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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tomiko Kobayashi -- Natsu e no Express(夏へのエクスプレス)

I wrote about a Masayuki Kishi(岸正之)ballad the other night, and so far on the blog, I've only covered two songs performed by him and one tune that he provided 80s aidoru Marina Watanabe(渡辺真理奈), so I can hardly say that I can gauge the man's style. But my impression was that Kishi was one of those really mellow AOR balladeers.

Well, perhaps he himself is when performing, but I came across this song composed by him and written by A-mi, which shows that he can show off some uptempo chops as well. "Natsu e no Express" (Express to Summer) is a track on Tomiko Kobayashi's(小林登美子)1st full album after 2 mini-albums, "Soul Wonderland" from September 1994.

There's barely anything about Kobayashi online (no J-Wiki article) aside from the fact that she apparently went from MOR material in her first two releases before hitting the soul music with "Soul Wonderland". As for "Natsu e no Express", it's a great summer nighttime number (heck, I think it's good for any season) for driving around to as Kobayashi herself is doing on the cover, and there is that old/new Motown feeling reminiscent of what Keizo Nakanishi(中西圭三)was doing at the same time.

Looking at another site, though, that so-called first mini-album, "Profile", looks pretty full to me.


  1. Long time, no comment.

    Was going through some of your older posts (on Off Course, as threre is not that much English language discussion of them on the net afaik) and most of the YT videos have been taken down.

    More and more JPop has been licensed by Spotify recently. Have you tried Spotify to see how their back catalog is? I don't know about Canada but I know they're trying to crack the Japan market (I think it's a long shot but happy to see them try.)

    Might be nice to include some Spotify links if you can find them?

    1. Hi, Gen.

      Good to hear from you again. The videos going down from YouTube has been a common thread through the blog's history. Took a look at the Off-Course collection since you mentioned the band and found a few of those gray boxes where videos used to be. I've been lucky so looks like the YT uploaders have been putting up a good resistance so I found replacements.

      As for Spotify, I might do that if there is a major onslaught on YouTube or any of the other sites, but so far, I don't particularly feel the need to sign up for the service.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.