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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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kaori Kuno -- Rifujin na Koi (理不尽な恋)


During my CD-buying mania days at the turn of the decade into the 90s, I would often take one Saturday out of the month and take the Bullet Train into Tokyo from the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. I loved my countryside home but I needed to get some city under me once in a while.  So I usually arrived at Ueno Station at around 10 in the morning and waited around until my first stop, Yamano Music in Ginza (which is already listed under Sites), opened up an hour later. Then, it would be a day of running around to Shinjuku, Shibuya and Kanda to see how many discs I could grab. Often it would be 8-10 CDs by the time I took the 7 p.m. back to Gunma.

I bought the obvious ones such as Seiko, Akina and Anzen Chitai but I also tried to pick some up sight unseen, so to speak. During one trip, I came across this album with the picture of a young but mature-looking beauty on the cover. Her name was Kaori Kuno(久野かおり)and the album title was "Breath". I also saw what looked like the top of a saxophone peeking out from under her face on the cover, so, intrigued by a sax-playing female J-Pop artist, I decided to make the investment of 3,000 yen.

To be honest, up to this day, although I still have "Breath", I remember just a couple of songs from that album. "Rifujin na Koi "(An Unreasonable Love)was Track No. 1, and it's a breezy, relaxing and urbane tune with Kuno's soft vocals, and her work on the soprano sax. Written and composed by Kuno herself, some of the other performers have helped out Miki Imai(今井美樹) during that time, which explains the easygoing sound.

Kuno is another one of those unsung heroines that didn't really pass the threshold for superstardom, but has been able to gather a very devoted group of fans over the years. Although she doesn't have anything written about her on J-Wiki, she has her own site thankfully.


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