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, July 30, 2017

Naoko Kawai & David Foster -- Live Inside Your Love

Had a good talk with JTM last night and something that came up was how back decades ago for a few years, a number of famous session musicians, songwriters and singers from the United States and America had actually helped out in the creation of singles and albums for Japanese singers. Members of Chicago and TOTO come to mind, and I remember saxophonist David Sanborn contributing to the exquisite "Hoho ni Yoru no Akari"(頬に夜の灯)by Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)in 1982.

Another singer was Naoko Kawai(河合奈保子)who surprised me with her album "9 1/2" from 1985 because it wasn't only a record that was fully produced in Los Angeles but it was far from my image of her as one of the quintessential aidoru of the early 1980s. The music was so American AOR that the album should have been wrapped in a pink sweater and served a Perrier!

Little did I know that "9 1/2" wasn't actually the first foray by Kawai across the Pacific Ocean. About 18 months earlier, her 9th album "Daydream Coast" was released in June 1984, and that was her first album produced overseas in LA.

I haven't had a chance to sample the entire album as of yet but I did get to hear one track titled "Live Inside Your Love ~ Ano Natsu Mou Ichido"(あの夏もう一度...That Summer One More Time). I snarkily mentioned above about that Yuppie sweater and the Perrier? Well, this song also should get the same treatment because it just about screams AOR at you. And Kawai is doing the duet with the David Foster. Glad to hear about a Canadian connection with a Japanese aidoru.

David Bryant and Tony Haynes were the songwriters for this mellow tune with a squeeze of bossa while Machiko Ryu(竜真知子)provided the Japanese lyrics. Having both Kawai and Foster sing their parts in their mother tongues works out pretty well surprisingly and that title "Live Inside Your Love" sounds perfect as one for an 1980s mid-tempo pop ballad. I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been used for a cigarette commercial in Japan. That keyboard work had me reminiscing over a lot of radio-frequent songs from my high school days.

The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles were just a few weeks away from starting up when "Daydream Coast" was released, so the timing couldn't have been better in terms of marketing.

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