I think I was speaking with Marcos one time about how I had pulled myself away from Akina Nakamori's（中森明菜）albums past her 1985 release "D404ME". At the time, I was still enamored enough with her singles that were getting her onto the various music TV shows, but there was a definite divergence between those singles and her album releases. For one thing, none of those singles were put on her original albums for a few years, and for another, from borrowing and purchasing some of those albums such as "Fushigi"（不思議...Strange）, I did actually find the tracks on them a little too strange for me. Therefore, it was more for me to patiently wait for BEST compilations by her.
Now I'm starting to realize that what I needed was time and appreciation of the bigger picture of kayo kyoku/J-Pop. In the case of Akina's album material, I was simply too tied down to her Oricon-friendly hits at the time. The singer actually wanted to push the envelope a bit and delve into more interesting pop.
In all honesty, I did buy Akina's 10th studio album from December 1986, "Crimson" as an audiotape from Wah Yueh and listened to it a couple of times. After those two listens, I put it away in a drawer for my tapes and have never listened to it again. That haunting cover photo of her and the seemingly non-Akina Akina songs just didn't do it for me. After borrowing my friend's LP of "Fushigi" which was her previous release, one look at that cover photo from "Crimson" had me rolling my eyes. Ack, not again with the artsy stuff, I scoffed.
Well, now that I am well into the 21st century, I feel like I should flagellate myself with a long stiff shoe horn for my snobbery (I've got a metal one that can kill a man). I will put on that tape again later tonight since I have heard the original recorded version of "OH NO, OH YES!" from "Crimson". Actually, I did hear the concert version of it on my videotape of "AKINA EAST LIVE INDEX-XXIII" but didn't realize that it was from that original album. It was an OK performance but didn't particularly think it was special along the lines of that epic "Tattoo" which started things off. But again, that was back in the late 1980s.
I gotta say that if I had to choose among Akina's range of voices during her career, I will still take her dynamic vocals in the mid-80s before "Fushigi" that she also used on her singles over her subdued and somewhat fragile ones from the 90s onwards although I know that those latter vocals fit certain other songs by her.
The softer vocals do come out on "OH NO, OH YES!" but they do fit this ballad about potential forbidden love. And I now appreciate the words and music by Mariya Takeuchi（竹内まりや）. The melody has that certain genteel but urban atmosphere from the guitar, bass and synth as Akina sings about running to meet that paramour sub rosa somewhere in the big city. Is her significant other a fellow work colleague, her boss, some persona non grata figure or even a same same-sex partner? She's figuratively beside herself over whether she should continue to pursue the affair and face possible social consequences despite the other feeling that this person is THE one for her.
I did use the word "snobbery" earlier, didn't I? Well, I could imagine someone like Mariya or Akiko Kobayashi（小林明子）singing something this mature so why couldn't I accept cutesy aidoru Akina singing this one in her other voice? I don't really have any acceptable excuses anymore. Therefore I will happily accept eating some humble pie and find out more about "Crimson". And so, I should especially when that first track and at least a couple of others were composed by the aforementioned Kobayashi, one of my favourite Japanese pop singers.
So to end this on a wacky note, I initially said "OH NO!" but now I may be proclaiming "OH YES!"