokusatsu songs. When she graduated junior high school, she had tried to enter the prestigious Takarazuka Music Academy but failed the 2nd round of examinations.

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