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.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Noriyo Ikeda -- Dream In The Street

This is another track I found in one of my CDs of the long-running series of "Light Mellow" representing City Pop/J-AOR, this one being labeled "Moment".

"Dream In The Street" is originally the title track from the debut album of Noriyo Ikeda(池田典代), another one of those hidden treasures in the world of urban contemporary Japanese pop from way back when. There is virtually nothing written about this mysterious singer aside from what I could find on one Yahoo Japanese-language music blog which had getting her start in the late 1970s as a performer in clubs located in Shinjuku and Shimo-Kitazawa in Tokyo.

There is even some dispute as to when the album "Dream In The Street" was released with the liner notes in "Moment" stating it was in 1980 whereas a few online sites state that it was actually 1979 (I will go with 1980 for now). In any case, what is notable about this City Pop gem is that was composed and arranged by Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)with Ikeda providing the lyrics about the general goings-on on a night in the big city. The late Hiroshi Sato(佐藤博)was on keyboards and even Yamashita was there as one of the guitarists providing backing vocals.

Ikeda has vocals here which remind me to a certain extent of the voice of Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)...that breathy and coquettish quality. Plus "Dream In The Street" just bursts onto the street with that familiar City Pop beat shuffling things happily along the sidewalk, and as much as I've mentioned the Doobie Brothers whenever I write about the genre, this particular song has that little addition of Steely Dan this time around. And to wrap up, there is that cool little bit near the end when you hear the drums rattling away and then the bass doing its fine plucking. Those were grand years by Tats.

I don't know how many albums Ikeda released but my impression is that "Dream In The Street" may have been the only one.


  1. I was posting about Noriyo Ikeda on the same day you wrote your post. (See comment section)

    I managed to track down this blog post on Ikeda:

    1. Hi, gen. Thanks very much for your comments. As for posting about Noriyo Ikeda, I can say that great minds think alike.:)

      Also, thanks for the shoutout to the blog. I'm always looking for fellow fans to communicate with about our common interest in music. I think Mr. Motta couldn't have described City Pop any better than he did. When I first started listening to the genre, I had assumed that it was merely the Japanese equivalent of American AOR but I've come to learn that it is an amalgam of genres.

      I gather that anyone who liked the popular radio music from the late 70s and early 80s will probably find something they like in Japanese City Pop.

      I've enjoyed and already written about a few of those songs on your list of 20, but I will have to search out those others on YouTube if I can. I can also recommend Makoto Matsushita and EPO.

      Hope to hear from you again.

  2. Thank you! Your blog is a goldmine.

    As I gather from your writing, I also can read Japanese but English is my native language, so I appreciate your thoughts as your tastes are very similar to mine (WRT City Pop and some of your anime selections.) I like the funkier and Latin-y sides of City Pop best so 'After 5 Clash' is a new love.

    The Ikeda re-issue a few years ago was interesting. Tokuma Communications is clearly going back into their catalog and re-issuing older releases.

    Finally, I am based behind the GFW these days so Netease Music works well for me (and if you use their native app, you can even download 320kbps mp3s of many of their offerings) but I then need a VPN to read your blog or hear any of the YT music links (which I have, but it's a daily reminder of the censorship regime.)

    If I might make a request, it would be great if you made a few mixes like Ed Motta did, buy mining your vast collection, and putting up mixes on mixcloud or soundcloud (although I know the JP copyright gremlins are quite active.)

    1. Hi again, Gen.

      I'm happy that you've been enjoying the blog although one of the occupational hazards is that at any point, there are articles where the videos have been taken down by the powers-that-be. You're very lucky that you can still access Netease. Most of us are now cut out. Strangely enough, I've actually downloaded that app so I can hear some of the material.

      "After 5 Clash" is a gem, isn't it? I'm now afraid that I'm gonna have to invest some of my hard-earned cash on Toshiki Kadomatsu. He just has that distinctive sound. :)

      I would love to share those mixes, Gen, but as you said, those folks at JASRAC and other companies are quite prickly and unpredictable when it comes to Japanese music being put up. My fear is that if I did upload anything onto YouTube or SoundCloud, I might get that "cease and desist" letter and then they may start "officially" complaining about my blog. After almost 5 years, I'm sure at least someone over there is aware of KKP.

    2. Well, I don't blame you at all. JASRAC is not sensible at all. That said, I am seeing some City Pop mixes up on YT and SC with hundreds of thousands of plays. So they do have a finite lifespan I guess (like many of your YT links that have sadly died.)

      Anyway, I think you have such a deep well of knowledge, you could potentially work with Nippon Columbia to make a mix (something more interesting than those 'Light & Mellow' mixes which are fine but not pushing the boundaries at all.)

    3. Yeah it's too bad about how strict JASRAC and the recording companies can be but I've also got a feeling that they are allowing some leash since they haven't immediately pounced on the uploaders. They also want exposure for their songs for at least a little while.

      But I've also found other songs that have remained up there on YouTube for almost 10 years! Obviously the accountants and the singers don't particularly care since perhaps the songs might only get scant attention...aside from lovers of the obscure like me. :)

      I'm not sure if I could make a mix that would be any more interesting than those made on "Light & Mellow", but I wouldn't mind some sort of arrangement with Nippon Columbia or Sony in which I could have some of these popular/obscure tunes shown for a lot longer.

      Still, I'm happy to see even if a song gets taken down, other folks will eventually put up their copies of it. :)


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