Happy Aloha~❤ Friday!!!! YES it’s here, Friday!! Okay so tonight’s Idol’s♥ Unzipped won’t be seen as it’s been preempted by a special Fuzzy Memories post ^^.
Okay it’s late I know (like past 11 pm here in Hawaii) but this project took quite a lot of time to put together properly but I’ll explain more on that in a bit so for tonight I’d rediscovered an old VHS late this morning containing a very cool program which celebrated the 90’s with a look back at the top 100 artists of this memorable decade in Japanese music! I totally had forgotten about this program and from time to time I do go make an effort to go through my old VHS tapes which are mostly recordings from rented VHS from one of our local Japanese video stores mind you VHS are nowhere to be found these days upon those very shelves =P. And really the real reason for preempting this Friday’s Idol’s♥ Unzipped is that I’ve been working on the VHS to digital transfer with additional editing and reformatting and then this post from late this morning until now which is into the evening so I sort of ran out of time to do anything else and I always tend to do these things where I begin thinking it’s going to be this little simple project but before I know it it becomes something much larger and add in the fact that I’m proudly anal retentive by nature…okay not really proud of that but if you’ve been made fun of all of your life about this character flaw then I just found the need to smile and embrace it because it’s in my DNA it seems for life =P. And YES I do tend to plan things a particular way and while in the midst of it I’ll usually begin adding and adding more to said project so hence the text here was going to be short and generic but then as I began re-watching these amazing clips I just couldn’t resist chiming in with personal recollections and other such random memories which I hope you’ll find amusing in a sort of tour guide sort of manner ^^. And I don’t tend to proofread much so always be prepared for typos and other such crimes against grammar xD….but then again the whole ‘protection’ thingy in the title of this blog does sort of warn readers about what is about to come =P.
So get ready for countless nostalgic musical memories for those which experienced the 90’s or for those whom may have not been born yet or perhaps weren’t into J-music just then here’s perhaps an opportunity to discover new musical loves as the 90’s were a remarkable time for Japanese music no doubt. And the nineties saw the debuts of top artists whose very first singles made such an impact in music which set them on the paths to great success, as that impressive list includes Kiroro..check out “Nagai aida” and all of their albums!, Hirosue Ryoko whose music career was a bit brief but she remains as one of my most favorite artists♥ all time as she has such memorable songs and I just love love her voice!, PUFFY with their Beatles influences..need I say more?, DEEN whose music I first became aware through ZARD’s Sakai Izumi as she had written for them quite the gem back then, Utada Hikaru..and talk about a major debut of all time as her single “Automatic” was the phenomenon of the nineties for such a young artist as she garnered a sea of fans seemingly overnight and rightfully so, Okamoto Mayo and I could go on and on about her impressive song writing and immaculate vocals but I’ve already written a post about her here which you can visit through her link under FEATURED posts which is located a bit down on the right sidebar, Kinki Kids whom remain as a force for the Johnny’s enterprise of amazing guy-candy artists with amazing talent to boot and them some! and also H Jungle with t. featuring the incomparable Hamada-chan! All countdowns herein (as there are a few side-charts which will make an appearance in most prominent categories) are completely based on sales so it’s the makings of a most definitive countdown without question and with an entire decade being reminisced this program contains very very amazing and memorable artists and songs alike~….this is going to be a lot of fun so I hope you’ll join me in rejoicing an amazing decade in J-music that was….legendary in scope when all was said and done within the walls of these ten years~.
So I’ve edited out the program’s intro for memory’s sake although it probably didn’t help that much as this program is quite lengthy altogether but I did also edit out most of the CMs as much as I could with the exception of one in particular you know just because it’s soooooooooooo amusingly awesome and you’ll know exactly why when you see it \(^o^)/!!!! and so as we begin two very special guests are in house which includes pop giant Every Little Thing (ELT) and the legendary Yoshida Miwa with Dreams Come True. Mochida Kaori’s always been somewhat cutely introverted and there are quite a few humorous moments ~* to chuckle at throughout this countdown…and also note ELT’s keyboard player/composer is still in the group as in the past within an Idols♥ Unzipped post I’d spoken about his importance to the group as fully realized in hindsight of his sudden departure from said awesome group…so here at the end of the nineties they’re very much still in their prime. On the other side of the personality spectrum is Yoshida Miwa of Dream Come True as she’s very outgoing and that at it is an understatement as you’ll see firsthand as you watch this program and with both women so different from one another appearing on the same program it’s quite an interesting dynamic.
Each artist on the countdown has a couple of notable songs featured (more songs as we hit the top of the chart) as we begin with Nakamori Akina who has quite the catalog and a few stats are shown after the opening artists #100~#91 montage and yes that Unicorn music video was quite the shock wasn’t it you know with all of the random nakedness going on =O and without question you knew it was going to be a topic of discussion afterward during the studio panel’s reactions =).
The countdown continues with artists #90~#81 and here we have Johnny’s now very much senior group TOKIO with the always sexy Nagase Tomoya, Shinohara Ryoko who was a really popular idol in the nineties and on one of earliest issue of UTB I’d collected back then has her featured as covergirl =)…her music is definitely worth checking out too as she had quite a few catchy hits, Misia was the R&B girl of those years and she has such a strong voice with a uniqueness all its own, Ulfuls make an appearance here with their hit “Banzai~suki de yokatta~” and an amusing memory I’ll forever have of this song is that it’s actually in the drama “Long Vacation” which is my all time fave drama btw ….however you’re not going to find it on the soundtrack or even in the credits as the means by which it is ‘featured’ in the drama isn’t in a typical sense as the character Shinji played by the most handsome Takenouchi♥Yutaka has a scene where he’s singing it to himself while making his way up an apartment’s stairs….so yes it’s quite the fun memory for me =), hitomi whom had a brief career in pop glamour, Wink also makes an appearance here as the cute duo had many catchy hits!! And on a side note of a memory, Every Little Thing’s Mochida Kaori’s personality did actually make its way onto the popular and long running SmapxSmap show as Nakai-kun would have these really brief skits (think Robot Chicken interlude length type of skits…) and he would be wearing a wig and a dress usually and well …it was hellah funny =P! The countdown continues with artists #80~#71 with notable personal faves: H Jungle with t and surely your readily recognize that popular music show host right? Rocker Kikkawa Koji is also present as is ASKA’s solo career, Nagai Mariko here too and she has such a wonderful voice and I know it’s just a couple of brief snippets of her songs here and yet don’t you just want to go out and get some of her music right now! Koizumi Kyoko (Kyonkyon) here closes out the top 71 and I have a few of her singles and a definitive box set collection as well of her singles and for me it’ll always be her songs “For my life” and “Beautiful Girls” which reign supreme~♥.
~Top music videos of the 90’s, #70-#61 & a live ELT performance~
Here we begin with the best selling top 10 music video releases of the nineties which include notables: L’arc~en~ciel, SPEED, B’z, Glay as there’s lots of mv’s to love here! Also we learn of a Kaori issue with cameras lol…she’s so wonderfully cute =)! And our countdown continues with #70~#61 Personal fave notables: Field of View, Hikarku GENJI and just think that once upon a time the then boys of SMAP were their back up dancers on stage!, Okuda Tamio who sprouted his solo career after his days with Unicorn, Anri who had a few Hawaii promotions and a major concert here back in the nineties, MAX whom were once upon a time Amuro Namie’s back up singers/dancers (For more on MAX & Amuro Namie you can search their names using the cute little search box atop to the right.) ELT caps this segment with a live performance of their hit “Someday, someplace” …this represents a time when I so loved ELT so much as they had great song after great song in an endless stream it seemed in those days ^^.
The countdown continues with #60~#51 with personal fave notables including: Matsuda Seiko who really headed the girl-pop solo revolution as she’ll always remain credited as one of the most influential J-artists of all time (and for a good Matsuda Seiko time get your hands on her all inclusive “Complete Bible” box set!..it’s worth every yen spent I promise!, Okamoto Mayo’s “Alone” is featured here as it remains one of the most exquisite ballads ever and for more on the amazing Okamoto Mayo you can check out her link in the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts, V6 (“Believe your smile” & “Over” being two personal oldies but goodies by this talented group) whose career longevity speaks for itself, Kubota Toshinobu…featured here with his mega smash hit of hits in “La La La Love Song” which is the theme song for the Kimutaku♥/ Takenouchi Yutaka♥/Yamaguchi Tomoko♥ drama “Long Vacation” which remains atop my favorite dramas of all time list, Kawamura Ryuichi and his single “Love is…” is such a pretty song and it was really a surprise hearing his solo side you know after all of the heavy rock of LUNA SEA!!, hide whose life was tragically cut short and yet his fan base will never forget what he’s meant both socially and musically for Japan, Nakamori Miyuki a voice that’ll kick your butt time and time again with one of my most favorite songs of hers being “Ito” which was also a drama theme song for the very dark series “Seija no koushin” which was extremely haunting with characters and storytelling which needed to be spoken about and yet it was such a dark dark series to watch, T.M Revolution here with his single “White Love” and he was so hugely popular in the nineties. And back in the studio a very special album makes an impromptu appearance =)!!! Makes you wonder if years from now all idols will look back on what they were doing in their idol prime and think OMG I was doing what?? LOL =P.
After watching Kimutaku being chased by a rhino…..
#50-#41,Top 10 drama songs of the 90’s~
0..we continue the countdown at #50~#41 which includes personal faves: Fujii Fumiya featured here with his gorgeous single “Another Orion” and he has one of the most beautiful voices like floating on clouds and his vocal range is off the charts! (go get yourself some Fujii Fumiya now!! You won’t regret it!!), Watanabe Misato…she’s got so many great songs!!!, Takeuchi Mariya…a voice to fall in love with for sure!!, The Yellow Monkey which I’m actually mentioning here because I just never got them…they’re so popular so I’m definitely in the minority but I really just never got them =/, PUFFY whose featured here with their single “Ai no shirushi”, LUNA SEA and who could forget their single “I for You” which is perhaps most memorable for being the theme song for the tragic Fukakyon♥ drama series “Kamisama mou sukoshi dake” where as a high school student she contracts the aids virus as this drama really addressed Japan’s darker side with so many young girls then taking to prostitution…a powerful drama to experience no doubt, Ozaki Yutaka whose awesome single “Oh My Little Girl” is featured here and I could gush and gush and gush some more about him and his music as he is a treasured icon no doubt but instead of making this post into a short novel you can visit his linked post which can be found on the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts, Kinki Kids here with their single “Zenbu Dakishimete” and I do think that they’re really two of the most talented vocalists in Johnny’s. Plus Mochida Kaori reveals a fave drama of hers with “Sweet Season” and hilarity ensues..isn’t she wonderful~♥! =) And then we get to learn of the top 10 drama songs of the 90’s which includes personal faves: Imai Miki’s “Piece of my wish” which actually has its very own post here =), Okamoto Mayo’s “Tomorrow” from the drama “Second Chance” which aired here in Hawaii our KIKU station many many moons ago, Dreams Come True’s classic “LOVE LOVE LOVE” which was an early J-pop single purchase of mine and DCT’s hit is indeed #1!! And here’s a little story behind this song and myself as the very first drama I ever watched was “Aishiteru to itte kure” (Say you love me) which aired here on KIKU…one evening I was channel surfing and came across this drama and just became hooked and it’s funny that the series was already half way through so I ended up watching the second half of the drama till its end and then when the drama re-aired I did get to watch the drama from its beginning which then made everything make sense but still this drama was just so superb that it wasn’t bad at all seeing the episodes out of order that way =). Tokiwa Takako and Toyokawa Etsushi star…a really engrossing drama with some very unique and special circumstances but I won’t spoil any of that for you because you really should go watch it now =). This segment then shows the top 10 soundtrack songs of the 90’s and it was a shock that Celine Dion was at #2 but then Whitney’s legendary song appears!!!
~Yoshida Miwa x Mochida Kaori “LOVE LOVE LOVE” LIVE PERFORMANCE~
Next up is a DCT/ ELT super session!!!!….and the way Kaori reacts is so amusing and cute! Yoshida Miwa and Mochida Kaori here in a dream duet performance of DCT’s classic “LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!” Again this song is the theme song for the very first drama I ever watched haha you literally just read that =P…..so it’s extremely nostalgic and loved and with two amazing voices joining forces it’s quite awesome!! If you’ve yet to experience Dreams Come True I so recommend you go out this instant and remedy what’s been missing in your J-pop inventory and I’d begin with any of their albums released in the early 90’s as they’re all purely incredible with great song writing and of course Miwa’s larger than life vocals…I promise you’ll fall head over heels ^^.
~#40-#31 + a live DCT performance!~
The countdown continues with #40~#31 with personal fave notables including: Hirose Kohmi who’s a most brilliant song writer whose credits are widespread in the J-music community and of course her own music is great too, Nakayama Miho and yup I got turned onto her music via a drama series once again..seems to happen a lot with me, Aikawa Nanase who was really one of the earliest J-rock artists which I fell in love with and interestingly later in her career she really tamed things down a whole lot which I didn’t see coming…also if you see any early live performances by her I must note that her drummer at the time really frightened me =O not kidding, Princess Princess featured here with their singles “Oh Yeah” and “Julian”…one pure rock and the other pure ballad and with Princess Princess I once again could go on and on about them but instead let me refer you to a rather sizeable post I did awhile back here and you can find that link on the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts, Tomoyasu Hotei who’s been rocking Japan for what seems like a really long time and he’s also the husband of the aforementioned Imai Miki as he even writes and produces for her, DEEN, Kudo Shizuka here with her single “Kirara” which was also featured in a drama but not as its theme song but you probably know that one right? =), JUDY AND MARY and what can you say about them?…well they’re one of the most influential groups of all time that is, Fukuyama Masaharu whose featured here with his singles “It’s only love” and “HELLO” and for much more on his music and amazing career you can check out his artist post here which can be found linked on the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts and his is very near to the very bottom so you’ll have to scroll down quite a ways down to find it. Notable artists outside of the top 100 include Hirosue Ryoko, Suzuki Ami, Yoshida Miwa as a soloist and she’s such a beacon of happiness isn’t she as she even jokes at herself just making the cut at #200 =). A Dreams Come True live performance of “Nante koi shitan daro” follows here and if DCT are new to you just check out Miwa’s uniquely powerful voice here, one of the greatest vocalists all time as I regard hers to be in that top tier alongside the likes of Ishii Tatsuya of Kome Kome Club fame as well as a successful soloist and at the ending of this DCT song …yes!!! that’s Miwa kicking it into another gear for sure!
The countdown continues with #30~#21 with personal faves including: Moritaka Chisato with her singles “Kibun sokai” and “La La Sunshine” and let it be known that I do own every single and album she’s released as she’s by far one of my most favorite artists without question, SharanQ her with their single “Zurui onna” and it’s Tsunku’s beginnings and SharanQ was such an amazing group for so many reasons going beyond their music as their performances have been legendary as well!!!, MY LITTLE LOVER featured here with “Destiny” and they were the brainchild of one of Japan’s most talented producers/musicians with him also being the producer of one Mr.Children…his name? Kobayashi Takeshi!!…nuff said, X Japan with their iconic song “Forever Love” and X Japan was really one of Japan’s very first super rock groups, Kahara Tomomi here featured with her singles “I’m Proud” and “Save your Dream” and she was the darling of J–pop back then as mega producer Komuro Tetsuya took her under his wing for the duration of the first phase of her very successful career, Every Little Thing whom are of course co-hosting/guesting on this very program here with their mega hit ballad and single “Time Goes By” which I believe remains as one of the greatest J-pop ballads of all time, L’arc~en~ciel…drool alert!!!! HYDE♥ (sigh…..♥!) here with one of my most favorite songs by them albeit it’s and oldie in “winter fall” and this song has a really great music video too!, Imai Miki whom I’ve already gushed about a bit earlier here with her single “PRIDE”, Spitz …and their smash hit “Robinson” just gave me goose-bumps I mean literally!! The countdown then continues with #20~#11 with personal faves including: LINDBERG with “Ima sugu kiss me” and they’re such a spunky rock band with lots and lots of catchy songs from back then and I so adore their lead vocalist of course!, rock group WANDS, and here’s SPEED at #17 with their debut single “Body & Soul” along with “ALL MY TRUE LOVE” and you’re probably already aware of my love affair with them as I’ve posted a ton about SPEED right here =), Kome Kome Club with the aforementioned front man and lead singer Ishii Tatsuya who’s YES a top tier vocalist on my list and this song!!…YES this song “Kimi ga iru dake de” is one of the VERY BEST J-songs ever to be written I think!!!! More on Kome Kome Club can be found on the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts and also if you search for Ishii Tatsuya here you’ll also discover a awesome duet with Matsu Takako & Ishii Tatsuya as they perform amongst other songs this very song “Kimi ga iru dake de”, TUBE falls in next here and they had quite the Hawaii ties back in the nineties as they not only recorded some of their albums her but they also performed live here as well, SMAP …another group which I regularly gush over here on this blog as they’re featued here with their singles “Aoi inazuma” along with their mega-hit “Yozora no mukou” which I probably have more live performances on tape than any other song I believe, GLAY here featured with their single “HOWEVER” which is a wonderfully catchy power rock ballad and yet my all time favorite of theirs has to be either “Beloved” or “Be with you”, Ohguro Maki and how nostalgic it is seeing her here as hers was one of the very first best of collections I’d ever purchased way back then…. “Backbeats” anyone? =).
~#10-#4 + the number 1 songs of the decade year by year~
We continue with #10~#4 with personal faves including: TRF which was created by the aforementioned producer Komuro Tetsuya, Matsutoya Yumi, Southern All Stars, Amuro Namie here featured with her break out single “Try Me~watashi wo shinjite~” and her ballad smash hit “CAN YOU CELEBRATE?” which is also the theme song for a most beloved drama and that one being “Virgin Road” and you may recall that it was with this very song with which Amuro Namie made her comeback with you know after her marriage collapse and pregnancy all those years ago and what an emotional performance she had on that evening…not a dry eye in the audience or at home watching I believe =), GLOBE who is also Komura Tetsuya’s super group with the outstanding vocals of Yuki and a beloved song of theirs for me has to be their single “Wandering Destiny” which is also of course a drama theme song…you noticing a reoccurring pattern here =P?, CHAGE & ASKA where you can say that in their solo capacities ASKA would be Hall while CHAGE would be Oats =P, ZARD @ #4 with her singles “Makenaide”, “Yureru omoi” which is also an album title track and one of the catchiest of singles in “My Friend” and for much much more on ZARD you can check out ZARD’s artist post here and that link can be located on the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts. Okay so now the next reveal from the nineties is a #1 songs of the 90’s from 1990 to 1999 individually as to say what song exactly was the #1 overall song for each year in this decade and it’s a wonderful list with many top artists no doubt! For me my personal favorites here include: Kome Kome Club’s “Kimi ga iru dake de”, Mr.Children’s “innocent world”, Dreams Come True’s “LOVE LOVE LOVE”, Mr.Children’s “Namonaki uta”, Amuro Namie’s “CAN YOU CELEBRATE?” and there’s actually one not so favorite song here with the appearnce of “Dango 3 kyodai” which always just puzzled me lol =P.
And our countdown to the top spot continues with #3 artist Mr.Children!!!!!!!!!!! Featured here are their singles “Dakishimetai”, “innocent world”, “Seesaw Game”, “Everything (it’s you)” and “Hikari no sasu hou e” ….well if you’ve been visiting here for awhile then you surely know that Mr.Children are my #1~uno~most favorite band of all time!!!!! So there’s lots on them posted here over the years and in case you’re interested you can of course find them located on the right sidebar under “FEATURED” posts ^^. And at #2 it’s Dreams Come!!! and of course they’re our in house co-hosts/guests so it’s only fitting =)! Here they are featured with their singles “Eyes to me”, “LOVE LOVE LOVE” sugoi ne!! #2 artist of the 90’s!! And yes their overall sales in both singles and albums says it all!
~#1 the artist of the 90’s~
And so drum roll please as we’ve finally reached the top of the nineties J-music mountain with the #1 artist! So who’s #1? B’z and if you can find them go get their two definitive best of album collections which were released back in the nineties titled “The BEST Pleasure” and “The BEST Treasure”….and check out their sales in the 90’s sugoi ~*!!! And then there’s a special acceptance speech by B’z themselves as they appear through an earlier recording.
Okay so I hope you enjoyed this rather large trip down J-music memory lane as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you ^^.