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.