29 comments on “Hello! Project COMPLETE ALBUM BOOK Roundtables: The Recording Directors

  1. This basically explains how Tsunku moving aside was able to be so seamless. A long time before the process was already in place. The only real change was unfortunately Tsunku couldn’t write as much. I like the part about them literally merging songs this explains a lot of H!P material. XD

    Thanks as ever for these, they are gold!

  2. Very good read. As an (part time) musician, I always pay attention to little detail in their songs. Reading this, left me qith impression at there are lots more I need to look into in my next listen. Thanks for translation of this article.

  3. “Though I probably shouldn’t name names…”

    Proceeds to name names.

    And I love how they shaded Konno/Sayu’s singing with Namida ga Tomaranai LOL.

      • Except he named Maasa and forgot about Hagiwara and Nakajima!!! Maasa isn’t the best singer ever but name HER and not those two? Kill that guy please, Maasa is like 30 times better.

        • THIS. Hagiwara Mai has the most annoying and dreadful voice ever. I was REALLY suprised that they didn’t mention her but that they mentioned Sudou.

          • Someone disliked Melody’s comment already? LOL, but it was so true, are you going to tell me Maimai is a great singer? Nakki is so-so. Maybe that “kill that guy” part was harsh but I guess she/he wasn’t being serious.

  4. I’ve always been curious, but what is kayou kyoku? What defines it? I’ve read it a lot when it comes to 80s songs and they brought it up here with Aa Susukino, but being completely incompetent when it comes to music, I just don’t get it.

    • It’s kind of hard to define. Wikipedia/The Japan Times says: “standard Japanese pop” or “Showa era pop.” But it’s also a “feeling.” It’s kind of like the word “rock” — what is that, really? Sure, you can recognize a good, proper rock song when you hear one. But it can mean so many different things, too. When Tsunku♂ says he wants to live his life in a “rock’n’roll” way, he probably doesn’t mean it in the “sex, drugs & rock’n’roll” sense of the word. When he sees a teenage girl at an audition and says “damn, this girl is rock’n’roll,” he probably isn’t saying it in the same sense as one would think Slash from the Guns N’ Roses is “rock’n’roll.”

      Similarly, I don’t know if you would call “Aa Susukino” a flat-out kayou kyoku song per se. But there are echoes of it in there. A kayou influence; a feel. I’d think the only way you can truly get what it means is by listening to a bunch of music classified as such. And that’s a fun adventure to go on in itself.

    • I understand kayou kyoku as jpop songs before city pop. Pink Lady’s music as likes. Have you ever heard Morning Musume’s Cover You? that’s all about kakyou. Another example will be AKB’s Koisuru Fortune Cookie.

    • It’s difficult to accurately describe in words as far as sound goes (as are most genres of music). Kayou Kyoku took hold mainly in the 50s as a form of popular music, essentially the beginnings of current Jpop as it emerged away from classical Japanese music and incorporated more western influences. It’s hard to pin down because it went through so many changes over time, but it was largely influenced by jazz and rock (The Beatles being the most obvious). Modern Jpop is more or less a further evolved KK under a different name, you can still find remnants of those influences in a lot of music today.

      I think you’ll “get” the sound they’re talking about here the more you listen to Showa Era music, especially stuff from the 70s and 80s (but further back can’t hurt). Sakamoyo Kyu, The Peanuts, Sakurada Junko, Yamaguchi Momoe.

      – As a sidenote I recommend reading about the evolutation of Jpop in general. Even just running down the Wikipedia page for “Jpop” is interesting if you like history. It’s had a long time to evolve over the years, and there are a lot of contributing factors.

  5. Wow the legend of the three Rokkies just grows and speaking of Sato, Henkka there is some good stuff going on with Chandelier Duu

  6. How do I suppose live knowing that there’s a W’s album 80% and probally will never see the light of day?

  7. Wow, I’m sure this must have taken a long time Henkka, but it’s definitely worth it! Thank you for putting the effort into this! So much content I can’t even point to specific things without it taking up a ton of space, but certainly as UubTay put it, helping to expand the H!P canon!

  8. Thanks so much for translating all of this! (I’ve started on the Singles interviews as well)

    This was pure catnip to read. All of the evaluations of the various vocal talents over the years, musing over the dynamics of the session players and arrangers, the interactions with Tsunku, oh man that was a treasure trove of insight and history.

  9. I am glad you put so much effort to this. It is brilliant for people to understand the hard work at hello project.

  10. Yeah. Even a music director was mystified by Masaki Sato’s natural talent for music and sense of perceiving things, well Tsunku noticed it already way back, and I recall the director of their last stage play was surprised by Sato as if a revelation struck him and elaborately praised her twice–first was in an interview, and the second was via tweet. Man, too bad Maachan’s throat got deteriorated lately, although it’s starting to heal up. She had the momentum last year and early in 2016 of sharing with Oda as the songstresses of MM, but things got out of hand because of her throat. I guess the positive side of her current injury (the back injure thing) is she can rest her throat as well. And something to look forward next year: a W centered song with Sashihara Rino (another victim of Maa’s enigma lol.) Speaking of it, how about translating news on this big event, Henkka?

    Anyways, Thanks a lot for this read! One of your best stuff here,

  11. Thank you for translating this amazing interview and sharing!! I always felt like I was missing a big chunk of the music-creating process in H!P, but this pretty much filled in all the gaps that I had been wondering about. A nice mix of technical stuff and personal anecdotes and outlooks about some of the girls themselves.

  12. Amazing post, it was really interesting to read. I knew that something had happened with Risako after Otakebi Boy, that was the first time I thought “Oh, she’s improving” and this confirms everything.

    I was only surprised they didn’t mention Hagiwara Mai as one of the “vocally-challenged members”, I mean… I don’t think I even have to say why it was a surprise. Also Nakajima Saki to a lesser extent. Sudou Maasa had some problems with her deep voice but I wouldn’t expect her to show up on that list… not without the other two at least lol.

    Lots of great anecdotes in this…

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