Understanding that there were several years ranging from the late 1980s into the early 1990s during which some female singers dove into this form of sophisticated pop with those champagne synthesizers, I was kinda wondering who jumped off the diving board first.
Well, names like Ruiko Kurahashi（倉橋ルイ子）and Etsuko Sai（彩恵津子）popped up in my head. Then, there is Chiyono Yoshino（吉野千代乃）. I introduced her through "Kayo Kyoku Plus" with the very first song that I got to know her for, "Tsukiyo no Monologue"（月夜のモノローグ）that came out in 1988.
Her debut single, though, had been released a couple of years earlier in March 1986, and that was "Kanashimi no Tapestry" (Tapestry of Sorrow). From the words and music provided by Sanae Ohta（太田早苗）, that urban contemporary feeling was evident from the first bar. The Oricon charts at the time may have been populated with the songs of various aidoru and enka singers, but I appreciated the fact that there was this somewhat "hidden" genre of kayo that didn't seem to care about rankings but could give forth a classier type of Japanese pop.
Of course, City Pop had been around for several years by the time Yoshino made her debut but it seems as if the late 1980s was a time for another form of Japanese urban contemporary music to appear off to the side. In any case, on the same day that "Kanashimi no Tapestry" was released, Yoshino's debut album also came out, "Rain Ballade".