1985 Naoko Kawai – Nine Half

Kawai Naoko got her start in music when she took piano lessons in elementary school and joined the folk song club in middle school. She also joined a mandolin club while in high school. While in her second year of middle school, she tried out for the talent program Star Tanjou! but didn’t make the selection. But she got her chance in show business when she won the Bideki’s Young Siblings Audition, singing ANRI’s “Olivia wo Kikinagara”. She trained for a year in Tokyo with lessons in composing, singing, and writing lyrics. Kawai made her debut with the single “Ooki na Mori no Chiisai no Ouchi” on June 1980. Her second single, “Young Boy”, became Naoko’s first hit by selling over a million copies and winning the Rookie of the Year award at mostly every music festival in Japan. But two years after her debut, Naoko suffered a severe spine fracture when she was rehearsing for NHK Hall’s Let’s Go Young. She went on a two month hiatus to heal the fracture and wear a corset to help the healing for about a year. After the two month rest, Kawai made her comeback on the television program Yoru no Hit Studio. By the end of 1982, Kawai made her first appearance on the end of the program Kouhaku Uta Gassen, singing another hit, “Smile For Me”. She kept on winning various awards for various music festivals, including winning the Best Album of Year at the Japan Record Taishou in 1984 for her album Dead Dream Coast. After winning this award, Kawai decided that she would start write her albums with her first self written song appearing as a bonus track for the best album NAOKO22 in 1985. A year later, she would release her first album as a singer, composer, and music producer in 1986, entitled Scarlett, which won the Superior Composer Award at that year’s Japan Composition First Prize. By the late 1980s, Kawai started her acting career by appearing in doramas and musicals. In 1990, she would win the Rookie of the Year Award for starring in the musical THE LOVER in ME Koibito ga Yuurei. During the same time, she took part as a keyboardist and backing vocals for two of The Gentle Wind session albums.


1  Say It\’s Over (Tom Keane, Michael Landau, Mike Himelstein, Humberto Gatica) 4:47
2  Turn It Up (Tom Keane, Mike Himelstein, Humberto Gatic) 4:13
3  Night After Night (Tom Keane, Mike Himelstein, Humberto Gatica) 4:53
4  Finding Each Other (David Foster, Randy Goodrum) 3:52
5  Happy Ever After (Richard Marx, Bruce Sudano, Bruce Gaitsch, Tom Keane, Humberto Gatica) 4:13
6  Say It With Your Love (John Parker, Parker McGee, Tom Keane, Humberto Gatica) 3:59
7  There’s Not Many Left (Steve Kipner, Paul Bliss, Tom Keane, Humberto Gatica) 4:24
8  Only Tonight (Tom Keane, Michael Landau, Mike Himelstein, Humberto Gatica) 4:54
9  Only In My Dreams (Eric McClure, Meredith Stewart, Tom Keane, Humberto Gatica)) 4:15


Bass Mike Porcaro
Drums JR Robinson
Guitar Mike Landau
Keyboards Tom Keane
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Synthesizer John van Tongeren
Synthesizer Bo Tomlyn
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Sax Marc Russo
Background Vocals Tom Keane
Background Vocals Gail Lopata

Other Musicians

4 Finding Each Other

Vocals Steve Lukather

Liner Notes

Producer – Humberto Gatica
Executive Producer – Yozaburo Kagawa
Producer (Assistant) – Susanne Marie Edgren
Production Coordinator – Chie Masumoto
Arranged by – Tom Keane, Humberto Gatica
Directed by – Toshinari Koike (Nippon Columbia), Shigeru Yamada (GEI-EI)
Directed by (Assistant) – Masaki Iitaka (GEI-EI)
Engineered by – Humberto Gatica
Engineer (Second) – Jeffrey Woodruff, Laura Livingston
Engineering by (Additional) – Kaz Matsumoto, Jeffrey Woodruff
Mastered by – Wally Traugott
Mixed by – Humberto Gatica

Mastered at Capitol Mastering Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mixed at Lionshare Recorders Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Recorded at Lighthouse Recorders, North Hollywood, CA