Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Japanese pop music can be traced to the days of early jazz music. When instrument mainly used in the military was introduced into the music world. And in the end of the world war II the american soldiers who stayed behind deliverd the new diffrent musics of blues & country music to Japan. And so the J-Pop has always lived to wander after the american style in music. But in the 1950's the Rock 'n Roll era started around the 1956 and turned to be most popular around the end of the 50's. And the year where the rock was as is higest tipping point a film was released where all the top icons in the japanese rock world attended. But sadly enough soon after this era the japanese rock died soon after the american rock died out. But in desperation some artist started mixing the Rock 'n Roll with pop music. One of this artist making this possible was Kyu Sakamoto with his song Ue wo Muite ArukĊ , also known as Sukiyaki. And was the first to reach the first place on top list charts in america.

Later during the 1970's and the start of the 1980's the music turned from simple guitar plays to more complex sounds. And instead of the normal society related questions in the song they turned for the words of love & such a likes. Which also came to be called "New Music". Where the names such as Takuro Yoshida & Yosui Inoue where really name to be heard.

Takuro Yoshida

Yosui Inoue

The 1980's the City Pop was cultivated, which was a sort of popular music inspired by the big citys. Specially Tokyo in particular inspired many songs of this form. It was difficult to draw a distinction between City Pop and New Music and many songs fall under both categories. Wasei Pop (lit. Japan-made pop) quickly became a common word to describe both City Pop and New Music. By the 1990s, J-pop became the common term to describe most popular songs.
In the late 1980's the emergence of one of Japan's most famous rock groups of all time, Chage & Aska. A massively popular male singer/songwriter duo consisting of Chage (Shuji Shibata) and Ryo Aska (Shigeaki Miyazaki), they released a string of consecutive monster hits throughout the 1980s and 1990s, establishing themselves as Asia's most popular rock group. Their "Asian Tour II / Mission Impossible" tour was the single largest concert tour ever put on by a Japanese group - the tickets for all 61 concerts in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan sold out on the first day. Ryo Aska is widely considered today to be one of Japan's greatest songwriters. However, with the advent of the Japanese dance-pop music pioneered by Namie Amuro and Tetsuya Komuro in the mid- to late-1990s, the popularity of rock groups like Chage & Aska has declined.

Chage & Aska

When the 90's came the R&B sound was to be the popular sound. It was here the famous singer-songwritter Utada Hikaru debuted with her first single Automatic/time will tell. And her first album First Love sold for over 7 500 000 copies, making it the best selling Japanese album of all time, and the best selling debut album ever in the country. While she sold millions with her R&B sounds, pop music was still popular in Japan. Which solo female singers such as Hamasaki Ayumi, Kuraki Mai and Ami Suzuki, and female pop groups like SPEED and Morning Musume sold millions of records with their pop-techno sounds.

Utada Hikaru

Now in the early 00's, R&B and Hip Hop influences in Japanese music are stronger than ever. J-Hiphop/rock bands such as ORANGE RANGE and Ketsumeishi are at the top of the Oricon charts, with some older pop/rock groups like Mr.Children, B'z and Southern All Stars. The current charts are mainly ruled by male only bands and solo male singers, female pop has declined a lot since the 90's but pop singers like Hamasaki Ayumi and Otsuka Ai still get to #1 with most of their releases.

Ayumi Hamasaki

Orange Range


1 comment:

  1. It's interesting :) but on last photo aren't Orange Range :)