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, June 29, 2021

Yasuko Agawa -- The Music (Is The Way I Live)


Almost a year ago, I first featured jazz singer Yasuko Agawa(阿川泰子)through her "Canadian Star" and she was a chanteuse that I'd wanted to get up onto "Kayo Kyoku Plus" for some time so I was glad to finally do so. Of course, it would take a year to get a second article about her onto the blog.😬

Well, in any case, here we are...and here she is. Once again, it's not about the jazz this time but more of her dalliance with R&B of the early 1980s and City Pop and all that. This is "The Music (Is The Way I Live)", a track from her 1984 album "Gravy". Rather interesting title for an album of hers.

Compared with the dreamy Steely Dan-penned but Eagles-sounding "Canadian Star", "The Music" takes things into a far funkier direction with images of Los Angeles rather than Tokyo in the arrangement, although with that electric guitar banging away there, maybe there is even a touch of rock. It took a bit of doing trying to figure out who created "The Music" in the first place but after checking out the images of the original LP on Yahoo Japan, it was the duo of Gerald Lee and Marti Sharron who was behind the mighty R&B strut delivered by Agawa.

I also tried to see whether "The Music" was a cover for an original rendition in the United States but I couldn't find anyone there who had recorded it, so I can assume that Agawa is indeed the original singer. She does a pretty bang-up job with the song and it makes me wonder how long she continued with R&B until she made the switch to jazz. In any case, I can imagine folks of the decade listening to this on their Sony Walkmans.

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