Music legends of Japan

Within the musical world of Japan there are two acts that have gone down in history as legends and continue to inspire new generations. These are:

Pink Lady:

In the mid-1970s, two teens participated in a television talent contest and won. In no time, these childhood friends became one of the most famous, if not legendary, artists in the history of Japanese pop music. Although their time in the limelight was painfully short, they were universally loved and appreciated by young people and adults alike. Even after forty years, their fame has not diminished in the slightest, as they are as popular and loved as ever. We are talking, of course, about the immortal Mie and Kei, better known to their legions of fans around the world as “Pink Lady.”

They basically created the concept of “Japanese Idol” as we know it.

When the girls appeared on television to promote their debut single, “Pepper Keibu” (Police Inspector Pepper), they had completely transformed. Gone are sweatpants, replaced by slick, sparkly minidresses. The chords of his popular female melodies also disappeared, replaced by catchy lyrics and disco rhythms. Also part of their new act were their dance routines, a combination of youthful vibrancy, sexy moves, and almost robotic precision, as repeated appearances on television made it clear that the girls had been programmed to dance in exactly the same way. every time.

The kids also loved when step-by-step instructions on how to imitate the choreography of Pink Lady’s songs came through children’s books. Children and adults spent hours in front of the television trying to learn Pink Lady’s choreography.

In March 1981, they held a farewell concert at Korakuen Stadium (Japan’s largest open-air stadium) and later disbanded.

On Wednesday, September 1, 2010, the duo announced their return during a press conference that featured the launch of a specialized photo book. Innovation, 2 albums with re-recorded versions of their past hits, was released in December of that same year. A concert tour was followed in March 2011, marking the 30th anniversary since its official disbandment in 1981.

The Japanese Music Show

Japanese music show »Music Station» ranked them in their Top 50 Idols of All Time based on sales figures provided by Oricon. They placed # 15, with sales exceeding 13,000,000. However, Billboard magazine claims that they sold more than 15 million singles and 2.25 million albums.

This is proof positive that, after forty years, Pink Lady’s popularity has not waned at all, and their place as icons and legends in the world of Japanese pop culture is definitely assured.

For people interested in Japanese music, Pink Lady is one of the most important references, marking a before and after of the Japanese music industry.

Kitaro

World music composer Kitaro has a Golden Globe Avard, an Oscar nomination, five Grammy nominations and dozens of albums. He is appreciated primarily for his ability to blend various ethnic and cultural influences into his music.

This Japanese keyboardist, born in Toyohashi in 1953, is known as the highest representative in his country of the style new age, in which he has been able to introduce elements of traditional Japanese music; his most famous work is the one entitled The Silk Road. His image and his compositions are very characteristic and his proposals have had a profound impact in both North America and Europe, which is why he has become the most renowned Japanese musician in the West.

Coming from a farming family of Buddhist-Shinto descent, Kítaro grew up in a rural environment where nature was a source of inspiration. Although his music is increasingly progressive, it has always been very important for him to preserve traditional Japanese values.

In his early days, inspired by the R&B music of Otis Redding, he learned to play guitar on his own. Kitaro himself points out that he never had a musical education and that he only learned to trust his ears and his feelings. He attributes his creations to a force beyond himself. When he finished school he went to Tokyo and started looking for bands to play. He played the keyboard and discovered the synthesizer. Since 1983, his respect for nature leads Kitaro to thank him every year with a special concert at the Mt Fuji era.

The first two albums Have kai Y From the Full Moon Story they became works of worship for admirers of the nascent New Age movement.

In 1976, he left the band and toured Asia.

Kitaro was the first in the world to use a synthesizer to recreate the sound of 40 different instruments.

After becoming famous in Asia and other parts of the world, Kitaro moved to the United States to continue his career. He achieved international celebrity in 1986, and it was his famous soundtrack for the NHK series “Silk Road” that attracted international attention and allowed him to reach a worldwide distribution deal with Geffen Records. He made important collaborations with renowned popular musicians such as singer Ian Anderson from “Yes” and Mickey Hart from the “Grateful Dead.” By the end of 1987 he had sold ten million albums worldwide, a year later he released a collection of top hits on a double CD entitled »Ten Years«, remastered and reissued by Domo in 1997. In this time period Kitaro won also his first Grammy nomination, thanks to »The Field«, the single taken from his album »Light of the Spirit» in turn reissued in 1997. His greatest musical success was the 2001 Grammy Award for his album Thinking of You.

Music legends of Japan