Creating a soft rock sound so mellow as to make the Carpenters sound heavy, the husband and wife duo of Le Couple has been releasing music since 1994 and surprisingly, for a Japanese group, never got into the business until their early thirties. In the late '80s, Ryuuji Fujita and Emi Fujita were making their way as a young couple in Tokyo. Ryuuji had his dreams of being a professional musician and with Emi ran a small "live house" (a bar with live music), where he would occasionally play with pick-up bands when he wasn't serving. Being without a band for a while, he asked his wife to sing and the duo was born. Their initial repertoire consisted of covers of Western '60s and '70s pop hits (think the Hollies, James Taylor, the Searchers). They began to play around the city and were scouted one night when playing in Harajuku. The decision was made to promote the two as a "husband and wife duo," and upon the release of their first album, Hide & Seek, they toured Japan in a station wagon, promoting themselves in the most grassroots way possible. Ryuuji went back to songwriting and Emi wrote the lyrics. Building a small following, the two got a big break in 1997 when their song "Hidamari no toki" was chosen as the theme song to the drama Shinryo Naika-i Ryoko. The single stayed on the charts for 11 months and sold nearly 1.5 million copies. On the Sofa, a follow-up mini-album, was produced by Tore Johansson. Five albums and one best-of later and the group went on hiatus in 2000.
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