Credits

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, March 16, 2016

Akina Nakamori -- Not Crazy To Me


If I'm not mistaken, Akina Nakamori' s(中森明菜)15th album "UNBALANCE+BALANCE" from September 1993 was her first full studio album since "Cruise" back in 1989 which was released just a smattering of days following her suicide attempt. For an Akina fan like myself, this was something that I really wanted to obtain even though I was still living in Toronto at the time between my Gunma gig and my life in the Tokyo area. Akina was one of my first Japanese singers that I got interested in back in the 1980s via "Sounds of Japan", like-minded friends, the Kohaku Utagassen and trips down to Wah Yueh but during those 2 years up in Gunma Prefecture, she was absent a lot of the time with a lot of new singers such as Miki Imai(今井美樹)and Mariko Nagai(永井真理子)capturing my interest. So with the announcement of this new album by Akina, there was a feeling of coming back home in a way.


Truthfully, "UNBALANCE+BALANCE" never quite bowled me over like "Cruise" or some of her earlier albums during her aidoru era but I can always give it another listen. However, the two tracks that hit me immediately was the vibrant "Aibu"(愛撫)created by Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉). It sounded just like it was made for an action sequence in the city, and one of my friends immediately pegged it as a Komuro production without even checking the liner notes just on sound alone.

The second track was the cool and urbane and slightly technopoppy "Not Crazy To Me" which was also one half of a double A-side single...her 27th to be exact...with "Everlasting Love" released in May 1993. With lyrics by NOKKO from rock band Rebecca and music by Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一)who can probably dream up great music during the briefest of power naps, Nakamori provided another musical voyage through the metropolis but not for an action sequence. This was more of a determined walk through the happening places in town. The sultriness of her voice was perfect here and I do like those keyboards in there.

In fact, I could see Akina herself as the tough cop or world-weary denizen of the streets if there had been a music video. Michael Douglas could sidle up to her as someone in the know about a certain crime and suggest something for which Akina could mutter through cigarette smoke, "Not crazy to me, man, not crazy at all..." Well, OK, I never intended to become a screenwriter.


(karaoke version)

"Not Crazy To Me" made it to the Top 10 of the week by reaching No. 10. I would be interested in finding out whether there were other Sakamoto/Nakamori collaborations since then.


2 comments:

  1. Hi, J-canuck.

    I had my fair share of Not Crazy To Me years ago, and I still like its more restrained Technopop sound. However, more interesting than the song itself is Akina's feels towards it.

    Apparently, even though produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto, she was not happy with how both "Not Crazy To Me" and "Everlasting Love" sounded... and that's the reason why she never performed them outside of the few promotional TV appearances. In other words, she never included the songs in her future concert tours, which is pretty unusual even for her.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Marcos.

      Rather surprising to hear about Akina's reaction to it. I was actually hoping that she would have continued her collaboration with Sakakmoto but I guess she just had a different attitude compared to the two Mikis (Nakatani and Imai).

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