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, May 20, 2019

Hiromi Iwasaki -- Joyuu(女優)

It's been a long while since I've focused the light on Hiromi Iwasaki(岩崎宏美).

With Iwasaki, it's been a bit tricky when I cover her material spanning the turn of the decade from the late 1970s into the early 1980s since I'm not quite sure when her aidoru days made the switch into those of her as a premier pop chanteuse. What doesn't help is that she's always had that splendid voice. However, for this song, it's been categorized as as aidoru kayo kyoku so I will go along with that.

"Joyuu" (Actress) is Iwasaki's 20th single from April 1980 and it's been one that I've been wanting to tackle for a while because of that title and the arrangement which flits about City Pop disco. Is it really about a popular actress painting the town red? The strut-worthy melody is provided by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), someone who really liked that funky music, especially that electric guitar. Although strings have often been part and parcel of a disco song, I kinda find the arrangement with the strings and guitar/bass interesting in that the two sides seem to be acting more as counterpoints to each other. The strings perhaps represent the (lost) innocence of the woman in question here with the guitar/bass standing in for the fast and harsh life in the big city.

Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼)wrote the lyrics for "Joyuu" which actually talk about a woman trying to please her possibly hard-to-please paramour as she internally maps out her tactics and doubts in terms of her behavior. Sounds something from a psychological suspense movie.

"Joyuu" was also used as the song in a Subaru commercial for the new Leone brand. As a single, it peaked at No. 15. It was also placed as a track in Iwasaki's 9th album "Wish" from August 1980. That original LP got as high as No. 14.

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