OK, first off, I've been having some technical issues with Blogger today for the first time that I can recall. I cleared my entire cache which took quite a lot of time but it looks like that wasn't the issue; it's probably Blogger itself. In any case, for some reason, I haven't been able to scroll up or down or even view completed articles properly. However, I figured out that I can still compose an article albeit with me going on manual instead of automatic, so to speak, with some of the functions.
Anyways, one of the many rhetorical questions that I've had concerning Japanese pop music over the years is "Why didn't Momoe Shimano（嶋野百恵）become all that big a J-R&B star?". At the time of her debut in the late 1990s, the genre of R&B was starting to take off with the music of artists such as Hikaru Utada（宇多田ヒカル）, Misia and m-flo, and personally I thought that Shimano was one of those singers that could have hit the really big time. She had her own distinct voice with that breathy sultriness.
But outside of releasing 11 singles and 3 original albums between 1998 and 2003, that was pretty much all she wrote unfortunately. And I have a soft spot in my heart for her because of her second single, "Apple" which I thought was really cool.
Well, enough commiserating from me. Allow me to introduce Shimano's 4th single from October 1999, "Hot Glamour". There are a couple of different mixes for the song with the above being Original Flava and the one below being the more club-friendly Incognito Main. Written by Shimano and composed by Hitoshi Harukawa（春川仁志）, this has got plenty of oomph especially with that bass in the intro and a slightly jazzy instrumental in the middle. Plus, hearing her voice again has brought plenty of nostalgia from 20 years ago. This was actually the singer's most successful single, peaking at No. 30. "Hot Glamour" also got onto her 2nd album "Roots", which came out in June 2000 and got as high as No. 18 on Oricon.
I realized that my original article for "Apple" was quite short and that's my bad since I realized that I had a story to go with that song. Furthermore, it has to do with my choice of Chiba Station in the video at the very top of the article.
You see, whenever I hear "Apple", I always get reminded of JR Chiba because it was in a surprisingly large CD store (I believe it was Shinseido) within the station there that I had bought the CD. And the reason that I was there was that I was usually there once or twice a week because I had lessons to teach at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The ride on the yellow Sobu Line from my school in central Tokyo all the way to the end of the line in Chiba (and no, it's nothing like how it's portrayed in "Neuromancer") took more than hour, and then walking from the station to a street corner, I waited for the Mitsubishi minivan to pick me and other employees up for a 20-minute ride to MHI itself.
Being the music fan, I remember with some fondness about that Shinseido shop. As well, I also often reminisce about the monorail that I never got to take coming in and out of the station. That was, of course, 20 years ago, and looking at the YouTube video of Chiba Station now, it looks like things have expanded quite a bit since then.
Anyways, I'm getting so nostalgic that I will leave you with a remix of "Apple". I'm also happy to point out that Shimano is still actively performing according to her website. Apparently, she had an event just over the weekend. Now, I hope that my blog will be back to 100% tomorrow.