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.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hiroko Yakushimaru/EPO -- Ru-Pa-Ra(ル・パ・ラ)

Before I started writing this particular article, I was trying to decipher the meaning of "Ru-Pa-Ra" by throwing the katakana title into the Google Translate machine, more out of desperation than anything else. Couldn't find a thing. I'm now wondering if EPO, who wrote and composed this otherwise very pleasant tune, just wanted to come up with her own "Sussudio".

(excerpt only)

In any case, EPO created this song for Hiroko Yakushimaru's(薬師丸ひろ子)April 1988 album "Sincerely Yours". For me, Yakushimaru has usually struck me as a singer who sings these ethereal pop songs (although a few of them at least have been grounded in some urban contemporary beats), thanks to those light vocals of hers. With "Ru-Pa-Ra", there is a bit more Latin fun and groove for Hiroko-chan that I thought I was quite refreshing.

EPO's lyrics were quite interesting in that behind that light bossa rhythm, there was a mention of circadian rhythms...and biological clocks. The woman of the song really wants to settle with down with that perfect guy...and quickly. Perhaps she will find him on some Fantasy Island or the Love Boat. Mr. Roarke...over here!


EPO even decided to cover her own creation in her 11th album from August 1988, "Freestyle", with a little more pulsation thrown in for good measure. Perhaps I can even hear a bit of Steely Dan in there among the Latin.

To finish off, if any EPO or Yakushimaru fan has any insight on the title, I'm all ears and eyes. It's kinda ironic with "Sincerely Yours" and "Freestyle". I've got a lot of the early 80s albums by Yakushimaru and EPO but these 1988 releases are ones that are currently not on my shelf.

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