Momoe Yamaguchi was arguably the greatest artist of Japanese pop music. Her short-lived career produced countless hit songs, movies and TV series. Following the marriage to Tomokazu Miura in 1980, Yamaguchi retired, pretty much at the top of her game. Retired at the age of 21! I just find this decision absolutely amazing, and the fact that she remains true to it is even more badass. Unlike zillions of starlets and celebrities out there, she chose family life over the spotlight and it’s nothing but admirable.
Hearing about the Guns n’ Roses reconciliation and their upcoming concerts did make my heart beat faster, but at the same time I get very annoyed with all those comebacks and reunions, which usually are pumped by money. If it’s getting over old feuds and misunderstandings then I guess it’s fine. Yet I’m sure it takes much more guts and determination (and having your priorities in check) to realize what’s really important.
Yamaguchi’s music was quite diverse. While her first singles and albums fit into typical idol pop category (although the lyrics were often provocative and controversial, considering she started out as a 13-14 year old girl), with every new record the music matured, as she mixed in more genres and styles. For example Moebius Game (メビウス・ゲーム) became a concept album, Phoenix Densetsu (不死鳥伝説) was a rock opera. Some songs had Latino influences (サンタマリアの熱い風), Rock n’ Roll Widow (ロックンロール・ウィドウ) was a pure rock tune (with incredible harmonica solo!), Last Song (ラスト・ソング), Sayonara no Mukougawa (さよならの向う側), This is my trial 私の試練 were chills-evoking ballads.
I loved Golden Idol Yukiko Okada compilation so much that I purchased Momoe Yamaguchi 4-CD set as well. The songs are in Blu-spec CD2 high quality format. The album includes tracks from Momoe’s 32 singles, making up for 65 tunes in total, which makes for a lengthy listening session. The thick booklet consists of cover photos of singles and lyrics sheets. Great stuff.