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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Yukari Ito -- SAYONARA

The first time I had heard Yukari Ito(伊東ゆかり), it was through the song "Yakusoku Dake Romantic"(約束だけロマンティック), a mellow pop ballad, via my old radio program "Sounds of Japan" in the early 1980s. In terms of melody, it was far and away from her reputation as a teen aidoru of the 1960s with hits such as "Koyubi no Omoide" (小指の思い出). And since then, through her appearances on television, that's how I saw Ito as she did her old kayo hits.

Well, what I didn't know was that Ito had done at least one pop album which was a mix of City Pop and J-AOR. "Misty Hour" was released in 1982, and according to "Music Avenue", there were a lot of songwriters from the genres helping out including Akira Inoue(井上鑑), Mariya Takeuchi(竹内まりや), EPO and Tetsuji Hayashi(林哲司). In fact, some of them even participated as the backup singers.

I was happy to hear that "Misty Hour" has been given its CD conversion so after listening to some of the tracks, I'm now interested in getting my own copy. So far, the only song that can be heard on YouTube in its entirety is the track "SAYONARA", one of those ballads that conjures up images of Gino Vannelli, Eric Carmen and of those other AOR balladeers from the 1970s and 1980s. Written by Machiko Ryu(竜真知子)and composed by Hayashi, I could easily imagine it being covered by one of those West Coast singers from way back when. The author at "Music Avenue" even remarked that "SAYONARA" stands in as one of his Top 3 favourite ballads created by Hayashi. High praise indeed.

I did find this video talking about the CD release of "Misty Hour" and it features a part of the second track "Koibito-tachi"(恋人たち...Lovers). However, there are also the samples available for the album at

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