For today's Throwback Thursday post, we are going back to the Golden Age where solo idols ruled the stage and they more often performed with live instruments over backing tracks! This will prove relevant later, I promise!
The video I am sharing now is from Sakai Noriko, better known to her fans as "Nori-P". The song is her mega-hit "Norenai Teen-age". I am not only a fan of this song, but also of Sakai Noriko in herself and I like spreading the word of idols sometimes forgotten. While not one of the "big three" of the eighties, she had one of the biggest followings of the day and remained strongly supported into the nineties when many early idols saw their careers end. Her sound was unique in that it was at once both accessible and catchy but also came with just a hint of a rebellious edge. She started her career very young, even by idol standards of the time, at the age of fifteen and began both acting and singing. Young or not, she was winning awards and performing on huge stages within a few short months.
Her debut single was "Otoko no ko ni Naritai" (I want to be a boy) but she really hit it big with the song "Nagisa no Fantasy". Many of her next singles would be hits such as "Nori-P Ondo" "GUANBARE" and "Diamond Blue" . Despite this huge early success and rise to stardom, her biggest hit wasn't from the eighties. It actually came about in the nineties with the song "Aoi Usagi". This was on the eve of her attempts to break into the mainland Asian market and as such it would be translated and performed in Chinese. Not one to rest idle, she would continue to perform throughout the nineties and early 2000s and perhaps might be still performing today if she didn't have the pesky problem of a drug-related conviction in 2009 that has pretty much put her career on an indefinite hiatus that it may not recover from.
The video chosen here is a live performance of the song from her 1988 Tour. At this point the song had been part of her repertoire for over a year and the arrangement is a bit different than the studio version, but is probably even more enjoyable in its present state. Enjoy!
◆ Rin Rigoni