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, April 9, 2018

Rajie -- Rajie All Time Selection, Disc 2

Happy Monday! It's been less than 24 hours since I put up the article for Disc 1 of Rajie's "All Time Selection" from 2018, but since I was able to get all my work done today, I now have oodles of time to write about Disc 2 now.

Disc 2 includes selected tracks from d) Mahiru no Hodou (真昼の舗道...1980) e) Acoustic Moon (1981) f) Gogo no Relief (午後のレリーフ...1984) g) Espresso (エスプレッソ...1985), and yeah, I'm keeping the order that I had from last night's Disc 1 article so that's why it's starting from d).

Unlike in Disc 1, you won't be finding any links under here and only a few lettered tracks since neither nikala nor I have talked about Rajie's material beyond nikala's article for "Mahiru no Hodou". However, this gives me a chance to find out more about the songs that she performed for those last three albums.

The lineup for the second disc then.

1. Last Scene(ラスト・シーン)(d)
2. Itsuwari no Hitomi(偽りの瞳)(d)
3. Radio to Futari(ラジオと二人)(d)
4. Yojirean Twist(ヨジレアン・ツイスト)(d)
6. Black Moon(ブラック・ムーン)
7. Bara no Glass(薔薇のグラス)
8. Do you wanna dance
9. Memory Through (Tsuisou)(メモリー・スルー (追想))
10. Ce Soir(セソワ)
11. Goodbye Transfer(グッド・バイ トランスファー)
12. Ruriiro no Koibito-tachi(瑠璃色の恋人達)
13. Double Moon(ダブルムーン)
14. MAMAMIYA ~ Uchuu kara no Okurimono(宇宙からの贈物)
15. Espresso
16. Misshitsu(密室)
17. Yumeiro Densetsu(夢色伝説)
18. Hikari to Kage(光と影)

Tracks 1~4 are d), 5~9 are e), 10~14 are f) and 15~18 are g). For those first four tracks, originally from "Mahiru no Hodou", you can just click the link in the second paragraph to find out more about them.

Since "Mahiru no Hodou" is already well represented, shall we begin with Rajie's 5th album "Acoustic Moon"? Above is "ROSY BLUE", a happy-go-lucky number that weaves between down-home and classy. Written by Keisuke Yamakawa(山川啓介)and composed by Masamichi Sugi(杉真理), it might be telling a tale of a woman teasing a new beau over his past while tripping the light fantastic. Despite the songwriters involved, I couldn't but feel that there was a feeling of Eiichi Ohtaki(大滝詠一)infused into this song. "ROSY BLUE" was also the B-side to Rajie's 8th single "Do you wanna dance" from 1982.

Speaking of that A-side, here is "Do you wanna dance" which is another rather split-personality song which has a doo-wop refrain sandwiched in slices of what sounds like French jazz of the 1960s. Rajie is playing into this quite well with her flirty vocalization. Shigesato Itoi(糸井重里)and NOBODY took care of words and music respectively.

"Black Moon" from "Acoustic Moon" has Rajie seemingly channeling some Junko Yagami(八神純子)and Hi-Fi Set(ハイ・ファイ・セット)from the 1970s. Etsuko Kisugi and Yoshitaka Minami(来生えつこ・南佳孝)have teamed up to create this tribute to some classy City Pop with European undertones. No fusion of genres here....just some pleasant music that I would enjoy having some steak and alcohol with at The New York Grill in Shinjuku. "Black Moon" was also her 7th single from 1981.

Going into Rajie's 1984 "Gogo no Relief" (Afternoon Relief), "Goodbye Transfer" is a pretty atmospheric piece straddling between 1980s City Pop and the sophisticated pop coming in the latter part of the decade. Kingo Hamada(浜田金吾)was responsible for the moody music and Kazuko Kobayashi(小林和子)took care of the lyrics which talk about a woman getting ready to take off from a fogbound airport to leave her romantic woes behind.

"Double Moon" is a another heady song with some bossa nova. Lyricist Rui Serizawa(芹沢類)and composer Akira Nishimoto(西本明)created this one.

Could only find the video with the entirety of "Espresso", Rajie's final original album so I will be putting up time stamps for a couple of the songs here that are represented on "All Time Selection". At 8:59 is the title track, a smooth and light technopop number by Serizawa again and Yuji Karaki(唐木祐史). For some reason, I'm quite attracted to these cabaret-type songs done with synths.

And at 21:50, there is "Misshitsu" (Secret Room), a sultry song in which a woman and her paramour have a little tryst in an elevator while heading up to the 15th floor. I gather that back then, apartment or hotel elevators weren't all that fast. The same fellows behind "Double Moon" in the previous album also took care of this technopop tune which is about as different as Rajie could get when compared to her earliest City Pop entries. Again, I have yet to get "Espresso" the album but my feeling is that it could be similar to "Quatre" from 1979 which also had Rajie going for a more synthesized sound.

And that is what makes this BEST compilation interesting since Rajie didn't settle on one particular sound during those years between 1977 and 1985. She continued to evolve so it's been fun listening and comparing the songs.

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