Happy Aloha~♥ Friday!~!
CAVS WIN!!!!! (okay just needed to get that bit out of my system as we now return to our regularly scheduled post =) ).
Tonight’s Unzipped♥ post is a most special one as I’m covering an idol group of yesteryear which I hold most close and dear to my heart. I hope you will indulge in the music and visuals fully as I assure you it will all be very well worth your time. And great music is timeless …so let’s begin!~!
Ever had a crush~♥ on a celebrity? And that celebrity just happens to be a member of a most popular band? Well for Nagasaku Hiromi who’s best known for her modeling and award winning acting in both movies and dramas, that celebrity/ band member crush came rather in the form of celebrity crush on celebrity as Nagasaku herself is pure celebrity! And that band member I’ve mentioned? Well it was none other than Mr.Children drummer Suzuki Hideya!! And this coupled relationship was happening way back in the latter 90’s and into the early millennium and from an interview from back in those days I read Nagasaku Hiromi expressing the details of just how they happened to meet originally. Well it seems that Nagasaku had a crush on the man bashing the skins for Mr.Children and actually went to attend a concert which just happened to create the venue of their very first meeting! And while Nagasaku Hiromi’s now happily married to another, it’s still nice to reminisce of just how thrilled I was back then to learn of such a chance encounter which began with just a crush but became so much more in a sort of fairy tale aura of ways….as you just never know as your crush may indeed return those feelings you’ve secretly had till then and being cute like Nagasaku, all she needed to do was show up~. Just a little sweet memory that I thought I’d share with you as you most likely already know of my insatiable Mr.Children♥ appetite and it’s also a perfect reminiscing for leading into tonight’s Unzipped♥.
The photos atop and just below are scans from my copy of Nagasaku Hiromi’s “UK. ASAGAN” shashinshuu which I imagine is a bit of a rarity these days and that in finding a new copy. This photo book published by Bunkasha which is known for their let’s just say…spicier style photo books was released on May 1st, 1997 and that coming just a few years after the break up of idol group Ribbon.
Ribbon was the sister group to CoCo dating back to the origins of the legendary Otomejuku idol projects as both groups debuted in 1989 becoming two of the most popular idol groups into the early 90’s.
Through auditions Otomejuku was born and from it expanded the creation of both groups and solo acts and while CoCo was indeed the cutesier produced and presented of the two main group acts, Ribbon became known eventually as the much edgier and rock~n~rollin’ of the two as many of their singles and album tracks moved from pure~j~pop into pure~j~rock into the latter years of the groups’ discography.
Ribbon was a trio of whirlwind talent with Nagasaku Hiromi (above center), Satoh Aiko (left) and Matsuno Arimi (right) creating a tour de force of vocal talent which saw equality on all levels as each could easily hold their own and appropriately the vocal lines distributed very much in the same manner with none being a central member for that matter. Hiromi, Aiko and Arimi also possess such vastly unique tones and nuances in their voices that identifying each of their solo lines becomes quite the simple affair after learning just a few of their songs over a short period of time and speaking of vocal ability, the trio of Ribbon till this day I believe remains as one of the most talented and impressive.
~The Music Videos~
~Ribbon “Be My Diamond!” (music video)~
“Be My Diamond!” was released on April 7th, 1993 and was the second to the final single the group released. This song is within my all time top 15 J~pop favorites♥, really I think it’s that perfect and memorable and of course that catchy! And while I did mention the central member format being a non factor for Ribbon it does appear in a rarity for this song as Nagasaku Hiromi takes the chorus solos throughout the song and Yes!..her voice is the most sultry of the trio as you can clearly hear in this single performance! I’ve always loved the way this video was edited and shot with each girl on the outer reaches of the circular stage facing outwards and the inclusion of the play footage is pretty priceless too! “Be My Diamond” is one of the sweetest melodies you’ll hear complete with a nostalgic wink to the past in its shoo~bee~doo~bee~doo~wops♥ backgrounds and just the way that this chorus builds up so gradually and melodically perfect, it’s not unlike a musical~note orgasm* when Nagasaku Hiromi starts hitting those ever so strong and heartfelt lyrics “….itsuka kitto….”
And Yes! these first two Ribbon songs here without question have received the ‘coveted’ =P Maochan Music Seal of Approval ＾＾。
~Ribbon “S”ENSATIONAL WIND (music video)~
“S”ENSATIONAL WIND was released on September 2nd 1992 and was Ribbon’s 10th single release. “S”ENSATIONAL WIND is also a member of my all time top 15 J~pop favorites♥!..and for all of the very same reasons mentioned just prior for “Be My Diamond!” This song’s composition structure is just awesome!!! Love the classic ‘beach’ styled guitars and the way the bass thumps and jogs into a perfect driving rock cradle beneath it all, and as always with Ribbon, the girls’ voices here so immaculate in both harmonies and solo throughout! This video’s really cool too as it was shot with a camcorder look for much of it and you can really learn Hiromi, Aiko and Arimi’s personalities as this music video is pure candid fun all the time x’s ten!
my Ribbon singles collection complete….
..and my Ribbon album collection complete~.
~Ribbon “Yappari Ribbon wa yamerarenai” (MV)~
A most candidly fun mv and the Ribbon girl’s are surely getting their rock on throughout this out of the box composition!! “ROCK’N’ROLL RIBBON” was released on March 18th, 1994.
~Ribbon “Taiyou no yukue” (mv)~
And another cutely candid MV by Ribbon, here the girls go on a road trip and the song itself ….there’s a bit of caliente goodness happening here! “Taiyou no yukue” was released on March 3rd, 1991.
~Ribbon “Merry Hurry de aishite” (mv)~
Polished Ribbon at their very best here as there’s a great suave~vibe to the girl’s vocals no question! Also from their album “ROCK’N’ROLL RIBBON” which was released on March 18th, 1994.
~Ribbon “Do You Remember Me?” (mv)~
The nostalgia of a smoky nightclub of yesteryear serves as the perfect set for Ribbon’s single “Do You Remember Me?” …complete with those ultra cool mics and this is easily one of Ribbon’s very best harmonized songs which gives us the J-pop take on the doo~wop era gone modern. “Do You Remember Me?” was released on December 2nd, 1992.
~Ribbon “Deep Breath” (mv)~
The complexity of the pre-chorus harmonies which overlap beautifully speak for themselves as Ribbon presents even a tad bit of swimsuit gratuities here ^^. “Deep Breath” was released on February 21st, 1992.
~Ribbon “Silent Summer” (mv)~
Gotta love pvs from early 90’s as first it’s mysterious face-slapping =O, then an outdoor barbeque with shades of a concert performance all tidied up with a bit of hanabi play =). “Silent Summer” was released on June 26th, 1991.
~Ribbon “Virgin Snow” (mv)~
A gorgeously melancholy melody makes for a love at first listen song here! And just as sweet are the girl’s vocals which harmonize with the best of them and the vocal arrangement here is superb!! It’s notable that even at this early stage of their careers, vocally …Ribbon was quite superior in the realm of J~Girl groups. Truly one of my most favorite ballads of all~time easily!! “Virgin Snow” was released on November 14th, 1990.
~Ribbon “Anoko ni yoroshiku” (mv)~
Such a cute~cute and catchy song which reassures us that the 80’s visuals of music video making was alive and well in Japan into the 90’s =)! Sure the keyboards and drum styling may have the essence of being dated, however it’s this song’s genki melody which screams golden age J-Pop as it hits with hook~line~and~sinker upon the arrival of the pre~chorus into the great chorus itself!! “Anoko ni yoroshiku” was released on July 25th, 1990.
~Ribbon “Little Date”/ “Soba ni iru ne” (mvs)~
Here’s Ribbon’s very first two singles back-to-back and do note the golden age of J-pop dance choreography as it appears from time to time within AKB48’s choreography likewise, a true testament to AkiP’s love and planned resurgence of this era in J-music. These music video clips are pretty short so I ended up combining them together here as they rather go seamlessly together musically. “Little Date” was released on December 6th, 1989 while “Soba ni iru ne” was released on April 11th, 1990.
~Ribbon discography/ mv credits (clip)~
And fittingly we end here with the mv credits rolling plus an additional song! …as Ribbon’s discography scrolls down your screen.
And I hope~* you enjoyed this J-pop walk down memory lane as you’ve just heard/watched some of the most celebrated songs by Ribbon, a definite landmark group and in that age of J-music …..the premium placed upon vocal talent was held to such a high standard as you’ve just witnessed, this idol trio leaving their mark, one that can still be very much loved and appreciated today~. ^^