12 December, 2010

Seiko Matsuda "Garasu no Ringo (Glass Apples)

Seiko Matsuda is one of the greatest singers in Japan. She made her sensational debut in 1980, 30 years ago, when I was 11 years old.

It was so sensational that all the school girls changed their hair cut imitating hers. There were probably only 2 times in the past 100 years when so many girls changed the hair cut.

The first time was when Audrey Hepburn came out with Roman Holiday.  It was before I was born, but my mother told me even she had her hair short!

The second time was Seiko.

I have been a great fan of her for 30 years. She has so many female followers, as well as some gay followers. Among Japanese gay men, Seiko is the "diva" or "gay icon."

This tune, Garasu no Ringo (Glass Apples) is one of her greatest hits. It came out in 1983.

One thing I feel sorry about her is that she has become so keen about singing in English for the US market. Unfortunately US market is not very easy for Asian pop singers, no matter how talented they are.

In 1991, Seiko released two singles and one album in the US. The first single, The Right Combination became a smash hit on Billboard Top 100. She released two more albums in the US, they both reached some audience.

The Right Combination in 1990

Let's Talk About It in 1995

All to You in 2002

I personally love all the English songs she released in the US, they are all so enjoyable and nice to listen to. But none of them really touches my heart as this jewel piece, Glass Apples.

When I first visited France, a local friend asked me "how is Seiko doing these days?" That was about 4 years ago. An Indonesian pop singer was very popular singing songs in French then.

"If they have nice voices and sing in French, we are happy to listen to them, no matter what countries they are from."

My friend sounded rather sad. I truly believe some Japanese musicians should focus on European market, more than US market.

With her candy voice, if Seiko sings in French, it will sound awfully sweet. My ears will have cavities!!!

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