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, September 4, 2017

Yuko Tomita -- September Girl (セプテンバー・ガール)

When I first started "Kayo Kyoku Plus" back in 2012, I initially depended on the various songs that I had already internalized over the decades through the records, tapes and CDs in my possession. There are perhaps a few left but the past few years have had me relying on music shows and those same other sources to jog my memory about previously forgotten tunes. It's also been the case now that I've encountered new old tunes on YouTube and the shows to write about.

Plus, there have been from time to time tips from the other collaborators on "KKP", commenters and other folks. So, tonight, my two contributions will involve recommendations from a commenter and one of those other folks.

The "other folk" here happens to be someone I got to know (his handle is C.C. Baxter) via the social networking site Mixi many years ago, specifically through the Ruiko Kurahashi(倉橋ルイ子)community. We've gotten to respond to each other time and again since he has also become my Facebook friend. Plus, he was very magnanimous in getting me a copy of Kurahashi's very first album "Without Sugar".

Well, earlier today, when I was checking FB, I noticed that C.C. put up an entry about a singer named Yuko Tomita(とみたゆう子)and one of her songs "September Girl". He lamented mildly that the song never really went anywhere although he still enjoys it. Now, I realize that this isn't exactly an overt tip, but still knowing that there is a lot of potentially wonderful Japanese pop music to be unearthed in my estimation and since of course it is September, I decided to give "September Girl" a whirl.

The song was Tomita's 2nd single from August 1981 which was released about 18 months after her debut in 1979. I've seen Tomita on YouTube a number of times but hadn't taken the leap until today. And you know what? "September Girl" is a pretty pleasant piece...some synth in there and a nice guitar solo with Tomita's nice voice. Actually, it even sounds a bit aidoru-ish but considering the clothes that Tomita was wearing on her various covers, I think it was marketed as a general pop tune. Perhaps the song wasn't enough to get her into the limelight of fame but I'm sure that it struck a happy nerve with a number of listeners.

"September Girl" was also placed in her debut album "COLOURS" which was released in September 1981. Tomita was born in Nagoya in 1961 and released 13 singles between 1979 and 1992 and I believe 9 original albums. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out who wrote and composed "September Girl" but I've got a feeling that they are probably quite well known.

I'm fairly sure then that when this article gets heralded on Facebook, C.C. may be in for a bit of a surprise. I will give my thanks.


  1. Wow, at last one article about Yuko Tomita on this blog! I've even wondered if it would happen one day... :)
    It's one of my favourite singer but "September Girl" and her first album is not something I'd recommend to start with for a new listener. Her voice is too young; Japanese use the word "milky voice" for it and she has not much control over lyrics and composition yet.
    I would strongly recommend listening to her 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums; they also have been remastered recently with bonus tracks. So, easy to find.
    Oh, and about this song, composer/lyricist is タッジオ (Tadzio?)

    1. Hi, Daemonskald. Yep, Tomita is finally up here! :) Still chipping away at the 9/10ths of the Japanese pop music iceberg to find out any other singers that history has kinda hidden.

      I did hear that her singles and albums were re-released in the last few years. How would you describe her later efforts. General pop or something tending towards City Pop or AOR?

  2. Hi J-Canuck!

    Same as you, trying to dig up good stuff from the past (I'm not into modern JPop/Idols anyway to be honest)! It's so much fun!

    About your question; well, I'm not that good at describing songs like you but I'll try.

    Well, 2nd CD doesn't stray much from the 1st one formula for the songs composed by Ryohei Yamanashi, mostly calm with classic instruments. On the other hand, the songs she composed are more poppy/danceable, sometimes funny/weird (but in a good way).

    She always have a good balance between these 2 kind of songs from 2nd to 4th album.
    You can check "悲しきシネマ", "Dance Dance Dance" and "ニューヨーク・ヒロイン" on YouTube, killer songs!

    After that, 5th and 6th album + mini LP have more a European flavor to them. Dunno how to describe it really. You can check "恋するマドンナ", it sums up well these albums sound quite well.

    Then 7th and 8th albums (after 5 year hiatus) are more AOR I'd say. Check her song "Naturally" to get the idea.

    1. Hello again.

      Yep, for the most part, I've been doing more of the kayo archaeology. Not as much into the contemporary stuff although I have encountered some nice tunes here and there since we do have years from this decade represented on the blog as well.

      I will definitely search for the Tomita songs that you have mentioned since she has some good representation on YouTube. Thanks for the tip!


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