Heavenly Peace was the lone solo release of C. Memi, previously the leader of Osaka new wavers Neo Matisse. That band was known for their frenetic, punky new wave single “No Chocolate” in 1980, which was described in the Hijokaidan Story by Toshiji Mikawa as the band "who gave us that famous ‘No Chocolate’ single.” After Neo Matisse disbanded on amicable terms in 1981, drummer Jun Iwasaki compelled Memi to record a solo album for his fledgling label, Fairy Records. Jun lent Memi his 8-track recorder and she set to work on what would become the only release for both Memi and Fairy.
This resulting 1983 private press 7" EP is a more stately affair than “No Chocolate,” with Memi (playing every instrument) tackling a more minimal synth sound over a fairly disparate palette of songs ranging from droning, abstract pieces to (typical of this era in Japanese pop music) ’80s emulation of ’60s French Chanson pop. Most impressive of all, however, is the ethereal title track “Heavenly Peace (Unga No Suimon Akete),” a song so beautiful, its swathes of cleansing, oceanic synths and the luminous, firework-like synth pop perfection stands as one of our favorite songs of its kind from all of Japan.
In Japanese society, it has become tradition for women to give presents and chocolate to men on Valentine’s Day. Just years before, Memi boldly declared “No chocolate!,” but with Heavenly Peace, originally released on Valentine’s Day in 1983, Memi is captured on the cover by photographer Kiyotoshi Takashima (with the cover art laid out by artist Yasuhito Nagahara) bearing a most thoughtful gift: this masterful record. The canal gates open once more and, on the 35th anniversary of the original release of Heavenly Peace, we lovingly welcome you to the enchantingly sentimental world of C. Memi.
The original release of Heavenly Peace stuffed eighteen minutes of music onto a 33rpm 7", so we have decided it would be prudent to reissue these majestic recordings as a 45rpm 12" for optimal sound quality to breathe new life into the recordings. Please enjoy.