At each year’s end the Kouhaku (Red & White Songfest) provides not only a full evenings plate of music with a chance to see whom received the honors to perform along with waiting for your favorites♥ to appear as it also lends a chance to discover “new” artists to fill your personal musical library collection as even long statured groups/artists/musicians upon your very first time seeing/hearing them can truly tug @ your music~loving soul with even just a single performance ^^.
Rewind to this past December Eve’s Kouhaku and there were more than a few artists that tugged @ me and so tonight I thought that I’d share one such artist whom totally mesmerized me on that evening with her song ♪~♪ WOMAN “W no higeki yori” ♪~♪. That artist was Yakushimaru Hiroko and upon a tiny bit of further digging I realized that her career was originally launched as an actress in 1978 with her musical debut coming in the early 80’s and that both are very established careers as her filmography/television and musical catalogs are impressive with the former being her career mainstay.
And while the majority of Yakushimaru Hiroko’s singles and albums are long out of print above is just a sampling of what’s still available from her musical catalog.
My first Yakushimaru Hiroko purchase~♥ =)!!
~Tonight’s featured performers are:
Vocal: Yakushimaru Hiroko
Piano & music director: Takebe Satoshi
Guitar: Toyama Tetsuro
Bass: Kawasaki Teppei
Drums: Tsuruya Tomou
Keyboards: Shimizu Shunya
Chorus: Uchikawa Yoshiko
~Yakushimaru Hiroko 「WOMAN “W no higeki yori”」~
However upon witnessing such a stunning performance on the Kouhaku what I readily yearned for was a live concert before delving any further into her studio catalog and I found the absolutely perfect concert Blu-ray (also available on DVD) which was released in January of last year …..and the reasoning for its perfection ~*? Well it’s a 35th anniversary concert which means lots of singles/hits coverage!! In all Yakushimaru Hiroko released 21 singles and so tonight I’ve chosen three of those lead tracks and one additional beloved song for you to also fall in love~♥ with =). Now keep in mind that these songs were originally released during the early 80’s into the early 90’s so with these 35th anniversary performances you’ll be hearing reinterpreted versions of these songs while still keeping their original catchiness in tune and yet with these jazzy~concert hall styled performances these songs transcend time in a most glorious fashion. Tonight’s setting is intimate. The band accomplished and amazing. And so be prepared to be treated to a musical experience most special, oh! and I’m beginning with WOMAN “W no higeki yori” albeit it’s actually the encore finale, because it’s the very song Yakushimaru Hiroko performed on the Kouhaku on that New Year’s Eve ^^.
WOMAN “W no higeki yori” was originally released in 1984 as a single’s title track.
This is truly one of those melodies which can upon its very first listen capture you so much with both verses and its melodically uplifting chorus being equally memorable in the fullest sense ^^.
Even Yuko luvs Yakushimaru Hiroko ^^!~!
~Yakushimaru Hiroko “Anata wo motto shiritakute”
This single title track was also released in 1984 and I chose it particularly for its light hearted playfulness in both melody and lyrics and they even kept the oh~so~cute 80’s telephone ring complete with her dialogue here =)! This track simply dances upon clouds with the sweetest of piano melodies driving its rhythm, another can’t miss song I think ^^!
~Yakushimaru Hiroko “Kaze ni notte”~
“Kaze ni notte” was released as a single title track in 1991 and is one of her absolute sweetest of ballads!! Yakushimaru Hiroko’s vocals have an incredible depth to them and her powerful range can soar on any given note, and really here no finer song to exemplify just that ….. it’s pure elegance~♥ ^^.
~Yakushimaru Hiroko “Yume de aetara”~
And lastly one of my most favorite standards if you will from J-Pop’s golden age and I’m sure you’ve heard this one before right?, ….it’s “Yume de aetara” which has been recorded and performed by countless artists over the years as it’s one of the most catchy and memorable songs ever written I think and with this unique a bit slowed down jazzy arrangement it’s like never heard before and especially with the re~imagined ending which climaxes the song perfectly! …enjoy ^^~♥!