I remember first seeing Hideaki Tokunaga（徳永英明） on episodes of "The Best 10" and "The Top 10" in the late 80s singing hits like "Kaze no Eolia"（風のエオリア....Eolia Wind) and "Kagayakinagara"（輝きながら...Shining). He struck me as someone who looked a lot younger than he was, and just plain stuck out because of his high voice with a bit of a rasp in it. He didn't sing the lyrics so much as he soared through them. It was like watching a choir boy growing up.
However, after getting one of his BEST compilations some years later, I came across his debut single, "Rainy Blue". Released in January 1986, I thought it was an interesting start to his career since it was very much a ballad instead of a mid-tempo or a fast song. Although its original release didn't chart, I think "Rainy Blue"was a fine choice since it did play to Tokunaga's strengths of his tender vocals. In 1997, the song was given a second release, and it went as high as No. 31 on the Oricon charts.
"Rainy Blue" was composed by Tokunaga and written by Makoto Ohki（大木誠）, who the singer had first met some years back in the resort town of Karuizawa while he was working part-time there. Even earlier, Tokunaga had entered the TV talent show "Star Tanjo"（スター誕生...A Star is Born) along with future aidoru/theatre star Minako Honda（本田美奈子） and TV personality Akiko Matsumoto（松本明子）. He tried out with Tatsuro Yamashita's（山下達郎） "Ride on Time"(already profiled), but in the end, Matsumoto won.