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, June 13, 2016

Yui Murase/Daisuke Inoue -- To Each His Own

I had plans to put up someone else tonight but when I came across this video by Yui Murase(村瀬由衣), I had to put her on priority. Not that I think her "To Each His Own" is the most amazing ballad that I had ever laid my ears upon and it's not even the best track on her debut album, "Suiyoubi no Asa, Mado wo Akeru"(水曜日の朝、窓を開ける...Open Your Windows on Wednesday Morning)from April 1992. It is just that I had been looking for any signs of proof of life on the Net for a Murase song, especially from this album.

"Suiyoubi no Asa, Mado wo Akeru" was an album that I got through the "Eye-Ai" CD service over 20 years ago. It was obviously purely on sight alone and there was something attractive about the lady with the pale complexion peeking behind the screen....just something that drew my eye and had me part with my money. Murase is one of those obscure singers who would get blank looks from about a hundred folks in Japan if I asked them about her before I finally found someone who had some inkling about who she is. From what I remember reading about her on the blurb on the menu list in that issue of "Eye-Ai" was that she started out working as a backup singer for a number of other artists before striking it out on her own behind the mike.

Murase has her own website and according to her biography there, she moved up to Tokyo when she was only 15 to become a singer. In her music club at Meiji University, she became a vocalist for a band with a West Coast rock sound before passing an audition to perform jazz in concert houses and hotel lounges from 1984.

As I said the English-language "To Each His Own" is a track on her debut album, and it's representative of the mellow AOR sound for her release. At the time, as much as female singers and bands were finding their rock growl, there were artists such as Murase, Miki Imai(今井美樹)and Midori Karashima(辛島美登里)who were going the other way with a more relaxed and delicate approach from the late 80s into the early 90s following the champagne synths-spiced City Pop during the Bubble Era. This particular ballad was written by Rumiko Varnes and composed by Daisuke Inoue(井上大輔). Hopefully, there will be more tracks from "Suiyoubi no Asa" posted somewhere.

Little did I know until a few minutes ago just when I was about to finish the article that Murase's song was actually a cover version of the original by Inoue himself. It sounds even more laid back and was a track on his 1989 album "Sapphire Blue".

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