Happy Monday! Recently, I've come across some more of the works of singer Atsuko Nina（二名敦子）after hearing about her "Soldier Fish" song, and I found them eminently listenable and varied. As a result, I've decided to cover a couple of them in one article today.
The first song is "Communication" from her 1983 album "Play Room ~ Tawamure ~"（PLAY ROOM ～戯れ～...Fun）. The album represented a re-birth of the singer's career under this new stage name (her real name is Atsuko Iwai/岩井敦子), following her first start under the name Eri Hayakawa（早川英梨）in 1979.
Now, if "Communication" sounds awfully familiar, it is because that it is a cover of the Latin standard "One-Note Samba". Apparently, a number of tracks in "Play Room" are covers of famous Western tunes but under different titles. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out who provided the Japanese lyrics but I have to give Nina and the arranger for "Communication" some kudos for a slick and assured version, especially with that slightly City Pop feel to the proceedings.
In 1986, Nina released a single which sounds as sweet and bright and refreshing as a glass of orange juice in the morning. And sure enough, her "Orange Basket" was used for TV ads plugging Kirin Orange Juice.
Written by Shun Taguchi（田口俊）and composed by Kenjiro Sakiya（崎谷健次郎）, "Orange Basket" does come across as plucky and catchy (thanks to those synthesizers) as any commercial jingle should, but the full version couldn't help but include that cool soaring guitar solo. The single also got onto Nina's 5th album from September 1986, "him".