Well, the project took a few days and some e-mails between my friend in Manhattan and myself but a couple of hours ago, I received a pretty large box filled with a lot of ancient LPs and 45s. They are mostly kayo kyoku which I will be taking some time to peruse before I start tracking down any presence of them on YouTube and writing about them on the blog. However, I would like to thank Steve for his generosity in sending this most culturally bountiful shipment. Plus I re-discovered that 12 kg is not too heavy for me; am I glad that I've been lifting weights at night.
Now I haven't written about ALFEE recently and I think I ought to shed a light on the band again sometime soon. However, what I wanted to do here today was provide some attention to the singer-songwriter who helped come up with some of ALFEE's best hits including "Marie-Anne"（メリーアン）and "Hoshizora no Distance"（星空のディスタンス）in the 1980s.
That would be Ken Takahashi（高橋研）who I hadn't known was a singer in his own right. Coming from Morioka City in Iwate Prefecture, he graduated from Waseda University's Faculty of Law before he debuted in March 1979 with his first single, "Natsukashi no Yon-go Sen" (That Old No. 4 Line).
From some of the other songs that I've heard from him on YouTube, I think he's quite similar in tone to folks like Motoharu Sano（佐野元春）and Shogo Hamada（浜田省吾）...that brand of life-on-the-road rock and pop. Certainly "Natsukashi no Yon-go Sen" fits the bill as Takahashi reminisces about making his way down to Tokyo from snow-capped Iwate by train to start a new life whereas his old buddies Joji and Yukio head off to Osaka and Sapporo respectively. The whole feeling is of optimism and giddiness, and the only thing missing in the song is the motorcycle but I guess that would be too cold for him to ride from the Tohoku.
For his own material, Takahashi released 5 singles between 1979 and 1987 and 6 albums including one that came out in 2005.