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, October 23, 2017

Yoko Oginome -- Stranger Tonight(ストレンジャーtonight)

During the 70s and 80s, there was always an outlier aidoru or at least a female teenybopper singer who gave the impression of being on the wrong side of the tracks. Momoe Yamaguchi(山口百恵)took care of the side in the late 1970s when she sang those hits about already living the life of a world-weary woman. Then it wasn't long after Yamaguchi retired into marital bliss when Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)appeared on the scene as the school uniform-wearing hellion, a role that she had until she morphed from aidoru into pop superstar in the mid-1980s.

Now, when I mention Yoko Oginome(荻野目洋子), who started hitting it big around the time that Nakamori was evolving, I can't really say that she was giving that tsuppari vibe during her performances on TV or on the stage. She was more of the short-haired perky pixie with the dance-pop melodies and dance moves. But whether I'm accurate enough or not, my impression of the lyrics she sang from those days is that she played the part of one of the happier & nicer members of a teen gang riding on the highways and byways.

It's been almost a year since I put up one of her songs so I've got "Stranger Tonight", her 14th single from January 1988. Masao Urino's(売野雅勇)lyrics tell the sad story of a free-wheeling lass who loves her rich dude in the Alfa Romeo but doesn't get the same love back. C'est dommage! NOBODY is behind the music which I remember well because of that plucky synth-string intro and the interesting keyboard crashes approaching the refrain. It's another hook-worthy Oginome tune.

"Stranger Tonight" hit No. 1 on Oricon and became the 60th-ranked single for 1988. It was also nominated for Best Song at the Japan Record Awards that year, and even became the theme song for a TV Asahi drama "Madonna-sensei wa Rock n' Roller!"(マドンナ先生はロックンローラー!)which starred Oginome. The song was on her 8th album "CD-RIDER" which was released in August 1988 and became another No. 1 for her.

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