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.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Toshihiko Tahara -- Koi = Do! (恋=Do!)

Recently one of my friends became obsessed with Toshihiko Tahara (田原俊彦), or Toshi-chan. My first reaction was... surprise. I explain: he’s a huge fan of Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵), Chisato Moritaka (森高千里), SPEED and, well, pretty much 90s J-Pop, or the modern stuff, if you prefer. Based on that, I was intrigued by how quick he became fan of a Johnny’s solo aidoru from the early 80s, to the point of buying a compilation as soon as possible.

My one and only experience with Toshi-chan was from J-Canuck’s article for “Dakishimete TONIGHT” (抱きしめてTONIGHT). I remember it was a nicely put together pop song with Latin elements, but also kind of cheesy. So, with this amount of preconceived opinions in mind, I watched the video for “Koi = Do!” my friend posted on Facebook yesterday.

“Koi = Do!” is catchy... yeah, it really is. And the disco arrangement is surely very fun. I even found Toshi-chan was singing better than in "Dakishimete TONIGHT", even though he was younger here. I didn’t want to like, but it was impossible to resist.

Strangely enough, this song, and I can't really tell why, kind of reminded me of another cheesy artist, but this time a Brazilian singer/performer, called Sidney Magal. He was very popular in the late 70s/early 80s thanks to his great Latin/Disco pop hits, but also because of his “Latin lover” persona. Even though I prefer other songs from his catalogue, below you can see the video for “Sandra Rosa Madalena”, one of his biggest hits.

Toshi-chan and Sidney Magal, even though contemporary artists, may not sound or look too similar. While Sidney was the sexy “Latin lover”, Toshi-chan was the cute boy next door. However, they were targetting the same audience: young girls. In that way, they were more like opposite sides of the same coin.

“Koi = Do!” was released as a single in January 1981, reaching #12 on the Oricon charts. Lyrics were written by Kazuko Kobayashi (小林和子), while music was composed by Yuichiro Oda (小田裕一郎). As for the arrangement, Kazuo Otani (大谷和夫) was the responsible.



  1. Hi, Marcos.

    Good article on Toshi's "Koi=Do!". I figured that you would like this one since it has that disco beat to it. To be honest, although I've known the title for decades, I never really heard it in its entirety until your article. But there is something quite Rod Stewart circa 1980s about it.

    I took a look at Magal's video and just noticed how much the fellow looks like Canada's own Gino Vanelli with that mane of hair. He was also quite the beefcake during the 70s.

    1. Wow, I just listened to Gino Vanelli, and I have to say that "Hurts to be in Love" was a huge hit here in Brazil (it probably appeared in the soundtrack of a soap opera at the time), and it's one of my mom's favorites. I listened to it many times since I was a little kid, and that's probably why his sound is the epytome of 80s love ballads to me (love the cold keyboard twinkles).


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.