New Album 「艶歌」

Okay, prepare for this … Just when we think that Akina’s vocals are weakening, she prepares herself for her biggest challenge yet with her new album due 20th June. According to this report from Sanspo today, Akina is inviting everyone to her Universal homepage to vote three songs … not just any, but Enka songs that she will cover in her upcoming album.

So, it’s goodbye to 歌姫, but hello to 艶歌(姫)? I don’t think she dares to take on the enka princess title, but it is indeed a catchy topic, that will capture much publicity and attention to her. What if the album becomes a hit? Will she sing enka at this year’s 紅白? This is the full report:




 明菜が演歌に転身? 歌手、中森明菜(41)がポップス歌手として初めて、演歌のカバーアルバムを制作することが11日、分かった。収録曲は12日からネット投票を行い、この結果をもとに決定する。制作担当は「日本人のDNAに演歌への共感、歌心に、明菜流のアプローチをかける」と意気込んでおり、6月20日の発売を目指し来月からレコーディングに入る。










Akina will begin recording in May and will be singing it to a full orchestra. Akina aim is to inject new life into enka with an orchestral twist. I also just realised that it is not strictly limited to enka and that 歌謡曲 is also included. This will make for a much more interesting compilation.

Fans and alike will be able to vote 3 songs that they want Akina to cover by clicking on the hyperlink above and naming them. Polls will begin on today …

I believe she has already chosen three that will be covered – 。「天城越え」(石川さゆり)や「越冬つばめ」(森昌子)、「みちづれ」(牧村三枝子)- which I agree are all signature tunes of the singers and lovely songs which I would love Akina to cover. Other songs that I think she should cover personally are:

(1) 冬のリヴィエラ – 森進一 (or 襟裳岬) – I love the former because it is more 歌謡 than enka.

(2) 雨の慕情 – 八代亜紀 – I want to see Akina emulate the "hand piercing the sky movement"

(3) 心のこり – 細川たかし – lovely tune. I like 北酒場 too but I think I will throw up if she sings it. Too obiang (old fashioned for Akina)

(4) 川の流れのように – 美空ひばり – this will be her 石原裕次郎 but a much better song.

(5) 幸せ or もしかしてPARTⅡ- 小林幸子 – I hope that she will choose the former so that it will fulfill my dream of Akina finally covering a 中島みゆき composition.

(6) 遣らずの雨 – 川中美幸 – her best.

(7) 熱き心に – 小林旭 – again more 歌謡 than enka, and Akina’s voice suits the song. Moreover, it is written by 大滝詠一.

(8) 瀬戸の花嫁 – 小柳ルミ子 (爱的礼物)

(9) 二人でお酒を – 梓みちよ – one of my favourite enkas. Debatable as to whether it is 歌謡 though

(10) 雪國 – 吉 幾三 – a good song which Akina should remember.

(11) 夫婦坂 – 都 はるみ – this will be a real challenge

(12) あじさい橋 – 城之内早苗 (the unique 演歌 member of おニャン子クラブ) – I love this song

(13) かこわれて、愛jing – Matsuyakko – 誰か?- Wanna guess?

(14) きよしのズンドコ節 – 氷川きよし – okay, this is officially my most controversial choice. I might gag if Akina does choose this. It’s along the lines of 浪花節だよ人生は, which is a better song, and which I have very fond memories of Danny Bunny serenading us REALLY LOUDLY outside Shinjuku station, sending 乱火 scraming for cover.

Now, my 歌謡曲 wishlist, which is more exciting for me:

(1)  つぐない, 愛人 or 時の流れに身をまかせ – テレサ・テン – I used to like the latter two, but the former has my vote now

(2) ブルーライト・ヨコハマ – いしだあゆみ – I love this song

(3)  また逢う日まで – 尾崎紀世彦 – There is a disco remix on the movie メゾン・ド・ヒミコ,which made it quite catchy but cheesy as well.

(4)  ラヴ・イズ・オーヴァー – 欧陽菲菲 – Suits her

(5) 魅せられて or 麗華の夢 – ジュディ・オング – Can this please be considered 歌謡 …

(6) 涙そうそう – 夏川りみ – this too!

(7) 喝采 – ちあきなおみ (Akina covered in 1983 or 84. I think this should be included)

(8) あの鐘をならすのはあなた or だってしょうがないじゃない – 和田アキ子 – I prefer the former and her voice actually suits these songs.

What about the rest of you? Any good suggestions?

More reports: 

If like 乱火さん says , and Akina is reading our blog, please release a "Singer Songwriter Cover Album" as your next project, I have many songs that I think you should cover …



Akina fanboy since 14. Still undecided which are his top ten favourite Akina tracks as it's mission impossible. Digs "Everlasting Love" a whole lot more than the average Akina fan.

12 thoughts on “New Album 「艶歌」

  1. this is BIG news. finally.

    somehow, during our past VAMP MGM, we have mentioned this many times…and now, it is finally true!!

    i think akina is reading our blog…hearing our MGM…hahaha

    天城越え,越冬つばめ are 2 of my fav…

    will think about more later today =)

  2. OMFG!!

    it’s for real!!! she heard us! we’ve dreamt and hypothesized about her next challenge being Enka, and there she goes fulfilling our fantasies!! RESPECTS & SALUTATIONS!

    and so soon!! June!!! YAY!!!

  3. It’s the logical progression to do an Enka album after the Uta Hime series. This is something that I’ve been suspecting that she might do for a long time. I’m actually looking forward to hearing Akina’s version of「天城越え」. After all, my friends and I have been mocking 石川さゆり for some time now – I know that’s called "in-character" but everytime she sings that song, her facial expression and her body movements just crack us up.

    I’m a bit concerned about the release date though – June 20 isn’t that far away and it all sounds a bit rushed. I mean, the poll will close some time in early May and then the arranger will have to start doing his job. Akina will then have to record the whole thing relatively quickly, ensuring there is ample time for all the mastering, pressing and printing stuff. Maybe it’s always done that way. I guess you can call that Japanese efficiency.

  4. valid concern there Jerry, but Akina used to release an album every 3 months!! 😉 so i’m sure it’s do-able! =) at least the songs are already written. all they have to do is to arrange it, and in she goes into the studio!

  5. Wow… O___O

    I do hope the poll doesn’t cause them too much stress.

    But I’m rather clueless about enka. The only enka singer I know is Rikki but I haven’t really listened to her music so I won’t be able to participate in voting. ;__;

    Even if she will take on some pop songs I assume most fans will vote for some older music and not that recent music? Don’t really know anything about the 70’s and 80’s pop music so I’ll be as clueless about that as the enka music. .___.

    Any idea if Senju Akira will be doing the arrangements again? I really like his work.

  6. I’m very excited with a full orchestra. The first Uta Hime has a very nice arragnement. I hope this serie is as nice. I also hope Akina has her voice back for this album and not strain it even more.

    I’m excited.

  7. Hi MG,

    Firstly, who is Rikki? I have absolutely no idea who he/she is, and would love to know.

    Secondly, Senju Akira is indeed the producer:


    I am interested in how the polls go as well because everyone has their favourites and are they going for the Top 10-12 regardless of what she really wants to sing?

    Three more songs for your consideration:

    人生いろいろ – 島倉千代子

    嫁に来ないか – 新沼謙治

    愛の讃歌 – 越路吹雪

  8. Well Jamez, according to wiki.theppn she’s descriped as a folk (isn’t that the same as enka?)/Shimauta singer. She has a very unique high-pitched singing technique (or was it that enka music usually has this kind of singing?). I came to know her from performing the theme song "Suteki da ne" for the Playstation 2 game Final Fantasy X.

    Here’s a link to that song

    It’s a really beautiful song in my opinion so it would be very exciting to hear Akina sing it.

    And great to hear that Senju Akira is back once again. I guess they must really enjoy working together.

  9. Oh yeah, this made me realise that I actually remember another enka singer: Hajime Chitose! I really grew to like her as watching Ayakashi which featured her sonng "Haru no Katami" as the show’s ending song. I really have to remember to check her music out someday. She also sings very beautifully.

    Here are some links again if you’re interested

  10. I like both Rikki and 元ちとせ but I believe they are both folk rather than enka singers. I don’t know if they are included in the list but they are indeed beautiful pieces.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

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