Credits

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, July 2, 2018

Junko Yagami -- Secret Love(シークレット・ラブ)


With the World Cup halfway done and Wimbledon just beginning, I remember when my journey into Japanese pop music was getting underway, a year after my fateful trip to Japan in the summer. It just so happened that the 1982 World Cup in Spain was taking place along with the tennis championships in England. So remembering one of the first cool kayo, "Mizuiro no Ame" (みずいろの雨)due to the fact that I had first heard it on "Sounds of Japan", I also have images of the folks playing soccer and lobbing the ball back and forth across the net. I had actually been listening to the taped version of the radio show while watching sports (multitasking in the pre-Mac era). Yes, I realize that it's kinda weird being reminded of two different sports when it comes to one of Junko Yagami's(八神純子)classics, but it is what it is. Maybe there's something Pavlovian in that.


Speaking of the amazing Yagami who seems to have become one of the great City Pop/Vaporwave discoveries in recent years alongside Mariya Takeuchi(竹内まりや)and Toshiki Kadomatsu(角松敏生), earlier in that year of 1982, she released her 4th album "Yume Miru Koro wo Sugite mo"(夢みる頃を過ぎても...Even When The Dreaming Passes). The second track is "Secret Love", a sultry number focusing on a hot-and-heavy tryst by the beach in a car, generously punctuated by the singer's own sighs and some of that fine bass (hey, I wrote "bass"...with a 'b'!). The lyrics might hint at that romantic rendezvous out by the coastline, but there is still that feeling of love in a metropolitan hotel.

Yagami and Machiko Ryu(竜真知子)wrote the lyrics while Tsugutoshi Goto(後藤次利)provided the melody and the arrangement. Some nice guitar in there, too. Having listened to "Secret Love" a few times, I don't think it's quite on the same level as "Mizuiro no Ame" or some of those other hits by her, but even Yagami's less incredible works are still mighty fine. As for "Yume Miru Koro wo Sugite mo", it peaked at No. 2 on the Oricon weeklies and later became the 34th-ranked album of the year.

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