Idols♥ very much like beauty while timeless go through fashion trends and the like being a sign of the times and with each post presented here each Friday I’ll be selecting a few articles to scan or sharing old clips to give a visual and text so you’ll be able to see the ever changing evolution of idols♥ over the years. Check in each Friday for more from this ongoing series =).
Qlair, a wonderful part of the legendary Otomejuku idol phenomenon and a great testament to Momusu & H!P’s longevity can be really further appreciated when you examine other idol groups which boomed from the late 80’s into the mid 90’s, many of which held tenures lasting no more than 5 years and often times far shorter than that. What the numbers don’t share though is the high quality of the music produced in these sometimes brief J-Pop careers and Qlair is a great example of just that! Qlair existed in a time when other much more visible and far more successful idol groups thrived on the J-Pop landscape and theirs is a brief stay which lasted from 1991-1993 and produced 4 albums, 7 singles, and 2 video releases. In 2005 Sony would revisit Qlair’s catalog and release “Qlair Archives”, a comprehensive collection containing 3 CDs & a DVD which can be ordered here. And this time period is going way back to before I was even aware of what J-Pop was or owned any or could afford any…well you get the picture ( I was 10 🙂 )…so the whole of this has been a backtracking of sorts through J-Pop history for me. I think it’s always great to hear how music has evolved over time and this is really true of all genres out there. One aspect of the groups back then that is very notable is the high standard and requirements of vocal ability above all else as would seem to be the case with most of these groups when you hear them in vast amounts. A shift of sorts has occurred since where vocal ability isn’t pushed any where nearly as hard for the most part and entrance into an idol group is more of a balance between appearances and ability. Not bad…not better…just a different approach.
~My Qlair collection~
My Qlair collection is a modest one as I only own 3 of their releases including 2 of their albums and their retrospective collection “Archives.”
To give you a brief taste of the high quality of songwriting that Qlair like so many other idol groups during this period enjoyed, I’ve included 3 of my favorite songs from their catalog, 2 of which were released as singles. I’ll start off with the nicely energized track “Yakusoku” (“Promise”). This song represents a perfect example of the sound which J-idol groups embraced back then and take note of the layered harmonies, superb song writing, and overall strong vocals all of which Qlair embodies so well as this is true of all 3 tracks being presented here. And if you’re newer to J~pop you’ll also recognize how this style born through the 80’s also embodies much of AkiP’s productions through AKB48.
~Qlair “Yakusoku” mp3~
“Sayonara no chime” is Qlair’s 3rd single release and it’s an extremely sweet mid tempo pop song which serves as a possibly even greater showcase for their vocal talent and its chorus really soars in a beautiful blend of their 3 unique voices all of which shine so strongly here! “Sayonara no chime”was released on January 22nd, 1992.
~Qlair “Sayonara no chime” mp3~
And with making a good first impression being so important for any group, Qlair’s debut single does just that as the third and final song being featured here is their very first single titled “Hitomi ippai no natsu”, a cute and extremely catchy pop song. The chorus harmonies are absolutely immaculate! “Hitomi ippai no natsu” was released on July 7th, 1991. If you give any of these tracks a listen I’m sure that you’ll find joy in just how well written they are and if you adore J-Pop you may just find love here! ^-^ Enjoy! And if you love any of these songs, Qlair’s complete catalog can be enjoyed by ordering their “Archives” album which I’ve linked above at Cdjapan. 🙂
~Qlair “Hitomi ippai no natsu” mp3~
~Qlair complete discography~
and Inobe Hiroko
I’ve also added a couple of clips from Qlair’s “Good bye Cybele” video release which was issued on DVD in their “Archive” release. The first clip is for their debut song “Hitomi ippai no natsu” and it’s a bit of an unusual one in that the music suddenly stops just after the mid break and the video from there continues with a theme that this video release was following as it’s sort of a “musical” story I guess I would call it. It is a bit odd though as you can watch Qlair build themselves a raft and sail away to a “mysterious” island which kind of looks like a giant rock mountain in the middle of the ocean…where’s the Rock when you need him the most!! Anyway enjoy the music up until that point! 😛 (Released on July 7th, 1991).
~Qlair “Hitomi ippai no natsu” (pv)~
This second clip is their pv for “Onegai Kamisama” which was Qlair’s second single release and you gotta love that early 90’s vibe to its visuals….sort of like the 80’s not quite wanting to let go just yet :). Catchy~cute song too! (released on October 10th, 1991)
~Qlair “Onegai Kamisama” (pv)~