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 22, 2019

Marcos V.'s short selection of 80s female aidoru singers

Eri Nitta -- WHO?

Starting off this list with Eri Nitta’s (新田恵利) awkward, but surprisingly captivating baby voice, “WHO?” is a bouncy and serviceable Eurobeat song released in 1988. Even though I still feel Nitta’s voice was a joke, I actually find it full of personality here, and the chorus is quite catchy as well. Nothing groundbreaking, but it deserves a listen, even if just for the fun.

Minako Honda -- Tokyo Girl

(The lower video is for those who
couldn't see the upper video due to availability

It’s been just a few days since I talked about Minako Honda’s (本田美奈子) English language “OVERSEA” album here on the blog, but now I want to highlight one of her Japanese songs, and a rather rare one, called “Tokyo Girl”. Released as the coupling song to her single “Help”, in 1986, “Tokyo Girl” is a very nice pop song, and I just love the way Honda almost dramatically sings “You are Tokyo girl…” and “I am London boy…”, or the opposite, during the choruses. I can’t help but sing along with her.

Mami Yamase -- Aishuu no Barcelona


When I see the name Mami Yamase (山瀬まみ), it’s her wacky and punky persona that comes to mind. However, before committing to this particular style, her career started in a more traditional aidoru route. And even during her “normal” days, she was still able to surprise us with things like “Aishuu no Barcelona” (哀愁のバルセロナ), a dramatically-sung track with a cold and ominous Euro/synthpop arrangement included in the album “PRIVATE EDITION”, from late 1987.

Rumi Shishido -- Cosmic Rendezvous

Just like Mami Yamase, Rumi Shishido (宍戸留美) also recorded traditional aidoru pop before doing her more experimental stuff, and her debut single, “Cosmic Rendezvous” (コズミック・ランデブー), is probably the best example of it. Released in 1990, I just love the mess that is the cute-faced Shishido singing this aidoru/Techno Kayo tune while showing her long legs in a Moritaka Chisato-esque (森高千里) outfit and doing a choreography with a stick.

Eriko Tamura -- NEXT

The talented and voluptuous Eriko Tamura (田村英里子) is the aidoru behind today’s final song. Called “NEXT”, this over-the-top song is probably my favorite in all her discography, and the reason lies on the devastatingly dazzling Carnival-esque synth arrangement that permeates most of it. Other than that, well, Tamura can’t dance properly, but her awkward choreography is what makes the video so endearing in my opinion. “NEXT” was the coupling song to her single “Honki” (真剣), released in 1989.


  1. Hi, Marcos.

    Thanks for your writeup on those 80s aidorus. For me, the standouts were Honda's "Tokyo Girl" and Yamase's "Aishuu no Barcelona". "Tokyo Girl" is more on her aidoru side with some urban contemporary in there whereas "Aishuu no Barcelona" has that interesting Eurobeat arrangement, especially with that synth intro which sounds faintly sinister. It almost takes things into Depeche Mode territory.

    1. Hi, J-Canuck.

      I'd say "Aishuu no Barcelona" is the one I like most in this selection, since I've been listening to it for many, many years (maybe since 2013 or 2014). And you're spot-on comparing the sinister/ominous synths to Depeche Mode (conincidentally, I was listening to "Strangelove" yesterday). Curiously, though, the other songs on the "PRIVATE EDITION" album are the typical aidoru affair, with "Barcelona" as the odd one.

    2. Morning, Marcos.

      I think that's why "Aishuu no Barcelona" stuck out so much for me. And yep, I'm a huge fan of "Strangelove". It was THE power song to get formerly young folks like me onto the dance floor back in the 1980s. Well, that and "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order.

      That brings up the question. Was there any Japanese pop song that emulated New Order's style?

  2. Hello!

    Maybe I am a little on the cheesy side, but my favorite song in this list is "Who?" by Eri Nitta. Those eurobeatish synths are killer. It is curious seeing how most of Eri Nitta songs are your typical idol songs and for this tune they changed her style completely. Maybe the blooming of the eurobeat style in America and Europe was the answer.

    As for Eriko Tamura, her albums (at least her first two ones and her mini album "Der Traum") are full of eurobeat and dance arrangements... She didn't sound too "idolish",and I find it a good thing.

    Saludos and thanks for this selection!



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