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BIG IN JAPAN
Dreams Come True

Ddreams Come TrueIn a pop music industry which too often favors good looks and marketability over any discernible ability to make good music, Dreams Come True are a reassuring ray of raw talent. There is some justice, then, that the president of EMI Records praised DCT as "one of the premier recording artists in the world." It was a recognition that, although true global stardom still eluded the band, whether measured by talent, record sales or critical opinion, DCT had reached a level of success arguably unparalleled by any Japanese artist before.

Formed in 1988 when singer Yoshida Miwa teamed up with producer/ composer/bassist Nakamura Masato and childhood friend and keyboard player Nishikawa Takahiro, Dreams Come True' 1989 self-titled debut album sold over one million copies. All eight subsequent albums have broken the two million barrier, with 1992's The Swinging Star becoming the most popular album in Japanese music history - four million copies sold at last count. Their latest release, The Monster., hit the shops in April.

The heart and soul of DCT is Yoshida's stunning, powerful voice, as the other two band members will readily admit. "Dreams Come True was created to introduce everyone to Yoshida the singer," says Nakamura. Born and raised in Hokkaido, Yoshida developed a love for the rhythmical music she listened to on US Armed Forces Radio. She remembers, watching television as a child, being mesmerized by legendary jazz vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. "I want to be able to stand up at the age of seventy or eighty and move people with the sound of my voice," she says.

She's certainly on the way to realizing that dream. "She's so infectious; she grabs you," says US musician Greg Adams, who featured on Yoshida's 1995 solo album, Beauty and Harmony (a translation of the kanji for "Miwa"), which sold over 1.5 million copies and established her as an artist of unparalleled range and ability in Japan. Shimizo Takashi, director of TV's Pop Jam music show, believes Yoshida's skill will propel DCT to fame beyond Asia, where they already have a large and growing fan base. "She touches people with her music and has a chance of making it internationally," he says. Working abroad will not be new to the band. In 1994 they collaborated with Earth, Wind and Fire's Maurice White on the "Wherever You Are" single, and recorded the track "Eternity" for the soundtrack of The Swan Princess animation in the US. "I'd like to sing in English," says Yoshida. "Even if they don't understand the words, they'll be able to feel my music."

It is their ability to make Japanese lyrics completely compatible with Western music that has made ears around the world take note of DCT. And although this has yet to be turned into a global fan base, it's too soon to discount that eventuality completely. In following parallel group and solo careers, the band likes to compare themselves to The Rolling Stones. So don't be surprised if you find your own kids listening to Dreams Come True thirty years down the line, still going strong.

Sam Johnson

BIG IN JAPAN:
299: Nakamura Kankuro
Arizona lover and Kabuki actor
298: Miura Yuichiro
The Man Who Skied Down Everest
297: Iron Chef
Gourmet cuisine battles
296: "Katte wa ikenai"
"Don't buy these products"
295: Oda Yuji
The dancing detective
294: Enoki Takaaki
An artist who acts
293: Glay
Japan's reigning pop princes
292: Akebono
Hawaiian Sumo wrestler
291: Issey Miyake
Fashion designer
290: Murakami Ryu
Radical writer
289: Oshima Nagisa
Movie director
288: Takakura Ken
Crime film actor
287: Miura Kazuyoshi
Soccer player
286: Suzuki Koji
Author of the horror, Ring
285: Tezuka Osamu
God of Comics
284: Yuming
Singer/songwriter
283: Anpanman
Bean-powered superhero
282: Yamaguchi Takashi
Immersed in traditional Japanese music
281: Nasubi
Comedian
280: Doi Takako
First female Speaker of the House
279: Nakamura Kichiemon
Retiring Kabuki actor
278: Oe Kenzaburo
Nobel prize winning author
277: Kimura Takuya
SMAP member
276: Utada Hikaru
Teenage pop phenomenon
275: Bando Tamasaburo
Kabuki female role impersonator
274: Otomo Katsuhiro
Akira creator
273: Dreams Come True
Premier recording artist
272: Dango San Kyodai
Surprise hit of 1999
271: Banana Yoshimoto
Author
270: Matsuzaka Daisuke
Baseball player
269: Moritaka Chisato
Model and singer
268: Mukai Chiaki
Female astronaut
267: Natto
Traditional Japanese health food
266: Hiroaki Kikuoka
Shamisen player
265: Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Japan's most revered dramatist
264: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Oscar-winning musician
263: Shigeo Nagashima
Japan's Mr Baseball
262: Ayako Totsuka
Pioneer careerwoman
261: Yatsuhashi Kengyo
Koto player
260: Chiyotaikai
Sumo wrestler
259: Pocky
Japanese snack food
258: Itsuki Hiroshi
Enka singer
257: Pocket Monsters
Conquering the world
256: Classified ads
New concept in Japan
255: Chara
Japanese pop star
254: Pink Lady
1970's singing duo
253: Takashi Sorimachi
Japanese heartthrob
252: Ennosuke Ichikawa
Kabuki actor
251: Rie Miyazawa
Model and actress
250: Shazna
Visual-kei band

Issues 350 +
Issues 349 - 300/1
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