Mayumi Itsuwa - Kokoro No Tomo

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Mayumi Itsuwa is very famous in Japan, and like many others, should be known more world wide. I'm sure you'll find her voice compelling and her songs magnetic. She was born on January 24 1951, and made her debut in 1972. She was recording folk/pop albums since the early 1970's, recording in Japan, the US and Europe. Mayumi Itsuwa has a quiet power in her voice and melodic styling most of her contemporaries lacked. She's commonly known as the Carol King of Japan and was in fact a good friend of hers. [Carol King appears in the credits on a few of Itsuwa's recording as a pianist].

She had a few folk hits in the 1970's, most notably "Shojo" [Virgin], but rose to superstardom in 1980 with "Koibito-yo" which rose number one in Japan as well as number one in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore where it was re-recorded in Chinese. "Koibito-yo" [O Lover] was a departure from her signature folk style. Recorded in Paris France, it has lush string arrangements and a very latin air of melancholy drama. It is a tragic love song, beautifully written, the story of a break-up where the woman is freezing on a park bench broken by rain, waiting for her lover to come back and laugh, that the talk of leaving was just a joke. She had three other top ten hits from that album titled the same.