Happy hot and windy~*!~! aloha Friday!
Tonight we’ll take a look back at Mochida Kaori’s perhaps long forgotten solo debut release.
~Mochida Kaori’s indies solo debut release “Mou ichido”
In the winter of 2009 Mochida Kaori of ELT (Every Little Thing) released her debut solo single titled “Ame no waltz” but here’s a little secret release as that technically was not her solo debut that was upcoming in late January. You see back on June 17th, 1998 Teichiku Records released an indies single in collaboration with Kurobuta Tengoku Project featuring then new comer, Mochida Kaori. The Kurobuta Tengoku Project was very much in the same vein of productions as that of Asayan’s popular and most fruitful of talent search contests as it too was a gateway into the music world where anyone with dreams, determination and vocal prowess could enter in hopes~* of reaching their dream. The release date of “Mou ichido” does come after the debut of Every Little Thing as they debuted the previous year in 1997 and I believe it was released after ELT’s debut in an attempt to ride along with the flow of the group’s early meteoric success as this single was recorded prior. And according to a release article, Mochida Kaori had taken part in a singing contest prior to her entrance into ELT and that had led to the recording and release of this indies single which is titled “Mou ichido.” Back then all of my ordering was being done through new release articles and magazines which made the publication CD Data most helpful!..and I have accumulated a ton of this publication dating back to I think the mid to early 90’s or so! You have to remember that the internet explosion of having just about everything one would want to know about upcoming music releases, the track listings and their production articles were yet to fully bloom back then in reliable sources. So I originally came across this release while going through new release news pamphlets which all labels produce regularly for mainly the purpose of gaining interest from record shops and chains in stocking their artists and most of the time you’d need to pre~order blindly without knowing anything about the songs or sometimes even the artists as again there wasn’t any internet availability of upcoming releases in the form of video previews of the like for the most part in those years. I had been part of ELT’s debut excitement as I pre-ordered their first album “Everlasting” and I was so taken by their music instantly that while browsing those pamphlets her name readily caught my attention prompting me to order it also. I loved the look of Japan’s 3″ CD singles…and when cased in those hard plastic jewel cases they have a really nice uniform look to them in your collection. ^ ^
~Mochida Kaori “Mou ichido” mp3~
“Mou ichido” presents Mochida Kaori like you’ve never heard her. Unlike ELT’s keyboard driven rock charm, “Mou ichido” production is much more along the lines of classic J-Pop. It’s really a cute and bouncy composition with just the right amount of horn accompaniment and very hook filled verses and chorus sections. Admittedly it’s a rather simple song but sometimes songs need not be complex in order to hold the listener’s attention or gain their endearment as this title track does both with simple ease. As you listen to the early stylings of Kaorichan’s vocals you really get a clear sense of how much Zard’s Sakai Izumi may have inspired and influenced her singing approach…so much that I say this rather affirmatively. During the verse portions in particular you can really hear Sakai Izumi’s “trademark” phrasing and tone and at times it actually sounds like the incredibly songwriter/vocalist herself. Hmmm..the more I ponder this the more this song actually resembles a Zard composition. It truly does.
~Mochida Kaori “Naite iiyo” mp3~
The coupling with track “Naite iiyo” (“It’s okay to cry”) is a total contrast to the title track as it’s a 100% ballad with a soft and gentle piano arrangement with light orchestration. The low key arrangement does give way to Kaorichan’s vocals allowing her to showcase more emotion and vocal nuances and while I definitely find the title track to be a much superior composition in terms of catchiness and overall appeal, “Naite iiyo” is nonetheless a moving and beautiful song as both compliment each other quite well. ^ ^
I hope you enjoy these somewhat hidden gems from the yesteryear of J-Pop…and I hope to have more on ELT on a later day. ^ ^
She looks so young in these single cover shots! Always so cute and adorable ne~!
An interesting dynamic for ELT over through their earlier years is that by just their fourth original album titled well….”4 FORCE”, a member of the original ELT trio had left the group and what makes this most momentous and altering is that that member was keyboardist Igarashi Mitsuru. You see as I mentioned earlier ELT was so heavily keyboard driven in their very existence that it became most apparent that a significant and most important if not essential dynamic of ELT had forever been lost with the departure of member Igarashi Mitsuru. If you listen to the remarkable contrasts from their album “4 FORCE” and those released thereafter compared to their first three albums and earlier single works you’ll hear a glaring departure in style, sound and just overall vibe of ELT, and in a true sense a part of ELT had died along with his leaving. The songwriting is also glaringly apparent to have been largely from the creative mind of Igarashi Mitsuru up till that point in the group’s history and for me personally it’s the sole reason why my collection ends there shortly after as they just were never the same group and much of what had attracted and charmed me to them had been all but lost.
Above is my ELT collection and yes it does end soon after the keyboardist left the group as I just couldn’t get into their songs and liken to them as much it seemed.
And here are two wonderful VHS yes VHS xD releases from ELT including their complete early music video collection along with a fantastic live concert from their ‘98 “Time to Destination” tour! I wish I were able to share clips from both VHS releases but unfortunately macrovision isn’t allowing that to happen today =/. I’ll just say that if you see ELT perform as early as 1998 as in this VHS, you’ll witness a much different group dynamic and even more so a much different Mochida Kaori on stage!!! To further that point, you need look no further than the numerous SmapxSmap Mochida Kaori parodies which were always performed by Nakai~kun in one of those little interlude comedy skits that they’d do back then with regularity yup Nakai~kun in the wig and all…and Mochida Kaori was so how should I put this? She was really melancholy on stage in her demeanor in the latter years of ELT where she’d a lot of times just stare downward with not much stage movement to speak of and one year on the Red & White Songfest just sticks in my memory as she was so blue on stage…just an aura of blue, here though in this 1998 concert she’s as giddy and lively as one could hope one of your group’s front persons to be!! They were having a total blast on stage and the audience was totally feeling them and into their performances….so sadly Nakai~kun really nailed her latter stage demeanor and I just wonder what ever happened to the real Mochida Kaori from that point?
Every Little Thing were…
Igarashi Mitsuru: Keyboards and programming
Ito Ichiro: Guitar
and Mochida Kaori: Vocals
And for now I’ll leave you with just a few ELT favorites….
my ELT top 6
“Here and Everywhere”
It’s the Van Halen song!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or at the very least it so reminds me of them =)! “Here and Everywhere” reminds me so much of just how happy J~pop was back in those days, this song, pure bliss! One of the best J~pop songs ever written imho ^^.
“The One Thing”
One of the most thoughtful and powerful power ballads you’ll ever experience, period.
“Time Goes By”
Sweet and transcendent, a beautifully sculpted ballad in all aspects.
“Deatta koro no you ni”
There’s so much Zard inspiration going on in here that it’s bursting with Sakai Izumi flavor!!!! Catchy beyond that word’s meaning.
“Feel my Heart”
Where it all began, Every Little Thing’s debut single!! And what a debut it is!! If you are like many of us back then, then you’ll be allured instantly: bait~line~sinker~and~hook included.
Second single release from Every Little Thing and the early makings of a incredible J~pop/rock group are well on their way, their early signature sound on full display here.
After a little bit of searching I however did find a few early
ELT gems already upped!
~Every Little Thing “Here and Everywhere” (music video)~
There’s a bit of a music box intro in some of these clips but the song does begin shortly after.
~Every Little Thing “Deatta koro no you ni” (music video)~
~Every Little Thing “Time Goes By” (music video)~
~Every Little Thing “Future World” (music video)~
~Every Little Thing “Feel My Heart” (music video)~
And these are from ELT’s 1998 Time to
Destination tour!! The VHS I have =).
~Every Little Thing “Here and Everywhere” (live concert
tour ‘98 Time to Destination)~
~Every Little Thing “Feel My Heart” (live concert tour ‘98
Time to Destination)~
~Every Little Thing “Future World” (live concert tour ‘98
Time to Destination)~
Natsukashii (*´∀｀*) ♪♪～～！！！！、It’s so sweet to relive these songs and performances by Every Little Thing! Going back to the days when J~pop and life in general were so simple then, and I hope tonight’s Unzipped♥ will turn you onto Every Little Thing in the same ways they did to me all those years ago. Thank you for reading, listening and watching and goodnight ＾＾。