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, May 15, 2017

Hiromi Iwasaki -- You Are Too Beautiful

I had been literally waiting for years to see and hear this song come online and I'm happy to say that it is now up...for now.

Hiromi Iwasaki's(岩崎宏美)cover of John Coltrane's "You Are Too Beautiful" was my introduction to this jazz ballad but I didn't get it on the originating album, "Disney Girl" (1983). I actually heard it on one of the two tapes that I had gotten from my mother by the singer when she came back from my parents' trip to Japan back in 1985. That particular tape was another compilation of her doing covers of pop standards.

"You Are Too Beautiful" just happened to be the first song on Side B of the tape and I was caught off-guard when I heard that bluesy clarinet starting things off. Hiromi doing pop standards I could get but I hadn't thought about her doing jazz. And although there were the usual things about her pronunciation in her delivery, I think she handled herself with aplomb with Coltrane. Since the early 1980s was the first time that I had heard the lovely songbird Iwasaki with her long hair and long manicured nails, I had gotten accustomed to her Tuesday-night suspense program theme songs and love ballads. Therefore, it was quite the thing for me to hear her do some nice nighttime jazz and then have that piano instrumental.

Have a listen to the original by Coltrane and crooner Johnny Hartman. As for another track from "Disney Girl", there is the more contemporary "Niagara" right here. Anyways, enjoy a snifter of something alcoholic while listening to it.


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    1. Hello, Kenji.

      I'm sorry you didn't like the article. And what I'm about to say will not change your mind but at least you can know how I feel.

      I will go one step further than you and say that according to YouTube's charter, no unauthorized upload of any song, any album, any excerpt of a TV show, anime opening/closing credits is allowed. You are absolutely correct on that matter.

      Before I started up the blog back in 2012, I had tried to read up on blogging and podcasting, and one book had a chapter of several pages on music and blogging. Basically, those pages could be summarized down to a few words: Music and blogs...NO...for the reason that you stated above. Still, my desire overruled professional advice and I went ahead.

      It doesn't happen every day but sometimes I do wonder about each time a video goes up of a song or album on YouTube, NicoNico or other similar platform because it could and most likely does mean that the artist has lost a chance at some income.

      However, I have loved doing this blog and the fact of the matter is that without these illegal uploads of videos, I would have no blog. So it's perhaps not good for me to say but I am grateful that I can import these videos...for a little while at least. Obviously, the effect is perhaps controversial but, and I can only speak for myself, my cause is a good one: I want to find and talk with people around the world who have enjoyed the same type of music, and I've been lucky to have been able to talk with you and Marcos and T-Cat and all of the other commenters all these years.

      Frankly I don't know whether all of the people who have been reading this blog and looking at the videos have actually bought the albums and songs. I know though that I have done so, including "Disney Girl" on CD (I don't like downloads...I prefer having something tangible in my hands) and a few commenters have told me that they ended up buying albums because of what they read or saw on the YouTube videos via "Kayo Kyoku Plus". No, that doesn't rationalize the uploads of such videos but I think some good has come from them. The best I can say is that without some of those videos, I wouldn't have discovered other singers such as Takako Mamiya or Yasuha and gotten their albums via CD Japan or Tower Records.

      I think a good chunk of YouTube viewers actually are aware that all of those songs and albums and excerpts of "Music Station" are not going up with official approval. But I think they are grateful that they can share their love of a song with others, and perhaps some of them at least can actually buy the album or single. Perhaps that's why the record companies haven't gone totally on war footing to battle YouTube (although I think YouTube's Legal department must be one of the busiest departments in the world). Again, just some speculation.

      The reason I put up this particular article is that "You Are Too Beautiful" had some meaning for me, and as I said above, the song finally became available online and so I took the opportunity to tell about a memory. I don't regret doing that. In all likelihood, though, the uploader J-Pop Fantasia will be taken down because of all of those albums that he has put up on a nearly daily basis.

      Again to sum up, I'm sorry that I'm not doing right by you but I don't think I will be changing anything here. However, I believe your comment was worthy of response so I've told you how I feel on the matter. I hope that you can still enjoy the other articles that we have provided.

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  2. Good day everyone, and I had to jump in here. This blog has not only been a constant source of enlightenment and pleasure, but has directly driven me to buy quite a few CDs (Negicco notwithstanding, some of us still do) from,, and even eBay. Right now I have over 100,000 Y worth of "kayokyoku stuff" waiting shipment from Tokyo: vinyl, CD, DVD, photobooks, etc. On top of the same amount a few months ago (as long as the job holds out) Perhaps half of it is as a direct or indirect result of music and artists I've found here (so it's your fault if my wife finds out, btw).
    Living in the US about 10% of everything J-C posts translates into "Not available in your country", so someone somewhere is policing what goes up. J-C may put me onto a vid, but then YouTube or Nico or DailyMotion sends me off on threads that they suggest. And I really enjoy the back-story to the music along with J-C's stories and personal connections. Since my command of Japanese starts and ends with requesting you not remove my sailor suit, his narrative is much more accessible than the online translators.
    Bottom line: I would be far more ignorant of this music and history, and would have fewer CDs (and lots of vinyl) were it not for the exposure here. And I still plan on getting to Japan this fall; if you have any suggestions I'm open .....


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.