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, March 20, 2012

Ruiko Kurahashi -- Glass no Yesterday (ガラスのYesterday)

Ruiko Kurahashi (倉橋ルイ子)was born in 1959 in Hokkaido as Shizuko Fujimoto(藤本.志津子) Her first single, "Glass no Yesterday"(Glass Yesterday) was released in April 1981 and it was the template for her brand of singing for the next several years. She specialized in slightly European-tinged light pop songs and ballads which distinguished herself from the aidoru of that time.

"Glass no Yesterday"was the first track on her debut album "Without Sugar". The above YouTube video is of the original song, but there is one more shorter version that is arranged as a jazz torch song which was the first one I'd heard all those years ago. (Unfortunately, that video has been taken down but here is another version.) The song was written by prolific lyricist Fumiko Okada(岡田冨美子)and composed by Kazuya Amikura(網倉一也).

A few years ago, I had the great privilege of seeing her concert in Minami-Aoyama at a classy little place called Mandala, which is now her headquarters of sorts in Tokyo. She had taken a leave of absence from her singing career for most of the 90s, but returned in 1999. For someone like me who rarely goes to concerts, it was a special thrill to get dressed to the nines to watch a singer I'd admired for so long in such a ritzy area. She sang all of my favorites, which was pretty much every song including the one I've mentioned here. And the years haven't changed her at all. It was as if she were still 21 years old.

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