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.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Naoko Kawai -- Kita Eki no Solitude(北駅のソリチュード)

Guilty feet have no rhythm...

Oops, wrong song, but I can't help but feel that there is something about Naoko Kawai's(河合奈保子)19th single "Kita Eki no Solitude" (Kita [North] Station Solitude) that has me thinking of WHAM's big hit "Careless Whisper" from around the same time frame. It was released in December 1984 and talks of the sad and permanent ending to a relationship between a woman and her fairly well-off (there's a limousine instead of a Toyota in the lyrics) now-former paramour as she gets on the train for good.

That rather sad ending to a beautiful relationship is perhaps enhanced by the release date. As I've said before, the Yuletide in Japanese music can also talk about the death of romance as much as the fun of the Holidays, and the mention of a north station brings to mind a small depot surrounded by naked trees, high winds and lots and lots of snow. Yikes! It's not quite the song to hear at a romantic dinner for two in one of those restaurants in Aoyama.

"Kita Eki no Solitude" was written by Masao Urino(売野雅勇)and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平)and starts off with a nice jazzy sax intro and has some pleasant musical interludes. However, after a couple of listens, I'm not quite sure, despite the songwriting pedigree and the fact that it is Naoko singing this, whether this will go down as one of my favourite songs by her. It may just be me but "Kita Eki no Solitude" sounds a tad disjointed for some reason, and so far, I'm not a big fan of the delivery of the first two lines in each verse...e.g. Kita eki kara...NIGHT TRAIN. Strange as it may read and sound, there's something rather William Shatner-esque about that, and it doesn't quite fit into a romantic jazz ballad.

The song reached No. 6 on Oricon.


  1. hey j-canuck! haven't commented here in a bit, but seeing a post about naoko kawai reminded me of this youtube channel (uesugi1600hp5) that you may or may not have seen around.

    they've become active again recently uploading tons of 70s and 80s kayou performances upscaled up to 1080/1440p and with good sound, including a lot of naoko kawai. i've had a lot of fun poking around this channel in the past few days; some of these stages are really incredible in high quality that i've never seen before.

    1. Hi, Kai!

      Good to hear from you again. After seeing all that 80s aidoru goodness, I've subscribed to the channel. Many thanks! This will be nice to reminisce over.


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