Nippon Girls: Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1967-1969

Various Artists

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Nippon Girls: Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1967-1969 Review

by Thom Jurek

Another volume in the killer GS I Love You series on Ace’s Big Beat imprint reveals the sultry, swaggering, and tough, hip-shaking young pop and bossa sounds of Japan’s girl pop scene from 1966 through 1970, which is considered one of the more revolutionary eras in Japanese rock modernism. The sounds were adapted straight from America, whether they were the Farfisa-driven pulses of “Kaze to Otoko No Ko” by Mieko Harada that contained more than a hint of the melody and arrangement of John Phillips' “California Dreamin',” or the dreamy Brazilian pop sounds of Ryoko Moriyama's “Ame Agari No Samba” that was adapted straight from the Los Angeles-produced Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66 sound. There’s some sassier stuff here, as well, such as the brassy “Suki Yo Ai Shite” by the infamous Mari Atsumi, with its popping snares, big horns, and strings that come off sounding like Hugo Montenegro writing for Twiggy. “Peacock Baby,” by Reiko Ohara, is equal parts acoustic Ramsey Lewis Trio and Brazil ’66. The beautiful rave-up in “Hatsu Koi No Letter” by Miki Obata is a more drunken Petula Clark if she were backed by the Dave Clark Five. In sum, this is a 25-cut delight, and shows no let up in the sheer campy quality in the GS I Love You compilations.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Jun Mayuzumi 03:57 Amazon
2 Mie Nakao 02:26 Amazon
3 Reiko Ohara 02:49 Amazon
4 Leo Beats / Nana Kinomi 02:36 Amazon
5 Ayumi Ishida 02:24 Amazon
6 Eiko Shuri 02:55 Amazon
7 Mieko Hirota 02:12 Amazon
8 Linda Yamamoto 02:41 Amazon
9 J Girls 02:59 Amazon
10 Mari Atsumi 02:28 Amazon
11 Rumi Koyama 02:37 Amazon
12 Linda Yamamoto 03:03 Amazon
13 The Cupids 02:39 Amazon
14 Jun Mayuzumi 02:41 Amazon
15 Miki Obata 02:39 Amazon
16 Ryoko Moriyama 03:13 Amazon
17 Kaoru Hibiki 03:04 Amazon
18 Mie Nakao 03:48 Amazon
19 Aki Izumi 02:14 Amazon
20 Emy Jackson 02:46 Amazon
21 Keiko Mari 03:01 Amazon
22 Margaret 02:24 Amazon
23 Sayuri Yoshinaga 02:31 Amazon
24 Mieko Hirota 02:29 Amazon
25 Mika Nohira 03:13 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick