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, September 15, 2016

EPO -- Everybody Knows

One of the things I've noticed in J-Pop, notably within the anison genre, is that a number of the songs seem to hearken back to a sound 5 or even 10 years earlier than their recording date. I'm not sure if it's the nostalgia bug that has taken a bite but I have heard songs that were made in the early 2000s sound as if they had been created in the early 1990s.

EPO's "Everybody Knows" is one of those non-anison songs that rather falls into this time-slip category. This was her 21st single from July 1989 but it sounds like an American fusion tune from about a decade before which hit me as being a bit of a switch when I consider her to be one of the City Pop princesses. It was composed by Danny Schogger and Linda Taylor with EPO behind the lyrics.

What was also interesting was the music video which had the singer herself changing her image into that of a young woman hitting the more rambunctious areas of town, all gussied up in leather and makeup so that she was going more for a rock appearance. The video has been taken down but you can check out EPO with that long hair above for the album cover of "Super Natural", her 12th album which came out at the same time as "Everybody Knows".


  1. Hi! I know I'm off-topic... anyway, do you know Masayoshi Takanaka?
    He's one of the most important guitar players ever in Japan, and he had a string of quite popular albums in the 80s (one of them peaked at no. 1 on the Oricon chart).
    Since his style is somewhere between City Pop and instrumental jazz fusion (probably similar to Casiopea), I wanted to know if you like him, and if you can help me to trace his most popular songs.
    Thank you!

    1. Hello there.

      Thanks for your question, and no problems about being off-topic. I don't have a separate questions area on the blog, so feel free to insert questions anywhere you can. :)

      To be honest, I have heard about Masayoshi Takanaka before but never got to know his stuff...but that's not surprising for me since there are still so many folks in the City Pop genre who I have yet to find out in detail. I did know that he was part of the Sadistic Mika Band back from the early 1970s.

      His website unfortunately is lacking in a decent discography, only listing his works with Lagoon Records from 2000 onwards so that wasn't a lot of help there. However on YouTube, it seems that his 4th single from 1979 "Blue Lagoon" has plenty of representation, but perhaps you already knew that. I listened to that one and thought it worthy as that tropical song you want to hear when traveling to the south seas.

      He is listed in my "Japanese City Pop" book and the two albums there are his first two: "Seychelles" from 1976 and "Takanaka" from 1977. Also, I did find a year-old Japan Times article about a show he did at the Shibuya Public Hall before it was shut down for good. Let me know if you have any recommendations for him.


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