Friday, October 20, 2017
Some [Early] Works of Tetsuya Komuro (小室哲哉)
Earlier this week I was discussing with a fellow Brazilian friend about Tetsuya Komuro’s works before his heyday as a producer in the mid-to-late 90s. As I told my friend, TK was already an accomplished producer before he started working with TRF, Ryoko Shinohara (篠原涼子), or Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵). In fact, besides being a member of the famous and glittery band TM NETWORK, he was also one of the rising composers during the 80’s aidoru era, and these are the works I want to introduce a little bit here. For a more well rounded view of his career as a Creator, here's J-Canuck's original article on the topic.
Starting with one of my favorites, TK produced an entire single for sexy aidoru Minako Tanaka (田中美奈子) in 1990. Released in May of that year, it was called “Yume Mite TRY” (夢見てTRY), a lovely and very aidoru-like pop song full of sharp synth stabs in the arrangement, just like was the norm in the late 80s. The coupling song, “I Say Hello Again”, was also a song created by TK, and it’s a little bit more adventurous than the tame “Yume Mite TRY”. Let’s say it was more club-ready than the a-side, which is comprehensible. For me, both songs are very nice, and, as a big fan of the beautiful Minako Tanaka, I’m very happy with them. “Yume Mite TRY” is catchier, though.
Eternal aidoru Seiko Matsuda (松田聖子) also had a song composed by TK for her comeback album “Strawberry Time”, in 1987. Called “Kimono Beat”, this funky and cute melodic piece with its singalong chorus is easily one of my highlights in Seiko’s late 80s phase. Based on that, I’m more than satisfied when I see her performing it during concert tours, even nowadays.
Another one of my favorites, CoCo’s “Haru Milky Way” (春・ミルキーウェイ) wasn’t a song produced by TK for the group. In reality, their song is a different version of “I WANT YOU BACK”, a song TK recorded himself for his debut album “Digitalian is eating breakfast”, released in December 1989. I don’t know if he sold the song for CoCo, even if it wasn’t entirely new, or if they simply agreed to release it, albeit with different title and lyrics. Well, strange things aside, “Haru Milky Way” was included in CoCo’s debut album “Strawberry”, released in March 1990, and it’s a fine synthpop tune coming from the aidoru group.
Yuko Imai’s (今井優子) second single “Niji-Iro no Aura” (虹色のオーラ), released in December 1988, was also composed by Komuro, and I just love the uplifting melody in the chorus. In my opinion, it could easily have been a hit by Misato Watanabe (渡辺美里), since they were already famous for songs like “My Revolution” and “Kanashii ne” (悲しいね). Nothing against Imai, of course, since she was a cute girl with a pleasant voice, but just a little reminder that maybe Komuro’s songs were purposely similar to what he did with Watanabe back then.
Cute aidoru Chiemi Hori (堀ちえみ) also recorded one Komuro song, and it was “Ai wo Ima Shinjite Itai” (愛を今信じていたい) back in 1987, when her aidoru career was already close to an end. Like J-Canuck acknowledged in his original Tetsuya Komuro post, it’s interesting to notice how different those 80s songs were from the more hard-hitting Techno he created in the 90s.
Finally, Miho Nakayama (中山美穂) was another example of top aidoru who recorded some hits composed by Komuro. One of them was the Latin-tinged “50/50” in July 1987, and the other was “JINGI Aishite Moraimasu” (JINGI・愛してもらいます) in July 1986. While “50/50” was a bouncy song full of stereotypical Mexican or Caribbean sounds, “JINGI Aishite Moraimasu” was more on the cute side with the twinkly keyboards and overall cheerful tone.
In the end, these are just some examples of what Tetsuya Komuro was doing during the 80s. At the time, he also had commercial success with his band TM NETWORK, with hits for Misato Watanabe, and, by 1989, launched his own solo career with some nice songs as well. However, today I wanted to concentrate just on the female aidoru side of his work here. To a couple more examples of female aidoru singers he produced back then, there was also Kyoko Koizumi’s (小泉今日子) “GOOD MORNING-CALL” (1988), and also Rie Miyazawa’s (宮沢りえ) “DREAM RUSH” (1989).