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, January 29, 2017

Meiko Nakahara -- Mint (ミ・ン・ト)

We've been reading and writing about Meiko Nakahara(中原めいこ)on "Kayo Kyoku Plus" all these years so I think it was about time that I purchased an actual album of hers rather than depend on individual songs on compilation albums. And looking at "Japanese City Pop", I really loved the cover for her 3rd album "Mint" from September 1983. I'm not a graphic artist by any means but there is something about the color and the typography that pushed me to get this album first to represent the singer-songwriter. However, I did do my due diligence and listened to excerpts from the album via (and you can, too). At the same time, though, I did manage to find a few videos with some of the tracks represented; all of them were written and composed by Nakahara.

For as long as I've known about Nakahara, she's had that sprightly voice that reminds me most of another City Pop princess, EPO. One definite aspect of hers is that she loves her Latin; it's popped up on some of her tunes and not surprisingly, it's also imbued into her the first track of "Mint", "Nagisa no Daydream"(渚のDaydream...Daydream on the Beach), some snazzy Latin jazz about ogling and getting into all sorts of trouble on the coast. Nakahara sings an excerpt of that song in her medley above at about 5:30.

Nakahara has also shown that she loves those disco tunes of yesteryear. With Track 3, "Nemuri Hime"(眠り姫...Sleeping Princess), there's a hint of Donna Summer as she sings about being kissed on her feet by that Prince Charming.

Track 6 is "Tsukiyo ni Ki wo Tsukete!"(月夜に気をつけて!...Beware of the Moonlit Night!), a bit more of an innocent City Pop tune which mixes that night drive song with a tongue-in-cheek warning about boy-meets-girl, although I think both boy and girl are just a bit nervous about the interaction. The song was also Nakahara's 4th single from July 1983.

I swear that the opening keyboard for "Sexy Dandy" (Track 7) sounds downright Yuming-esque but then Nakahara brings in her brand of pop and bossa nova. At the same time, there is also something in the arrangement and that saxophone that also had me thinking whether the singer was channeling some 1970s Billy Joel, notably through his ballad "Just The Way You Are".

Fell in love with the cover but now I also have a lot of love and respect for the content of "Mint" as well.


  1. Hello, this is an unrelated question with the blog's post but I'm a fan of kayo kyoku song and wondering if there's any way to contact you via email. The reason is that I found a song that I can't find the title and singer, maybe you can help identifying it? or can I post the record file here?
    FYI I found the song from streaming Japanese radio station called FM Tanba/Castle Fukuchiyama, they play oldies song a lot.

    1. Hi, Neohybrid_kai. If you like, feel free to post the file here. I can't promise anything but I can listen to the song and see what I can find out. If anything, I can post up an All-Points Bulletin to see if anyone else knows who sang it and what the title was.

  2. Hi, thanks for replying. Here's the link to the file.
    I believe it was a popular song since the station plays it a lot.

    1. Hello again and I think this is your lucky day, Neohybrid_kai. Yes, it is an old 80s favourite by Kiyotaka Sugiyama and Omega Tribe called "Summer Suspicion". In fact, I wrote about it as one of my earlier articles on the blog:


    2. Awesome! Thank you very much. I've listened Omega Tribe a bit but didn't know about this song. And I LOVE TUBE, and Tatsuro Yamashita, Anri too. Summer songs are my favorites.
      You seems to know about Artzie Music, I think he's doing good job introducing old songs to the new generations.


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