Permanent Records: A one-of-a-kind album tried to turn ‘80s pop on its ear

Permanent Records is an ongoing closer look at the records that matter most.

Fushigi: the only album self-produced by Akina Nakamori, one of the biggest Japanese pop stars of the 1980s; an unusual record that fuses midtempo pop with experiments in echoing, plutonic soundscape, as unique and unconventional as the original mix of The Stooges’ Raw Power. Musically, Fushigi is an ’80s pop album par excellence, stacked with busy bass lines and dramatic synths. And yet it doesn’t really sound like anything that came out of the pop mainstream of the time. The vocals are buried far behind the instruments. For most of the album, Nakamori is backed by a band called Eurox, which was joined by a motley crew of session players that included the ubiquitous Filipino smooth jazz sax player Jake Concepcion (the self-proclaimed “King Of Sax”) and, for some reason, Anton Fier, original drummer of The …

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