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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Love Potion -- Nightingale(ナイチンゲール)


As I've mentioned before in past articles, the 1980s were the most impressionable decade for me in terms of pop culture. There was all the music, the music videos, discovering the freedom of university life with restaurants and discos, and fashion. 

When my brother and I were taping music videos onto VHS tape (yes, that was a hobby back then), one of those videos was the 1983 hit by Tracey Ullman, "They Don't Know", which was a cover of the original 1979 song by the late Kirsty MacColl. And back then, I was marveling at the fact that the 1950s and 1960s were coming back into popular culture in the 1980s after having done the same the previous decade thanks to "American Graffiti" and "Happy Days". Ullman's video illustrated that mix of the earlier decades and that certain New Wave of the 80s.

That was the same feeling that I received on encountering this song "Nightingale" by the girls' band Love Potion(ラブ・ポーション). The first track on Side B of their 2nd and final album "Nightingale ni Narenakute"(ナイチンゲールになれなくて...Can't Become a Nightingale) from January 1986, I was not only reminded of "They Don't Know" but I even thought of "Georgy Girl" by The Seekers. Looking at the album cover in the thumbnail, yep, it certainly appears that the band was going for some of that 60s/80s mix of fashion. The headband and all those pearls around the lead singer's neck has me thinking early Madonna. "Nightingale" was written by Kenji Kadoya(門谷憲二)and composed by Daisuke Inoue(井上大輔).

The lead singer, by the way, is Norie Kasai(笠井則江)along with her guitarist buddy Takako Nakamura(中村貴子)and three of their classmates from a Kyoto junior high school, according to J-Wiki. Back in 1977, they actually started their career as an indies country band called San Antonio Lady's, but then later on in 1983, singer-songwriter Ryudo Uzaki(宇崎竜童)contributed some help to them and even had them change their name to Love Potion with a major debut single of "Mune Ippai no Photograph"(胸いっぱいのフォトグラフ...Photographs Full of Emotion) at the end of that year. Still, their early songs still had that country lilt and their July 1984 debut album "ZEPHYR" even had them covering "Tennessee Waltz". With those two albums and six singles under their belts, Love Potion called it a day by announcing their breakup at an Osaka concert in July 1986.

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