07. BITTER AND SWEET (1985.04.03)

01. Kazari janai no yo namida ha [New Remix Version]

From Akina Nakamori Singles 1982-1991: "Continuing her streak of just amazing singles, Kazari janai no yo namida wa is the final single of 1984. It's hard to describe this one. The single version here is like a dance/jazz hybrid, but the tweaked version from the album BITTER & SWEET sounds like late disco. The key ingredient of this song (and most of Nakamori's songs) is bass. Bass and some increasingly speedy lyrics."

So to confirm...yes, the version on the album is different from the single version. I have this thing where I can't leave things alone...so I did end up chopping together a hybrid version based on the single and album version. Basically if you bookend the single version with the intro/outro of the album version, you're left with a nice extended mix.

02. Romantic yoruda wa

A slick electro-jazz hybrid track. Kazari janai no yo namida ha kinda abruptly feeds into this song for some odd reason. Regardless, it certainly keeps the momentum going from the upbeat introductory track.

03. Yokan

A slow jam, and a reaaaallly good one. It's actually pretty fair to assume that Nakamori is a fan of this song as well since it not only appears on a later mini album, but was one of the few non-single tracks to get a self-cover on a later covers album that I will be covering.

04. Tsukiyo no Ve~nus

Again, a very good song. Oddly enough, the singing is the most out-of-place thing here...and yet it all just kinda works. The music is incredibly on point, though. It's actually a really good test song if you're trying to set balance on your stereo. If you listen to this with cheap headphones it sounds really, really weird. I really like this one.


Babylon... I kiiiinda talked about this one already. A "Remix" version of this song appeared on the single for Akai tori nigeta. The album version is much less weird, but I love the hell out of it. It's a disjointed epic of utter madness, and one of Nakamori's first prominent uses of English. 1985 later saw her first full English song Don't Tell Me This Is Love from the MY BEST THANKS mini album, but this is really the genesis of what would become a regular splashing of English...and she's great at it!

If I were a betting man, I would say that the "Remix" version from the single was the demo and deemed a bit too weird...


So good. An upbeat rock song. Maybe a tad on the generic side in context of the album. If this song were on a lesser album it'd probably be the best song on it. The name is a taddd misleading, it's a pretty fun listen with plenty of that frantic bass.


Bringing things down just a little bit for this one. A great little jazz piece with a really nice floatiness to it. It kinda reminds me of some songs from other artists, but it has plenty going for it to make it unique in it's own right. The little samba breakdown, for example bridges the song perfectly.

08. Koibito no iro jikan

Another great upbeat track. I would actually liken it the most to Tsukiyo no Ve~nus from this album in that it's a fantastic song with singing that is almost out-of-place. The song is fast, but the lyrics are delivered at a more leisurely pace. It works though!


A slow jam that really just knocks it out of the park. This reminds me of some really great R&B... Completely out of place in 1985, but it's also very modern at the same time. The lyrics are just perfectly sung as well. Really, if you're one of those weirdos like me who enjoys the deep cuts like Lady In My Life from Michael Jackson's Thriller, you'd like this one.

Was there really such a thing as a deep cut on the best selling album of all time...?


The final track...and it's a slower one. Something of an odd choice considering we're coming off of a slightly faster song. Regardless, this is another R&B inspired piece of excellence.

Babylon would have been the best track to close this album out. Hahaha. How weird would that have been?

OVERALL: This really is the first perfect album that Akina Nakamori put out. Literally...not a bad song on it. There isn't a single note out of place, there isn't a single thing I wish was even 5% better. This album is Akina Nakamori and her team firing on all cylinders for the very first time. It's also really the first time she displayed some of her weirdness with Babylon. Yeah, up to this point she was kind of a girl who sang love songs and that's it.

This is pretty much the point where her career split into two--albums and singles. While POSSIBILITY was a bit different, it wasn't as much of a stand out as this album. Even the title BITTER & SWEET  kinda implies that, well, we're now dealing with two versions of Nakamori from now on.

I've noticed that a lot of people have called this their favorite album of hers. It's up there for me, but no...the best is yet to come. I highly recommend this one if you're starting out.



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