For an introduction and explanation of sorts to this series please click here ＾ ＾
Also…..many of the artists/groups found in my personal CD compilations here I've also covered in earlier posts…you can search for their tags here in this little directory~. =)
…..the same day as "volume 0"…
A lot of backtracking through earlier J-Pop releases resulted in me finding so many of these musical♪♪` *gems*~….and I would really like to encourage any J-Pop enthusiast to please explore earlier releases as you just never know how much awesomeness you can truly find~ o(*´∀｀)o゛♥！
Mr.Children♥ my most favorite♥ group released their amazing single "[ES]~Theme of ES~" on May 10th, 1995 in conjunction with their original band film of the same title~…it was part documentary, part live performances but what this film really accomplished was allowing fans deeper into their world in both personal ways as well as all that comes with fame and life on the road touring~. A *friend* got for me a poster for this single's release event….just so many *fond* memories of listening to this song and its epic *feel* all wrapped up in gorgeous acoustics~.
I'm not even sure of what the final sales for Kubota Toshinobu's best known and most *endeared* classic single release turned into….but "La La La Love Song" launched a new generation of all of which could be possible with the very best writing for dramas on television~. The drama series was "Long Vacation" and it starred an amazing cast! including Kimura Takuya, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Takenouchi Yutaka & Ryo in what still remains as my most loved♥ drama series ever…..this favorites♥ list is very much in need of updating as I wrote this quite awhile ago…but if you're curious you can by it by clicking here. ＾ ＾
Just such an infectious melody~!….listening to "La La La Love Song" still makes me *smile* (￣▽￣) so much~! "La La La Love Song" was released on May 13th, 1996.
I found Deens single "Hitomi sorasanaide" one day while browsing used CD shelves at one of the many little shops that we used to have here at one time~. The original attraction and curiosity of this song as I gazed at its title was whether this could possibly be the same song written by Sakai Izumi of Zard~? And while it did *happily* turn out to be that very same song as I'm guessing Sakai Izumi shared this song with them…..purchasing a song really nowdays with this same naive thinking of mine then would most certainly not be very wise as song titles can be so much the same all the while being completely different compositions (・д・`*)！Deen really did put quite their very own signature on this song as there's is a most upbeat and uplifting version…while Zard's is performed in a very *sweet* bossa nova style~. Deen's "Hitomi sorasanaide" was released on June 22nd, 1994.
This is yet another drama theme♥ song!…this time for the series "Second Chance" which is really going old school and may be one of the lesser known dramas I think? The single "Tomorrow" really launched Okamoto Mayo's musical career through like a sling shot~! as she then really became so popular and she also made appearances on so many t.v. music shows back then! Her voice is really remarkable! Her range is just so *amazing* as Okamoto Mayo also possesses one of the very *sweetest* falsetto's I've ever heard as well! And on a random note….listening to this song back then was only the very beginning as to how much I realized that the Japanese love♥ the word "asphalt" as it's in soooooo many songs~! (￣▽￣) "Tomorrow" was released on May 10th, 1995.
I really did fall in ♥ with the original drama series for "Hoshi no kinka" and in so many ways it coincided with my finding the music and *wonderful* personality of idol/actress Sakai Noriko~. I always imagined that I would one day get to writing a proper post about one of my earliest J-Pop loves♥~…surely there'll be so much to *share* in such a post as I've collected all of her works over the many years of her musical career which dates way back to the late 80's~! Again it meant that I so needed to backtrack to find what had been released much earlier but I think that there's so much *joy* and rewards to be gained through such adventures~. "Aoi usagi" was really so popular and a best seller and "Kagami no dress" would follow up as the drama's main theme song♥ for the second series of "Hoshi no kinka." It's also very notable to mention that one very *sexy* Takenouchi Yutaka along with Osawa Takao starred alongside Sakai Noriko in this popular series from yesteryear~. "Aoi usagi" was released on May 10th, 1995.
Sakai Izumi of Zard makes another appearance on this compilation as she also penned the lyrics for Field of View's "kimi ga ita kara" which Zard also released~. Her writings have always held such a *warm* connection between herself and fans as her lyrics were always so *heartfelt* and they often dealt with life experiences that most of us have also encountered in our lives~ o(*´∀｀)o゛。I really love♥ the sound of Asaoka Uya's vocals and in this most uplifting and *cheery* rendition~ the lyrics shine so brightly~!
Princess Princess…while this super group makes a very early appearance here in just my second CD compilation, I truly didn't have enough knowledge of their group members or their immense history to appreciate Puri Puri just yet…..it would be yet a few more years until a *friend* introduced me to the phenomenon that is Puri Puri~♥. The link at the beginning of this paragraph will lead to that discovery and hopefully can *share* so much in how large a part of Japan's music history Puri Puri established themselves a part of~. "Bye Bye" remains as one of my most *beloved* recordings from Puri Puri~ as is was my very first love from them…..it's a very polished and *pretty* ballad! "Bye Bye" was released on December 13th, 1995 as it's the opening track from Puri Puri's last studio album titled "The Last Princess."
Sometimes you just find yourself falling in love♥ with a group and a particular album both at the very same time…..CoCo really dates back as one of my earlier J-Pop loves♥ and while solo member Miura Rieko made an appearance on the previous "volume 0" post~ these five final tracks that I chose for this compilation are all focused on the group CoCo and in particular their most *endeared* album "Straight." CoCo is yet another group which was already broken up by the time I was so *lucky* to be able to find their music~…and their sizable catalog of releases took years and years to find….I think it was about 10 years before I was able to complete their collection through searching through second hand CD shops and online resources~ and equally as rewarding as completing their collection are their songs…everything was so well written back then and an emphasis was always put towards vocals which are both so unique in each individual member here as well as their height of quality which is also at a premium. CoCo both really defines the girl idol group phenomenon in one of its most triumphant eras moving from the ending of the 80's and into the 90's as well as displaying how member individuality and through their interactions with fans~ how so much of the future of idol groups have benefited from the trailblazing path that they once paved~. CoCo would also see a member graduate to solo status as Senou Azusa would leave the group after their fifth album release leaving the group with four members then~. CoCo also broke great ground for girl idol groups as they performed at the legendary Budoukan~ forever raising the status and place for all idol groups that would follow in the years to come~. "Naze?", "Moonlight Express", "Circus Game", "Kimagure swing" and "Wedding" are all such personal favorites♥ of mine…..each hailing from their J-Pop masterpiece "Straight" which was released on March 21st , 1991~.
Reflecting back on CoCo really fills me with a sense of what it is to truly love J-Pop♥ and how so much of Japan's music has grown with me through adolescence and into adulthood….and their music♪♪~ will always remain so *special*~.