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.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Naoya Matsuoka & Minako Yoshida -- Lovin' Mighty Fire

Found this one not in the "Light Mellow ~ Twilight" as you can see above but in the "Breeze" CD.

Naoya Matsuoka(松岡直也)has been known as a Latin jazz/fusion specialist and also as the composer behind Akina Nakamori's(中森明菜)big hit "Meu amor e" in the mid-1980s. Through "Breeze" though, I found out that the first single (his debut album was "Joyful Feet" in 1977) of his to come out was a collaboration between him and singer-songwriter and R&B chanteuse Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)in 1979 called "Lovin' Mighty Fire" as a 12" single.

With Matsuoka behind the music and arrangement, Yoshida handled the lyrics under her pen name of Minnie Shady. The result is a 7-minute-and-change disco groove interlude that had me thinking Chaka Khan. Minaka Khan? In any case, the first time that I heard this, I just had to make sure within the liner notes of "Breeze" that it was indeed only Matsuoka and Yoshida involved without any help from the Chicago-born R&B legend. Indeed, the jazz/fusion specialist and Minnie Shady took care of this, and it's a corker of a tune. The additional funkiness was provided by Matsuoka's band, Wishing.


  1. Hello J_Canuck,

    Naoya Matsuoka AND Minako Yoshida together? What a wonderful day!

    I have been listening to Naoya Matsuoka for the past month and a half, but pairing with him and the Divine Miss M? And with a song that I have never heard before? Finding anything from Minako Yoshida that I've never heard of is always good!

    Unfortunately, the single and the album (MUCHOS NAOYA~vocal best selection Naoya Matsuoka) are also kanbei.

    That's two for two today. Insert Price is Right Losing Horn here:



    1. Hi, Chasing Showa!

      Yeah, at this point, we'll probably have to depend on these compilation CDs to hear the obscure stuff. Probably would never have heard "Lovin' Mighty Fire" without "Light Mellow". Man, she and Matsuoka are fine here!

  2. Hi J-Canuck!

    Yep, you are right. I tried looking up the CD you currently have and some people are asking as nearly as much for it as they are for the original single!

    However, Ace Records UK comes through again with their compilation of Japanese Showa era goodness! I found they had a compilation called (you guessed it!) Lovin' Mighty Fire (Nippon Funk • Soul • Disco 1973-1983)."

    These are the same people who compiled the Nippon Girls series that I purchased a few years back.

    And given it's only $15 bucks, the price is right. Plus you do get songs from the usual suspects on that album too.

    Next to the title track, Junko Ohashi's "Dancin' are probably the best songs on the album. Most of it is disco as hell, with a little funk, and a song or two that crosses the line into 1970s porn soundtrack territory.

    There's a couple of songs on the album that you've already reviewed:

    Rie Nakahara - Sentimental Hotel
    Yuko Asano - Summer Champion
    Miyako Chaki - Mabaroshi no Hito (which was quite the find actually).

    Yeah, the album is on Youtube in its entirety but if I can get a physical copy, I will.


    1. Hi, Chasing Showa!

      Yep, I came across the album on YouTube there and discovered Chaki and Ohashi's "Dancin'". I'll have to do some articles on those soon enough. Considering what you've told me about the price for "Light Mellow" nowadays, I'm glad that I scooped up several of the CDs up when I did.


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