Still on the 1st-year anniversary kick for this blog, my choice for the second profile (along with Yukio Hashi's 1966 "Muhyou") is Yumi Matsutoya's（松任谷由美） "Love Wars", her 21st original album released in November 1989. This was during my time in Gunma Prefecture when I discovered singers like Miki Imai, Mariko Nagai and Princess Princess. However, with Yuming, I had known about her for some years before I made the post-university leap to Japan in July of that year. I came across songs like "Dandelion" and "Ano Hi ni Kaeritai" via "Sounds of Japan"on CHIN-FM in Toronto, and then some more of her tunes via karaoke at Kuri.. Her songs appeared enough times so that I was familiar with her and her enjoyable music, but still wasn't aware how much of an effect she'd had on Japanese pop music. But a few months after my arrival in Japan, I saw the promotion commercials for this album, and decided to plunk down the 3,000 yen for my very first Yuming CD.
The first track is "Valentine's Radio", a sunny start to the album complete with American radio DJ doing a bit of Valentine's Day banter. Although Yuming created the song for February 14th, I've always pictured this more for a Spring day, and my image city has always been San Francisco for some reason. Perfect with a breeze.
|Yumi Matsutoya -- Love Wars|
The LP version was the last one Yuming would release.
Having bought "Love Wars" as my first Yuming album, it was a bit of a revelation to hear all these little toe dips into genres like urban and AOR along with general pop, and the shifts between uptempo and ballads. Up until this purchase, I'd always heard her as primarily a balladeer. And then when I saw some of her concert footage...!
As for "Love Wars" itself, it won The Best Rock/Pop Album Award at the 1990 Japan Record Awards, and was Yuming's 2nd million-seller. In fact, it was the No. 1 album of the year on Oricon, something that she would repeat the next year with her 22nd album, "Tengoku no Door"(天国のドア...The Gates of Heaven).....yup, bought that one, too.