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, August 11, 2016

Selection of 10 Japanese City Pop Singles by Tsutomu Mori, Part 2

Oh, dopey me. But when I've done so many articles since January 2012, I think I was about due to make an error like this. Back in June, I wrote up Part 1 of "Selection of 10 Japanese City Pop Singles by Tsutomu Mori" stating at the end that I would concoct Part 2 within a few days. Well, it's been a few months. If it hadn't been for a commenter who wrote something at the bottom of Part 1, I wouldn't have noticed the error which was due to utter forgetfulness on my part.

Anyways, better late than never. So here is Part 2 and just to remind readers, this was a list from Page 58 of "Japanese City Pop" that was compiled by a record store owner. I did No. 1-5 last time so here are 6-10. And No. 6 starts off a bit weirdly.

Now, does anyone know or remember the movie "The Black Hole"? I do, but that's because I'm old now. Well, this was a sci-fi flick that was produced by Walt Disney as perhaps its answer to the original "Star Wars" craze. Although I did get a picture book of the movie which starred Maximillian Schell, Ernest Borgnine and Yvette Mimieux, I never saw the movie itself. And from what I heard, it was perhaps the first Mouse House movie that got something heavier than its usual G rating due to scary scenes.

6. Kaoru Sudo -- The Black Hole

(from 4:38...excerpt only)

Yup, that's why I introduced the movie. When "The Black Hole" was released in Japan, the folks over there needed to have a campaign song attached so Kaoru Sudo(須藤薫)introduced her 4th single "The Black Hole" from November 1980. Mori provides the information that the song was written by Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)under her pen name of Karuho Kureta(呉田軽穂) and composed by Masamichi Sugi(杉真理). Now, frankly speaking, aside from the arrangement perhaps of the tune, I have no real idea why Mori selected this one since Yuming's lyrics just talk about the concept of love gained and lost in an outer space milieu. It's an amiable song to be sure and notable for that Sudo recorded it in a fairly high voice. She may have needed some lozenges after the recording session. After all, in space, no one can hear you clear your throat.

7. Kenji Omura -- Kenji no Haru ga Ippai

Another Mori selection that had me scratching my head. It actually sounds somewhat techno-Hawaiian although I do like it (then again, the city would be the environment for technopop). Omura's take on "Kenji no Haru ga Ippai"(けんじの春がいっぱい)from 1981 is actually a cover of "Spring is Nearly Here" by British guitar group The Shadows from perhaps 1968. Assisting Omura(大村憲司)was the gang from Yellow Magic Orchestra.

8. Frank Nagai -- Woman

Man, the second half of Mori's list just gets curiouser and curiouser. The King of Mood Kayo from the late 50s actually tackled City Pop! And his "Woman"(ウーマン)from 1982 was written and composed by one of the big guns of late 70s-early 80s City Pop, Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎). Even the cover of his single has that City Poppy design. It's kinda like hearing Perry Como doing Hall & Oates. Well, perhaps this might grow on me but for now, I will say that I prefer Frank Nagai(フランク永井)in his tuxedoed Mood Kayo mood.

9. Yaya -- Suna ni Kieta Namida

This is the only song that I couldn't find any representation online by this singer Yaya(やや), aka Yaeko Kojima(小島八重子), although she does have a more famous song that is on YouTube which I will get to in the coming days. "Suna ni Kieta Namida" (砂に消えた涙...Tears in the Sand) is a sunny song that had its origins as a hit by Italian singer Mina in 1965, "Un Buco Nella Sabbia". Yaya's version was in 1987. Since that version is not available, I will provide an adorable version by Mariya Takeuchi and Kosetsu Minami(竹内まりや・南こうせつ).

10. Kanako Wada -- Tanjoubi wa Minus Ichi

The only song on this half of the list that I have already covered, I was initially surprised to see its inclusion in the list although I was also happy since I like the melody for her 6th single from March 1988. I gather that the melody and the lyrics by Wada(和田加奈子)herself about a woman celebrating a birthday with her boyfriend who is a year younger than her and all the surrounding kerfuffle about the disparity would probably be something that would belong in a city-based trendy drama of that time.

Well, in a way, I'm rather glad that I actually let a few months slide between Parts 1 and 2 since I can actually realize how different they are from each other. It does give me incentive to whip up my own personal Top 10 list of City Pop tunes. I may actually get it done tomorrow if only to prevent any further memory lapses on my part.


  1. (Excuse me, I wrote a comment with my account, can you delete it please? I don't usually use it to comment on other blogs. It's the comment above)

    1. Consider it done! I did appreciate your comments, though, so perhaps you can still put them down under your Anonymous handle.

    2. I'll do it! It's just that I didn't find nice to post on your blog using my blog name :)
      So, I'm waiting for your list of City Pop albums and songs.

    3. OK, I'll be waiting. As for my list, I will see if I can get a list of singles for City Pop/AOR up in the next few days. I don't think I have enough albums in the genre to come up with a Top 10 list, though.


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