Long overdue, I thought this might be a good time for me to start off a segment that I mentioned that I would like to appear on any Akina fansite someday. Inspiration from a Chiemi Hori fansite where 5 of her fans actually gave star ratings (1-5) on every single that she has released, made me realise that we needed to start somewhere. So, here we are.
I understand that this might not be the best platform but I think what I am trying to achieve her is everyone’s opinion of her singles from the very beginning. We have to rate the cover, A and B side songs and try to reveal as many tidbits, down from the selection of the single to promotion, and most importantly your review and maybe even your experience or favourite moment.
I will try to do as much as I can but I open the floor to anyone else to add follow-ups to the post and suggestions as well.
最高位=30位売り上げ=17.4万枚 登場週数 = 39
(On another chart, it listed the total sales for Slow Motion as 415,082 枚. It could be the total number shipped because Oricon does not count sales from the smaller retailers)
Fresh from her huge "Star Tanjo" success (you can see her buck teeth from the above photo), Akina flew to Los Angeles to record "Slow Motion" and the songs from her first album "Prologue". Slow Motion’s debut on Oricon chart was not spectacular, hovering around the 60-80th position (I lost my data sheets) but eventually made its climb to 30th around the middle period of its stay.
Though it is not a high position by all means, the fact that it stayed more than half a year (39 weeks) showed that it had a lot of support behind it. Compared to the other debut singles of her peers, it was definitely the diamond of the crowd. I have decided to chart her other peer’s results so that we can do some form of comparison here (not that there i much):
小泉今日子 – 私の16才 (最高位=22位 売り上げ=9.7万枚 登場週数=17)
早見優 – 急いで!初恋 (最高位=36位 売り上げ=6.3万枚 登場週数=13)
堀ちえみ – 潮風の少女 (最高位=27位 売り上げ=8.8 万枚 登場週数=16)
石川秀美 – 妖精時代 (最高位=31位 売り上げ=6.0万枚 登場週数=13)
松本伊代 – ｾﾝﾁﾒﾝﾀﾙ･ｼﾞｬｰﾆｰ (最高位=9位 売り上げ=34.3 万枚 登場週数=20) – Her biggest hit though technically not the same batch because this single was released on 21.10.1981 but they all seem to be mentioned in one breath. A big issue at that time was also that NHK wanted her to change the lyrics in the song "伊代はまだ" because they did not allow any promotions on NHK TV". Just like they wanted Momoe to change the lyric "Porsche" in her hit song "Playback Part 2" to "Kuruma".
松田聖子 – 裸足の季節 (最高位=12位 売り上げ=28.2 万枚 登場週数=29) – Just for anyone who wondered. It is also the CM song for Shiseido Ekubo cosmetics.
Cover – ***
スロ－モ－ション – ****
条件反射 – **1/2 (maybe someone can find better looking stars than this ;-))
A brilliant debut single. Sweet, luscious melody, though I have to admit it grew on me especially after her few remakes (True Best and Double Decade). It is a song that stands the test of time and still brings a tear sometimes to my eye when I hear Akina sing live.
Compared to many other debut singles, it is a mature style that would pave the way of differentiation from the other pop idols trying to make a mark in the JPop world. It is no surprise that Akina and Seiko were marked out for stardom because they had better debut singles than many other singers around them.
I don’t like the coupling song very much though it is more in line with her second single "少女A" with markedly different vocals from the A-side. I think the choice to make a B-side was a good one. It seemed to present a Good girl-Bad girl flip side on the single.
I can’t say I like the sweet voice that she sings her debut songs very much, but they seemed to suit the song, and it is not even a quarter as saccharine/irritating as many other singers who try to sing in a cute fashion … not implying that Akina is doing it here. I think it was her genteel interpretation.
As for the cover, I like the original than the one that I think is a limited press. It’s not too sweet or innocent which paints the right image of Akina.
So, what does everyone else think. Maybe the other VAMPires can offer their reviews via followup, and Hamu can insert her wonderful work of translation to share with everyone this beautiful song and someone on the awards it won.
Finally, a little present for all Akina fans. Since I don’t think she sang it on TV, here is the promotional video for "Slow Motion". I tried to attach the youtube video here but it’s not working, so many Dani Baby can help me here. Anyway, here is the link for it: