|BIG IN JAPAN
Dreams Come True
In 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
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.