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.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Sumiko Toyohiro/Yoshie Kashiwabara -- Tawamure no Koi no Mama ni(たわむれの恋のままに)

Commenter Mike gave me a tip back in April this year via my article on Yoshie Kashiwabara's(柏原芳恵)21st single "Saiai"(最愛)about this obscure singer named Sumiko Toyohiro(豊広純子)and her December 1982 single, "Tawamure no Koi no Mama ni" (Tumbling Head Over Heels). Toyohiro provided the lyrics and later, Yoshie-chan would cover it herself in the album "Saiai" in 1984. At the time, a YouTube video featuring the song couldn't be found.

Well, it's here now...and please...let it be here for a good long while. "Tawamure no Koi no Mama ni" is a sizzling torch song (perhaps approaching Level: Acetylene) that can belong to the classy night bar side of City Pop. Kimihiko Shiraishi(白石公彦)composed the shibui melody which should be served with a tumbler of the bar's very best scotch. Perhaps it can even be considered to be a representative of Fashion Music. According to one Japanese blog, "Tawamure" was created as an entry for the 13th Annual World Popular Song Festival sponsored by the Yamaha Music Foundation in 1982.

Along with the shibui aspect that I like in the ballad, I also enjoy Toyohiro's voice since it reminds me a lot of the fine vocals of Junko Ohashi(大橋純子). I can easily imagine Ohashi covering this one as well. Since Kashiwabara covered it, I also have to mention one other interesting aspect. At first, from listening to "Tawamure", the refrain had me thinking that this was the original version of a completely different Yoshie song since the refrain in that one sounds quite similar. In fact, the song that I had been thinking about was "Shinobi Ai"(し・の・び・愛), actually created by a different singer-songwriter which I will have to write about very soon.

As for Toyohiro herself, aside from the blog that I mentioned in the last paragraph and what Mike had told me, I have yet to find anything else substantial about the singer-songwriter herself. She did release one album "Water Heart", but methinks that this is one album that would be a lost treasure to track down.

1 comment:

  1. As near as I can tell, Sumiko Toyohiro released just the one album and two singles (“Ai wa Mellow Yellow” being the other). The personnel/guest list to Water Heart (Buzz, Hi Fi Set, Jake H. Concepcion, Shigeru Suzuki, Nobu Saito, etc.) is one to make the serious City Pop aficionado’s mouth water. It also shows someone was really invested in making this album succeed, so it’s a bit of a shame she fell into such obscurity.

    She originally sang this number at the 24th Popcon, (with Mio Honda’s “Ai Dancer” taking the Grand Prix) before returning three weeks later to perform it at the WPSF. There were some really excellent Japanese songs in that edition, not least of which was the Grand Prix-winning “Hananusubito,” an exquisite piano-based “art song” by (the now sadly late) Asuka. The most famous performer in that edition was a then-14 year old Céline Dion. The international Grand Prix winner was American singer Anne Bertucci.

    Incidentally, do seek out Yoshie Kashiwabara’s rendition of this tune, too. She does do the song justice.


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