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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mariko Takahashi -- Hagayui Kuchibiru (はがゆい唇)

For those who are familiar with the articles on Mariko Takahashi(高橋真梨子), I've focused more on her earlier material when she was part of the folk group Pedro & Capricious and then her solo efforts from 1978 into the early 80s.

But I was happy to discover this gem she sang in the early 1990s titled "Hagayui Kuchibiru" (Tantalized Lips). Released in May 1992 as her 18th single, Takahashi's vocals just soar and float and weave around the nighttime skyscrapers, thanks to veteran Yoko Aki's(阿木燿子)lyrics and the melody by Ichiro Haneda(羽田一郎)which has that urban contemporary feel that would fit someone like Masayuki Suzuki(鈴木雅之). I especially like it when Mariko ends some of her lines with a sudden jump in her tone. I think it's songs like these that make me wish I was back in Tokyo or Yokohama again.

"Hagayui Kuchibiru" was Takahashi's first song in 8 years to break through the Top 10 by ranking in at No. 5. That other song was "Momo Iro Toiki"(桃色吐息)from 1984. "Hagayui Kuchibiru" sold close to 600,000 copies and finished the year as the 30th-ranked song. Of course, a few years later, she would have another hit in "Gomen ne"(ごめんね); it only peaked at No. 18 but it sold even more CDs with the numbers going over 650,000.

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