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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Yuki Nakayamate -- Ange Blanc(アンジェ・ブラン)

I'm more of a casual and not a rabid fan of the 007 franchise although I think the first three movies with Sean Connery: "Dr. No", "From Russia With Love" and "Goldfinger" are pretty stellar. The current and soon-to-be-departing Daniel Craig is also someone that I've been fine with although his movies have been somewhat hit-and-miss: "Casino Royale" and "Skyfall" were great while "Quantum of Solace" and "Spectre" were not (although it was great to see M in that last one get a sorta fistfight as well).

Then, there were the Roger Moore years. His early flicks as James Bond were fine with the height being "The Spy Who Loved Me" but then as the early 80s went by, I was left wondering whether the tone was going to be become even more arch than Moore's eyebrow. To be honest, I don't remember much of those films but "Octopussy" was one title that did stand out, if only to get me giggling like the immature teen I was back then. I think it was the one where Bond actually dressed up like a clown.

Well, much to my surprise many years later, I've discovered an album that actually has the title "Octopussy". Released in March 1983, this was the second album for Yuki Nakayamate(なかやまて由希), a Tokyo-born singer who pursued a career in music while working as a company employee right after high school. She released three singles and a couple of albums including "Octopussy" before health issues forced her to stop for several years.

The cover of "Octopussy" which has who I assume is Nakayamate on the cover looks pretty dramatic in a European sort of way, and listening to the opening track "Ange Blanc", I also got that feeling of overseas intrigue done up with a mild synthpop beat (nice percolating percussion, by the way), similar to what I've heard from Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)at about the same time and Miharu Koshi(コシミハル)when she began that new twist in her career as a technopop diva. With "Ange Blanc" at least though, Nakayamate's vocals have a richer and deeper delivery.

Tetsuya Chiaki(ちあき哲也)was responsible for the lyrics while Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平)took care of the music. As for Nakayamate, she took her leave of absence just a couple of months following the release of "Octopussy", but then into the 2000s, she started becoming active again on a number of social networking platforms including Instagram, Facebook and her own blog. Then from 2013, she and organist/producer Koichi Ikeda(池田皓一)joined up to form the music duo Atelier Forest.

1 comment:

  1. According to Yuki herself, "Octopussy" was actually released in March 1983(despite officially known as 25 Jan 1983). Even she stopped her career before release because of illness.


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