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.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ikue Sakakibara -- Fushigi ne(不思議ね)

It's strange, isn't it? I've been seeing veteran tarento Ikue Sakakibara(榊原郁恵)for years on TV via commercials and variety/quiz shows as this shining presence, knowing that she had started out as one genki aidoru in the 1970s.

The thing is, though, I got hints from actually seeing Sakakibara included in my music bible of "Japanese City Pop"(!) and then learning that she did a technopop tune called "Robot"(ロボット)that she (or her manager) didn't just settle for the run-of-the-mill teenybopper material. Ikue-chan could do the cute aidoru stuff but still have some aspects of other genres flow in freely.

Case in point: "Fushigi ne" (Strange, Ain't It?), the title track from her 6th album released in January 1980, "C'est drole ~ Fushigi ne". It's got this happy teenybopper bounciness but it also has this layer of 1970s City Pop (bass and keyboard) feeling bonded to the aidoru music. Lyricist Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼)and composer Katsuo Ono(大野克大)created the song but I gotta also admire the arrangement by Reijiro Koroku(小六禮次郎). I can still imagine having taken a pleasant walk with Ikue-chan through West Shinjuku to this number, although her future husband would have been none too pleased.

Such was the charm of "Fushigi ne" and a couple of other tunes by the singer that I purchased this album and one other at CD Japan. Must explore!

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