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.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Toshie Sakaue -- Hitori de Machi wo Yuku Toki mo (ひとりで街をゆくときも)

Heck, I was ready to turn in after writing that follow-up article on Taeko Ohnuki's(大貫妙子)"Sunshower" but I just had to scroll through the usual collection of Japanese City Pop on YouTube to see if I could find anything spritely and new.

Bingo! Here is this song by then-aidoru Toshie Sakaue(坂上とし恵)titled "Hitori de Machi wo Yuku Toki mo" (Even When You Walk The Streets Alone) which just grabbed me by the ears. I mean, I'm writing this close to 11:30 pm at night and yet hearing this, I feel like I just swallowed down some morning OJ! And this was merely the B-side to Sakaue's debut single "Kiite My Love"(き・い・てMY LOVE...Listen to Me, My Love)from July 1982.

The first thing that hit me was the arrangement which sounded absolutely EPO-esque! You know when a singer has really made an impression on you when you start describing tunes using his/her name as an adjective. And I say that the really happy tune sounds like something that the Princess of City Pop would create and sing. It's got the very quick shuffle beat and the shiny synths. But actually, EPO had nothing to do with this. Yoshiko Miura(三浦徳子)took care of the lyrics while Keiichi Oku(奥慶一)whipped up the fun music. Sakaue's vocals aren't absolutely pristine but they are high-pitched and cute enough.

Sakaue was born in 1964 and raised in Hiroshima. Following her 1982 debut, she would release a total of 4 singles but never released an album although supposedly a recording had been done. She would continue on a career in showbiz mostly as a tarento and later marry a fellow TV personality, Makoto Nonomura(野々村真)whom I saw quite often on the various variety shows although I didn't know about his wife at the time. They have a daughter, Kanon(香音), who is currently an actress and model.

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