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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.

Friday, September 10, 2021

RAMU -- One and Only

 

Indeed, it is another Friday night. I'm hoping that at least some of you are enjoying some careful group outing on a patio somewhere with some tasty libations.

To complete my usual Friday night quartet of the urban contemporary in Japanese music, I have another track from the band RAMU's one and only "Thanksgiving" album from September 1988, "One and Only". As I mentioned back in the March 2017 article regarding a fellow track, "Rainy Night Lady", I, as a callow youth not so experienced in the language of music, hadn't been quite so sure how RAMU with 80s aidoru Momoko Kikuchi(菊池桃子)as the lead vocalist was going to be categorized.

Although I don't own "Thanksgiving", I can guess with a fair amount of confidence that the album would fall under the City Pop category, and having come out during the Bubble Era of Japan's crazed economic fireworks, there would be that feeling of champagne and caviar in the music itself. Sure enough, the composer for this track was none other than Kiyotaka Sugiyama(杉山清貴), the first main vocalist for Omega Tribe(オメガトライブ)with Keiko Aso(麻生圭子)as lyricist and Hiroshi Shinkawa(新川博)as arranger. "One and Only" is as cool and smooth as a ride in that convertible running through West Shinjuku. Will always appreciate a good sax solo.

Back when I was relying mainly on those rental videos of "The Best 10" and "The Top 10", I only saw Kikuchi as the mid-80s aidoru who sang the twinkly stuff like "Sotsugyo" (卒業), and so when I first saw her come out fronting RAMU, I was rather shocked at the turn of events in terms of genre. However, if I had been a fan of hers living in Japan, I probably wouldn't have been surprised at all since there were these parallel tracks occurring in her young career with the aidoru music on one hand and then the more City Pop material on the other, through songs such as "Mystical Composer" (ミスティカルコンポーザー).

7 comments:

  1. RAMU's album does sound like city-pop!

    RAMU Thanksgiving (1988)full Album 46:05 minutes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w5GINHAEHc

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  2. One more comment... RAMU's music almost sounds like the type of music Hiroko Kasahara might have put out.

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    1. Morning, Brian. I have the one Kasahara entry in which she provided a song for a game but didn't know about her City Pop connections although I did mention there about 80s power ballads. Listening to "Rainy Night Lady" and "One and Only", I also get this Omega Tribe vibe but closer to downtown rather than the beach.

      https://kayokyokuplus.blogspot.com/2017/08/ritsuko-okazakihiroko-kasahara-sora-no.html

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  3. I didn't know you had written anything about Hiroko Kasahara! Actually, you are the first person I have met that knows about her.

    The first album I bought of hers back in the late 90's was the following:

    Memories ~The Best Selection~ (1992)
    https://www.amazon.co.jp/Memories-Best-Cellection-%E7%AC%A0%E5%8E%9F%E5%BC%98%E5%AD%90/dp/B00005HFKI

    The Canadian version of Amazon seems to have had a few of her albums:
    s://www.amazon.ca/s?k=Kasahara+Hiroko&ref=nb_sb_noss

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    1. Hello, Brian. Actually, it was because of the blog that I was able to discover about Kasahara. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to hear about her, let alone hear her. I'll have to check out her material. With the current mail situation between Canada and Japan, I may have to rely on Amazon.ca for any Japanese albums, although with the fact that international travelers including Japanese can now come to Canada without quarantine, that may change very soon.

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  4. I really enjoy your blog or your magnum Opus it is a growing encyclopedia of Japanese music from the showa period. I know it would have been impossible but I wish I had had access to something like this in the 80's and 90's!


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    1. Thank you very much for the compliment, Brian. To be honest, I wish that someone had beaten me to the punch all the way back then, too, but it would have been in the form of a book or a fanzine.

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