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.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Tin Pan Alley -- Sobakasu no Aru Shojo(ソバカスのある少女)

Couldn't resist here. I just had to purchase another disc from the "Light Mellow" series of City Pop/AOR music. This time, the album has been dubbed "Wing".


One of the tracks just happens to be "Sobakasu no Aru Shojo" (The Girl with the Freckles) which goes well with a beach table and a couple of cocktails. The band is the legendary Tin Pan Alley(ティン・パン・アレー)with lyricist Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)and composer Shigeru Suzuki(鈴木茂)concocting this dreamy paean to the titular girl in the same way that Charlie Brown dreamed of his Little Red-Haired Girl.

Still exploring the oeuvre of Tin Pan Alley but they were really pushing the envelope in a nation that was into the mainstream enka and Oricon-friendly aidorus in the 1970s. "Sobakasu no Aru Shojo" nicely sums up what New Music was all about in that decade: laying down Japanese lyrics on Western-style pop melodies created by Japanese musicians. The song was a track on the band's debut album, "Caramel Mama"(キャラメル・ママ)which was released in November 1975.


  1. Hello J-Canuck!

    I love this song!

    I heard this on the first City Pop compilation (2 CDs) I ever purchased. The name of it was called Tokyo City Pop 70s. As a matter of fact, the album cover is my icon. It came out in the early aughts and the playlist is to die for:

    Disc #1
    01 空いろのくれよん / はっぴいえんど
    02 それはぼくぢゃないよ / 大瀧 詠一
    03 さよならアメリカ さよならニッポン / はっぴいえんど
    04 扉の冬 / 吉田 美奈子
    05 眠れぬ夜の小夜曲 / 南 佳孝
    06 ぼくの倖せ / はちみつぱい
    07 愛は幻 / 大貫 妙子
    08 しらけちまうぜ / 小坂 忠
    09 ソバカスのある少女 / ティン・パン・アレー
    10 卒業写真 / ハイ・ファイ・セット
    11 スカイレストラン / ハイ・ファイ・セット
    12 ハリケーン・ドロシー / 細野 晴臣
    13 100ワットの恋人 / 鈴木 茂 
    14 冷たい雨 / ハイ・ファイ・セット
    15 ひとり芝居 / 石川 セリ
    16 火の玉ボーイ / 鈴木 慶一とムーンライダース
    Disc #2
    01 蝶々-San / 細野 晴臣
    02 ハイサイおじさん / 久保田 麻琴と夕焼け楽
    03 つめたく冷して / あがた 森魚
    04 気球にのって / 矢野 顕子
    05 8分音符の詩 / 鈴木 茂  
    06 READY TO FLY(シングル・ヴァージョン)/ 高中 正義
    07 恋のブギ・ウギ・トレイン / アン・ルイス
    08 恋は流星/Shooting Star Of Love / 吉田 美奈子
    09 時よ / 吉田 美奈子
    10 Midnight Love Call / 石川 セリ
    11 日付変更線 / 南 佳孝 / YOSHITAKA MINAMI
    12 もう二度と / 松任谷 正隆
    13 あの頃のまま / ブレッド&バター
    14 はらいそ / 細野 晴臣(Harry Hosono &The Yellow Magic Band)
    15 テクノポリス / イエロー・マジック・オーケストラ / YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA
    16 WOMAN / フランク永井
    17 冬のリヴィエラ / 森 進一

    A lot of people would call this a collection of Kayo Kyoku, New Music, Light Mellow and even J-AOR now but it was all City Pop to me. I bought these CDs sound unheard and never regretted it.


  2. Hi, Chasing Showa!

    I kinda figured that you would like this one. I've come across the album once or twice when I was in the stores back in Tokyo. I should definitely invest it in my next spending binge...which could be July.

    Also, thanks for the tracklists. I can check them to see if I can find some of these on YouTube for future articles.:)

  3. Hello J-Canuck!

    You’re welcome. However, a lot of the tracks for this 2 CD set has been reviewed on this site either by you or your associates.

    Including the KK+ article, Sobakasu no Are Shoujo, which we are commenting on right now.

    All of the Minako Yoshida songs I think have already been covered There is Ann Ruiz’s “Koi no Boogie Woogie Love Train”, Kubota & Yuyake Gakudan,s “Haisai Ojisan”, and Hi Fi Set’s “Sky Restaurant” etc.

    Kayo Kyoku Plus has also reviewed a number of artists that are featured on these CDs (Masayoshi Takanaka, Seri Ishakawa and even Shinichi Mori) but not for the songs listed above. I hope you check them out.

    I’d like to hear your impression of Bread and Butter’s “For Myself.” I’d also like to get your take on Frank Nagai’s rendition of “Unchain My Heart.” too but it’s not on this compilation. ;p



    1. Hi, Chasing Showa.

      Yup, there are a lot of the ones that we've covered, but still there are some tracks that I haven't seen before. I haven't written about Seri Ishikawa's "Midnight Love Call", for instance, and I have seen the title pass by a few times.

      If I can find B&B's "For Myself" and Nagai's take on "Unchain My Heart" online or get their albums with those tracks, I can let you know. :)


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