Originally posted October 29th, 2008.
I’ve been in a sort of an anime* mood recently and so I thought I’d feature an older Vox post here @ WordPress and in terms of a J~pop idol♥ who better to exemplify an “anime” voice than CoCo’s Miura♥Rieko ＾ ＾。
(edit: all audio & video clips which were lost during my move from Vox to WordPress have been re~uploaded to this post. If there are any other older posts dated before September 12th, 2010 (originally “Vox” posts) in which you’d like to hear or see the audio/video clips restored to please leave a request in the top page tab titled “Requests.”).
While some of my earliest J-Pop purchases were of individual artists such as Morikawa Miho, Moritaka Chisato and Sakai Noriko…my very first J-Pop idol group love came with the experience of CoCo. I had only purchased two of their albums (“Sweet & Bitter” & “Singles”) on a recommendation from a friend as they were currently at the time charting on the Oricon chart when I first was introduced to a co-worker and it was he whom had already been deep into their music catalog and already a serious fan and collector of their works. And through our chance encounter I was introduced to what would become my very first J-idol group ♥. Back then in the latter part of 1994 Coco had just recently broken up and much like what has occured so many times through the years in discovering new J-Pop it was a case of catching up and trying to desperately track down all of their releases and with the internet back then being nothing like it is today…it wasn’t an easy task by no means. The majority of CoCo’s releases were already out of print and without the help of online music stores it became really a search through second hand shops and here’s one of the most amazing second hand stores in Japan, Otokichi Premium where I was able to find numerous rare and out of print CDs over the years! And it took nearly 10 years to finally be able to complete their music collection. While a CoCo post may be one for another day, I’d like to share some of the music releases by one of their most beloved members…Miura Rieko.
Miura Rieko “Rakuen no toriko” mp3
Long before Ishikawa Rika took the reins of the cute art of J-Pop “anime” vocals, Miura Rieko reigned supreme as both a member of Coco and in her own capacity as a solo artist. The track above, “Rakuen no toriko” remains as my most favorite but it serves as just a small taste of what the power of possessing such a unique voice brings. “Rakuen no toriko” was released on August 19th, 1994 and would be the final solo single in which she would perform while still being active as a member of CoCo. By using the expression “anime” vocals to describe Rieko’s voice it is in reference to the often ultra cute brand of vocalization heard in anime as she isn’t a voice actress by any means although I’d imagine that career choice would have worked out just as charmed had she chosen that path into the entertainment industry instead. While listening to her catalog today I imagine that the following is true vocally…Ishikawa Rika + Tsugunaga Momoko= Miura Rieko. ^-^ Riekochan possesses the ever present ambience of helium and having that coupled with a bit of “nyan nyan”…and wallah!..one of the cutest voices ever to grace the J-Pop landscape no doubt! In fact while on a visit on the Kinki Kids t.v. program Domoto Kyoudai, Ishikawa Rika while being interviewed candidly was compared to Miura Rieko in this very sense when “anime” style vocals in music was brought up. I remember sharing this t.v. clip with my mom and a friend on two separate occasions but the initial reaction both times was in reference to somoene else on the show….recalling it vividly: Mom’s reaction was: “What is that?” while my friend’s reaction was: “EEEEWWWwwwwwww!” as that one member of the Alfee appeared on the program. :O Of course both reactions are interchangeable as they pretty much say the same thing. LOL! Miura Rieko would go on to release a total of 12 solo singles, 2 original albums as well as concert, idol, and pv collections which to this day are still only on the formats of laserdisc and VHS…something that I’m hoping Pony Canyon, her parent label, remedies one day soon with the transition to DVD. Recently Pony Canyon has reached the time period of CoCo in their re-release program so updated Miura Rieko releases may not be too far away. 🙂
Here’s a couple scans from her shashinshuu “Atashi” which was released during the latter part of her music career…
…and some shots headed towards a more “gravure” approach.
Baseball has never looked so cute! Here’s Riekochan in an adorable little clip….hmm I think the Rays could use her right about now :)!
The song in the clip is her 5th single “Kamisama kara moratta chance” which was released on September 18th, 1992. This may not be an official pv for this song but I’ve always thought of it as being just that. CoCo was a group comprised of very distinct vocals, something which isn’t always true of today’s idol groups and whether it was the original five member lineup or the latter four members performing together there would never be any doubt which member was singing a line and a bit of CoCo’s ensemble vocals albeit subtle, can be heard in the following track “Anata to ita kisetsu” which is from Coco’s album “Share” which includes 5 songs which feature each individual member as the lead while the remaining members support the songs with backup vocals….this being a Miura Rieko post, “Anata to ita kisetsu” which I’ve chosen is Rieko’s lead. 🙂 And whenever you hear….”meow meow meow meow….” you know it’s Riekochan. ^-^ I’d really love to post a few CoCo songs here but I’m trying to restrain myself from getting off course here plus adding CoCo in any kind of substantial way here will without doubt make this post become what some may fear…the neverending post. Okay I’ve done a few of those in the past but I’m trying not to distract too much from the task at hand…Riekochan Riekochan Riekochan. Seems that’s become easily interchangeable with Kamei Kamei Kamei…okay I’ll stop before it’s too late. 😛
Miura Rieko “Anata to ita kisetsu” mp3
Above is a most awesome live performance of “Rakuen no toriko” and following it are the closing credits for her “Yume de aitai~Sweet Dreams~” pv collection…I just had to leave that in because the “meow meows” are just too adorable! ^-^ Perhaps budgets were just larger back then but the inclusion of live bands at these concerts was quite commonplace and with that comes of course great improvisations on familiar compositions as well as interaction between idols and band members both of which are qualities that more of today’s idol groups should take a note of as it just energizes concerts into a level which is just unattainable without live bands versus pre-recorded material which has become far too common today.
Miura Rieko “Yakusoku no ponytail” mp3
“Yakusoku no ponytail” is the b-side to “Tenshi no iru nagisa” (pictured above) and was released on March 19th, 1993. There are a few instances where I find the coupling with tracks to be superior to their title tracks, this being one of those singles. That’s of course is not to say that “Tenshi no iru nagisa” isn’t a beloved song as well! Definitely not the case and here it is below…
Miura Rieko “Tenshi no iru nagisa” mp3
While all idols must eventually grow up and with that comes the inevitable change in vocal chords and image, something fascinating about Riekochan’s voice is that while it did indeed change (less helium) hers is still of that “nyan nyan” nature…seems you just can’t take the “meow meows” out of her. ^-^ But with that also comes the realization that some of those legendary pitches and notes hit live in concert become unreachable and by that I mean much higher and squeakier than even Berryz Koubou’s resident helium dispenser is able to reach even now at her young age. XD The following tracks “April Fool”, Matterune”, “Anata to iru dake de”, and “Ai wa sugao no mamade” are all from Riekochan’s latter original album titled “Kiss” where you can hear the gradual changing in her voice towards a more mature sound. All of the cuteness remains intact but if only there were a way to have sent her vocals to Never Never Land where it would never grow up! Kidding! 😛 Now for any Rock fans out there…think of the word “kiss” itself and what comes to mind immediately? This is a bit interesting and perhaps even borderline bizarre and it wasn’t something that I was aware of until…I think it was a co-worker whom originally pointed this out to me as this little instrumetal has a lot in common with another song of rock ballad fame. Have a listen to the instrumental prologue “Kiss” which bookends the album and you’ll hear something really interesting and perhaps familiar. Seems that Riekochan was humming this one day in the shower?…or masaka?!! Is she a……
Miura Rieko “Kiss~Prologue~” mp3
…Kiss fan?!! :O
Somewhere Gene Simmons is thinking…”what the?…” O__o Okay back to the songs.
Miura Rieko “April Fool” mp3
Just after Riekochan’s…um Gene Simmons fantasy instrumental is the lively mid tempo track “April Fool.” This track would be my favorite on the “Kiss” album had it not been for…
Miura Rieko “Matterune” mp3
…track 5 “Matterune.” All around such a well composed gem and the string arrangement really adds a nice touch here along with the ringing bells! This song is just pure “genki” with both the verses and chorus portions soaring with an aura of happiness. ^-^
Before getting to the rest of the audio uploads here’s a couple of her pvs which are both from her “Yume de aitia” pv collection.
Miura Rieko “Suiheisen de tsukamaete” mp3
“Suiheisen de tsukamaete” and “Nichiyou wa dame yo” are both literally sketched storyboards brought to life. Keep in mind that these were made awhile ago but definitely when it comes to creativity both are outstanding representatives of J-Pop in the nineties…now if only we could get Momusu to present us with something as creative in the future! 🙂 “Suiheisen de tsukamaete” was just Rieko’s second solo single released on July 3rd, 1991 and it would become somewhat her trademark live performance song of choice in concerts.
Miura Rieko “Nichiyou wa dameyo” mp3
“Nichiyou wa dameyo” was Riekochan’s 3rd solo single released on November 7th, 1991 and this is really helium at some of it’s best! Her vocals here are too cute!! ^-^
Miura Rieko “Anata to iru dakede” mp3
Also from her “Kiss” album, “Anata to iru dake de” is a sweet and catchy mid tempo ballad possessing some beautiful hooks in it!
Miura Rieko “Ai wa sugao no mamade” mp3
“Ai wa sugao no mama de” is pure ballad heaven and is also from her “Kiss” album…love this song so much too, really sweet.
(Sawara Yuri has nothing on Riekochan’s cute dimples!)
Miura Rieko “Kanashii himitsu” mp3
When I consider the coupling with track “Kanashii himitsu”, it really makes her single “Rakuen no toriko” appear to be a double A-side in the truest sense. As a whole, without doubt this makes “Rakuen no toriko” my overall favorite solo single release from Riekochan. (“Rakuen no toriko” was embedded earlier in the post) There’s a sweet melancoly feelling to “Kanashii himitsu” which really drives the melody making this one of her most memorable single tracks for me personally. And staying with B-sides…
Miura Rieko “Towa no hitohira” mp3
…”Towa no hitohira” is the coupling with track to “Kamisama kara moratta chance” (also embedded earlier) which was Riekochan’s 5th solo single release and perhaps also has her prettiest cover.
Here’s a little clip of Rieko with “Nekochan”…watch for Nekochan to attempt his escape and Rieko’s amusing reaction! 🙂
Clip is from CoCo’s “Deluxe Edition” release as it’s an interlude between performances. Hehe I found this “psuedo” DVD at an online seller awhile back as it really just appears to be a laserdisc transfer but the quality is pretty good and it’s so much more durable than my VHS copy. 🙂 (edit: CoCo complete DVD collection is now available!!)
Miura Rieko “Tender Christmas” mp3
And with Christmas drawing ever nearer each day here’s Riekochan’s adorable track “Tender Christmas” which is from her solo debut album “Belong to You” released back on December 15th, 1991….hehe I know Halloween hasn’t even arrived just yet but you wouldn’t know it by what the stores are already selling! Christmas merchandise is already everywhere, gets earlier every year it seems….maybe I should get one of those artificial Christmas trees and keep it out all year. 😛
Miura Rieko “Sennen no biyaku” mp3
Another big favorite of mine is “Sennen no biyaku” which is actually a CoCo song and is from their final original album “Sweet & Bitter.” Each member was given a final solo song on this final original album and here it’s all Riekochan, including all back up vocals…it’s a Rieko seranade. ^-^
Miura Rieko “Shiawase na hibi” mp3
“Shiawase na hibi” was Rieko’s 10th solo single, released on February 10th,1996 this song also appears on her “Kiss” album and is a nice representative of her latter ballad releases. A sweet song for winding down after a long day with Rieko’s soothing vocals. 🙂
A perfect song to end this post would be Miura Rieko’s 4th solo single “Omoide ga hajimaru”, released on February 26th, 1992…as it served as the ending for her “Yume de aitai~Sweet Dreams~” pv collection…
…this ending clip also served as a mini making of segment which can be watched above. Really cute and candid footage from behind the scenes of her pv making of and the song itself…
Miura Rieko “Omoide ga hajimaru” mp3
Just a few Miura Rieko music releases are still available and you can find them in this listing at Cdjapan.
HOORAY! another post about jpop artists from the 90's :DI'd never know these girls exciste dif it wasnt for you.I have heard coco's name, but i dont know anything more about them besides that.A really nice post :)I like her voice, and i can see why you say she resembles ishikawa a bit. Kanashii himitsu is the song i liked the most after first listen.I am gonna listen more when i get the chance (hectic at work this week), and comment some more. I also skipped through your first post (with all those pictures). looking forward to reading that. (It must have taken ages scanning all those pics!!)
Hi Denadel, so happy you had a chance to hear some of Miura Rieko! There are so many artists from this time period to get to but I'm slowly getting to each of them over time…thank you for your patience. 🙂 I do intend to do a separate post on CoCo in the future…but um…no promises on how soon! Some of these take awhile to get set up properly and there's so much to post about. Haha please bear with me! :PIt really caught my attention when I saw Rikachan being compared to Miura Rieko on that t.v. program awhile back…and the whole genre does connect the two quite suitably. "Kanashii himitsu" is one of my most favorite too! So amazing that this is a b-side. I'm eager to hear more of your thoughts on her songs, style and vocals. Thanks so much for taking a listen, I was hoping that someone out there would find an appeal to her music…with a few listens I think you may like a lot of her catalog. ^-^ My scanner is so tempermental it seems, some of these turned out nice though or at least I hope so. 🙂 Hehe beware of Kamei overload after that! ^o^
Hi!I finally have some time off (not really, but gotta take a break xD ), so i have been catching up on your posts!I've been listening to track by track, as i kinda liked the songs when i skimmed through. I am not gonna give a detailed feedback on each track, would be way to loong of a post, hehe. Like i said she has a really sweet voice. kinda like ishikawa (like u said), but Rieko can hit the high notes.To be honest, I like her later stuff more than her earlier stuff. I think i tend to really enjoy the sound of music from the late 90's, so the songs from april fools and upwards are to my liking 🙂 I also like the prologue you uploaded, but i dont recognize the "kiss"-resemblence you talk about..Other songs i liked was "anata to iru"; there is a change in music from the earlier songs but i cant poinpoint what makes it different.I also liked "Suiheisen de tsukamaete", both the song an pv. i like how they did pv's like this before. everything is supopsed to be so real now, nothing is artistic anymore (like this is). Is it on a pv dvd somewhere?And that clip with Rieko and the cat was cute :)My favorite would have to be kanashii himitsu. I understand the title ("sad secret", right?). Makes me wanna know what she is singing, what the secret is..–Hm, as i read through my post i only say which songs i like and that i like the style of the 90's. I never give any thoughts to why i like the music i like, i just like it. so i cant really pinpoint it. I guess it has to do with the later 90's music is less synth-sounding (if you know what i mean). There is also a difference in combination of instruments i guess. I also like her light voice, because she can really hit those notes so it doesnt make it painful to listen to (like some other idol groups out there now xD). I also like her newer voice (haha, can you say that?), it is more softer and more airie, so it makes it comfortable listening too. but as her voice change, it isn't as genki as some jpop makes me feel, but i do like the sound of it.
That is really a significant difference between Miura Rieko and Ishikawa Rika's vocals which you've just mentioned…..not being negative to Rikachan but Riekochan really has a much wider and more diverse range without question. And when she was younger the notes she could hit were simply amazing!! I wish you could hear some her live performances from her days in CoCo (I may have to do a proper CoCo posting later.) as you would then really hear her hit some really amazing and cute highs in a most "anime" sense! ^o^ I was wondering if you'd take a liking to her earlier or later style and vocalization….and I was kind of guessing that her later works would embrace you more. The songwriting and songwriters also changed a lot in her latter catalog but I really love all of it pretty much equally. CoCo was such a well balanced idol group back then and they really did pave the way for the future idol groups in a substantial way and it's always nice to pay respects to those that make the now and future successful and possible. :)Much of this post is combining old and new so I know it's sort of a unothodox way to hear an artist but I sort of just went with my feelings from song to song and didn't necessarily do this in chronological order like I have with past posts such as SPEED's and Kuninaka Ryoko's in particular. Ah "Suiheisen de tsukamaete" is such a classic when it comes to J-Pop in general although the newer generation of fans may not know of it at all….but with CoCo being such a large landmark group when it comes to idol groups this song really is quite a big part of it. It eventually became her "signature" song and in concert dare I say legendary. 🙂 So true that a lot of these early clips hold a special artistic and creative edge to them that some pvs of today lack…and a lot of that may be due to the changing in technologies and what it tempts producers to utilize today. No fault but I know exactly what you mean and I agree wholeheartedly…..cute pvs with this kind of creativity should be timeless and producers perhaps should utilize it more in their approach today. Pony Canyon has been moving towards the CoCo era gradually and it may be soon that both CoCo and Miura Rieko pv clips enjoy upgrades to the DVD era and I know I speak for all of their fans when I say…hurry!!! ^-^ For now I've had the help of Saburo to format some of his laserdisc clips to DVD and I've also found some "psuedo" DVD CoCo releases online as well. But what we all wish for is a real high quality transfer from the originals to the DVD format. 🙂 Didn't you just love when Riekochan's cat tried to "escape"….her reaction, priceless! ^-^Hmmm….I think after our talks here I have an idea of what you mean when you enjoy particular songs and I don't think any more explanation is necessary. We really connect on a lot of our tastes so I totally understand your sentiments on particular styles of J-Pop. 🙂 Thank you for always conversing like this on J-Pop as it really makes posting these fun and rewarding for me as I'm able to hear opinions of other fans and their point of views. All too often I hear people say that they'd like to learn about and hear different J-Pop outside of what they're normally accustomed to (ie: Hello! Project, etc…) and I try to write these with that in mind to hopefully share something new and whether liked or not they're still outside of the usual box. 🙂 LOL….'painful' but I know what you mean. As all artists' get older they're vocals do inevitably change and I'm happy that you can appreciate both phases and see them in that light. 🙂 Oh and speaking of 'genki' J-Pop…..I'd have to say that……..Ichikawa Yui defines that perfectly. ^-^
We'll see if pony canyon will release dvd's from their music. They probably will considering how famous they were 🙂 (i am waiting for sheki-dol's pvs; i am not seeing that happening in the near future .( )But when you say u to their era, what other artists from the past have pony canyon released? Can i find this info at their site?I enjoy reading your posts, and as my interest in hp is falling it is nice to discover more music from the era i like. couldn't have done it without your posts! :)Ichikawa Yui, something familiar with that name. i am gonna go check it out later.
There has been a recent pair of CoCo collections which have remastered content on them as well as the inclusion of a DVD here. But it's not focusing on Miura Rieko's solo releases so I'm still hoping they'll release something nice for her too. Pony Canyon housed quite a lot of idols back in the 80's through the 90's and I imagine they should be listed on their official site….I haven't even checked but surely they must have one I think. In regards to specifically their era, you'll find other artists/groups from their time period under Pony Canyon under the title of "Otomejuku" and there've been a few releases commemorating them in the past too. I've posted songs from two other prominent groups who were affiliated under the Otomejuku family in the past including Ribbon and Qlair…you can find a little under searches here using these as tags but I've yet to really do more extensive postings about either group which I do plan to do in the future. Thank you Denadel, and I do understand how your interest in H!P may be falling right now especially with the announced departure of the Elders Club…but hang in there!….I think some really great things are yet to come from the remaining main 3 groups and the uprising of the Eggs. ^-^Oh and I just wanted to say I love your new avatar! 🙂
Hi Denadel, Here's the song you requested….Sorry it takes me forever to do these things. 😛
Hehe that is ok :)Thank you!
One of my most favorited songs by Miura Rieko too…enjoy! ^ ^
I'm sure zdorama told you the story but it all started with Dakishimete Destiny for me. That one fate full day with a VCR miss program. I for one am happy to declare that Rieko changed my life. She started the chain of events that would affect us all so much. I shudder at the thought of how it might have been if I never learned of the lovely gift of heaven that is Rieko.
Hey, You did a Miura Rieko post and I didn't even know about it!Gotta agree with Dayone that Rieko's Dakishimete Destiny is probably THE catalyst that started a lot of us from even getting INTO J-pop back in those days.
It's amazing how that little "mishap" (I hate to call it that because it turned out better!) lead to CoCo back then and I wonder why they never officially released that pv?! Same here too! That voice and adorableness was like nothing that I've seen in music before…really opened so many doors to J-Pop. Thank you! ^ ^
Ah I'm happy that you found this one! Things seem to get buried here right away…maybe I post too much! 😛 Ah you posted "Dakishimete Destiny"…when I was writing this I was having the roughest time choosing which songs to upload for people to listen to and I ended up not uploading "Dakishimete Destiny"…big mistake huh! >_< Such a perfectly catchy song and I really can see how it made a huge impression on both of you!I was thinking about posting a CoCo one too later…it's just so intimidating to complete, like I know I'll mess it up somehow and forget to include and mention lots of things. 😛
Do you realize how valuable your collection is?? Especially the completeness of the artists? One day people come to your “j-shrine” to research and worship! ^^
My Princesses gain so much from Auntie MB already!! Hugs
Are you an Affiliate for the music store links you provide? That would make you a few coins to rub together at least…
I look like a Pepto~pink monster above :O lol! I changed the avatar settings recently but that looks odd xD……ehhh my bedroom’s tiny, it’d be like one twirl and you’ve seen everything :P. I’ve done just a few re~upping to older Vox posts now…..maybe I’ll fix just some of my favorites♥.
Oh I haven’t signed up an affiliation to any of the sites….I see that Cdjapan does have an affiliate program but I was never sure if I wanted that. It’s just that I write for fun and not for any profit although maybe it’s not quite the same as being an affiliate I wonder =).
But a Nice pep to pink monster! :p
I think MB has enchanted room like amine or fairy story that has limitless storage capacity! Maybe Elmo controls it!? Hehe
Affiliates just gives you a little money because your are driving traffic their way, something very valuable to to them )SALES) plus, some give you special deals also!! Costs your link takers nothing to click. Win-win 🙂
Fascinated by Miura Rieko’s legs!! So Japanesey
You are awesome MB!! ❤
Mmm…pink*! I so wish that were true….maximizing space I’ve come to sort of embrace that, well much more needed to :P.
I’ve thought about the Cdjapan affiliation but I don’t know I just like keeping everything non~profit….this is just my fun and passions ＾ ＾♥
Hmmm…do you mean our pale~ness, funny story I was out sick for almost a week recently from work and when I returned the very first thing that a co~worker said to me was….”you’re so white…..” I wonder do I need a tan? xD
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You blog is an online encyclopaedia of Jpop! Another brilliant post. Is there any way of indexing your posts for enthusiasts to search though them?
Thank you so much Philip!..you’re much too kind =)! I have categories and individual tags to search from along with the search box…although I’ve noticed that the search box can a lot of times return quite a lot of unrelated posts for some odd reason. Tags is most likely the most efficient way to search here. The categories are listed on the right hand side near to the top before the featured posts while the tag cloud is down near the very bottom of the site. I however don’t know how to display all of the tags here as there are just a few displayed in the tag cloud as there are so many more tags here like over 3000 of them and counting. Sorry I don’t know of a better way to search here =/.
I never thought of tags! So obvious now… One annoying thing about WordPress and Tumblr is that there’s no easy way to search for themed blogs unless you Google ‘[subject]Tumblr’ or [subject]Wordpress’. The only way of finding similar blogs is to search through people’s ‘following’: on Tumblr, anyway. But at least I can now search through your posts more easily.
The categories are really good too as they’ll filter out totally unrelated topics/artists/etc…only thing is that I’ve no idea of how to display all of the tags at once as only a few are displayed in the tag cloud near the bottom of the site.
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