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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ruiko Kurahashi/Yoko Nishigori -- Kono Ai ni Ikite (この愛に生きて)

Ruiko Kurahashi(倉橋ルイ子)has often looked so ennui-ridden and downcast on her album covers that it's always a surprise (and a pleasure) when I see her actually smiling. And she looks pretty Hollywood on the cover of her 9th single from October 1985, "Kono Ai ni Ikite" (Live Through This Love). This was not a major Kurahashi song but from listening to certain phrases from it, I could recognize it pretty easily and it is a pleasant enough ballad that has that European air which often characterizes a Kurahashi ballad. It's nice to hear in that study on a rainy Sunday.

However, I just found out that Kurahashi's ballad was actually a cover version. The original "Kono Ai ni Ikite" was sung by Yoko Nishigori(西郡よう子)who hails from Fukuoka Prefecture. Debuting in 1976 after becoming known in her area as a folk singer, her version of this song was released in 1978 as her 3rd of 4 singles. I've listened to it twice and Nishigori sounds similar to another singer from that time, Machiko Watanabe(渡辺真知子). In addition, the arrangement here also has that jaunty exotic feeling that was being imbued in a number of pop songs in the late 70s such as Saki Kubota's "Ihoujin"(異邦人). Toshiyuki Kimori(木森敏之)came up with the music while Masami Sugiyama(杉山政美)provided the words.

Nishigori left show business soon afterward in 1980 but returned in 2004 as a jazz singer under the name of Kei Hoshino(星乃けい).

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