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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kahoru Kohiruimaki -- Dreamer

For me, I've always seen Aomori Prefecture-born singer Kahoru Kohiruimaki(小比類巻かほる) having two phases in her career. In her first three years, she was singing dynamic pop songs and some rockin' tunes often reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band with some Tower of Power horns thrown in (her 1987 single "Come On" is a good example). Then, in 1989, with the release of her 6th album, "Time The Motion", she went into a more R&B/soul/funk direction. One of the tracks from this album was "Dreamer".

Even before going to Gunma Prefecture in 1989, I'd known about Kohiruimaki from her poppy 1987 hit, "Hold On Me". But "Dreamer", her 12th single released in September of that year, made me forget about her earlier hit for a good long time. Written by Kohiruimaki and composed by Yoshiaki Ohuchi(大内義昭), this song is a Kodama Bullet Train of a disco tune which melds in those horns, disco strings and a group of backup singers that must've had a bit of Jack Daniels before going behind the mikes. One of the backups was Fee Waybill, lead singer of the New Wave group, The Tubes, a decade prior (my only knowledge of the band was through their appearance on the Canadian sketch comedy show, "SCTV" when they sang "Sushi Girl").

It also looks like the producers threw everything but the kitchen sink into the music video as well. Choreography, horn players and a trio of voluptuous stylish black & white....yep, they're all in there. So, it was a pity that neither the single (which was used as the jingle for TDK Audio Tapes) nor the album broke the Top 100 in their categories.

As for "Time The Motion", I would have loved to have done a feature on it, but currently, aside from "Dreamer", all of the other tracks have either been deleted or never put on YouTube. And there are some good rollicking tracks such as "Wild Generation"and the title song. The other notable point about it is that it was Kohiruimaki's first album after moving to TDK Records. In addition, a couple of the tracks ("Mind Bells", "Bliss") were created by none other than Prince (yep that Prince) and recorded at his Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota. Kohiruimaki definitely wanted to make an impression (Well, whaddaya know? I finally got that article for "Time The Motion" done up here).

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