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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Yurie Kokubu -- Akogare(憧憬)

It's pretty ironic that for all of the articles that I've written on Yurie Kokubu's(国分友里恵)flashy City Pop numbers over the last little while, the very first article about her was her own cover of "Tada Nakitakunaruno"(ただ泣きたくなるの), a song that she and her husband, composer Masaki Iwamoto(岩本正樹), had created for Miho Nakayama(中山美穂)in the early 1990s. The song was basically my introduction to Kokubu and by that point in the decade, it looks like she had veered into a more general pop sound. It did come to some surprise when I heard tracks from her debut release in 1983, "Relief 72 Hours" that she had been doing the urban funk.

My introduction to Kokubu was through her 1995 album "Akogare" (Longing), and as I had mentioned in the article for "Tada Nakitakunaruno", I got to know her through her sparky commercial jingles for various products. It was enough for me to pick up "Akogare" and one of the other songs from the album that has stood out for the past few decades is the title track itself.

Once again, both Kokubu and Iwamoto were responsible for this rather proud and elegant song. Kokubu's vocals just ring out through the air and bring feelings of calm and inspiration to my old head. It's quite the different feeling when compared to her City Pop days in the 1980s, as if the party girl finally hung up her dancing shoes a long time ago and is now perfectly content with sipping tea with her old disco buddies at home. The single version came out in December 1994.

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