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Mariya Takeuchi


Well-Known Member
Hi guys!

I came across this. She eerily sounds like a young Karen Carpenter in this.

I've heard some of her other songs and I just couldn't help thinking if Karen would have done English versions of them.

Cute song...just enough 1967 to make it interesting.


Well-Known Member
I did a little sleuthing and found out that Karen DID do one of Mariya's songs...in fact, it was the last one she ever recorded.

In 1980, Mariya and Roger Nichols wrote Heart To Heart. Mariya wrote the lyrics and did the vocals. It was a big hit in Japan. For the Voice Of The Heart album, English lyrics were substituted, and the song was retitled Now, one of Karen's better performances, IMO.


Well-Known Member
Wow- pretty good! Makes me think what it would have sounded like if he and Karen had done all the background vocals. I wonder if the Japanese press mentioned Now was a cover of a song they already knew and loved?


I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Makes me think what it would have sounded like if he and Karen had done all the background vocals.
I think if this had been a finished Carpenters track, complete with full background vocals a la “Slow Dance”, it would have transformed the song. Hearing Mariya’s version makes me realise he spoiled theirs with the schmaltzy choir (as well as the syrupy strings) but I guess his argument at the time would have been “What else can I do? Karen isn’t here to help complete it”. In this Japanese version it almost sounds like Richard doing those backing vocals himself.

Something else struck me hearing this. Because it’s sung in a language I don’t understand, I focused on the melody and never realised just how pretty it is.

P.S. Moderators: why has the text editing functionality disappeared? The entire bar containing buttons for bold/underline/italics, emoticons, the media link function etc etc is still there but now deactivated and greyed out.
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Active Member
In 2010, Shigeki Miyata (Japanese record producer) told a story in a Japanese SNS.
In 1980, I was producing Mariya Takeuchi's 4th album "Miss M". (竹内まりや* - Miss M)
I had a belief that Roger Nichols' song and Mariya Takeuchi were a perfect match.
So, I wanted to meet Roger Nichols, when I visited L.A. for preparing the recording session.
I could meet him at Beverly Hills Hotel. (the famous hotel by the Eagles' Hotel California)
We became good friends then, and Roger invited me to his house.
The house he lived was Spanish style, 100 years old.

[Roger] I think your singer is very good. But, Sorry, I don't have any new song now.
Because, I am a guy who doesn't write a song, before receiving an order (laughter).
Well... there is one song I'm working on for TV. It's called "Heart to Heart".

He began to play a piano.
Wow... That was a really fantastic Roger Nichols' song!

[Shigeki] Good, Good, Very Good!

[Roger] You mean this piano? (laughter)

[Shigeki] Both! (the song & the piano)

[Roger] All of my songs were born from this piano.
And the song "We've Only Just Began" brought this house to me.
By the way, I'm wondering what to do after this verse...

[Shigeki] After that verse, you had better modulate to the key A.
And the following melody is like this...

[Roger] That's nice!

Then, he could complete the song.

[Roger] You gave me three notes and one modulation.
So, I will give you 7 percent of royalties on that song! (laughter)

This is the story how "Heart to Heart" was born.
For the album, David Foster arranged that song.
Few years later, Roger called me on a telephone.

[Roger] Karen (Carpenter) covered that song!
Do you want 7 percent of royalties on that song?

[Shigeki] No, I don't want it.
I just want to be in your Small Circle Of Friends.

[Roger] You are already in. (laughter)

The song title was changed to "Now", when Karen sang.

(end of the story)
Because of so many Roger Nichols fans are there in Japan,
many CDs related Roger Nichols had been produced.

[1] We've Only Just Begun (2005 Japan Universal, UICY-1070)
This CD is a collection of Demo Tapes by Roger Nichols & Paul Williams
These Demo Tapes were made before they became famous.
(Roger Nichols (2) & Paul Williams (2) - We've Only Just Begun)

[2] Treasury (2016 Japan Victor, VICP-65430~1)
This 2 CDs set is a collection of TV commercials & Demos.
It includes "Crocker National Bank" TV commercial.
(Roger Nichols (2) - Treasury)

[3] CDs by The Small Circle Of Friends
Their first album was made into CD form for the first time in Japan 1987.
The other albums (e.g. Be Gentle With My Heart) were born from Japanese fans' requests.
(Roger Nichols & The Small Circle Of Friends)

Daniel Perales

Active Member
Thread Starter
The more I listen to more of her songs, the further I'm falling in love with them. Some of them I just can't help but think if Karen was still around, this is the type of music Richard and her would be doing.

You can hear Mariya's husband Tatsuro Ya-mash-it-a, who is a singer/producer in his own right, doing the overdub background volcals almost the same way Richard does.

Here's an English song by her.

And a mix English and Japanese song she did years later.

Both songs has that "Doo-wop" sound.

And here's another complete English song that some say that it sounds like a "lost" Carpenters song.

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Well-Known Member
Don't you mean 1964? This song was a nod to the early Beatles.

Actually, I probably should have said 1964...I never heard any reference to the Beatles, but I did hear a definite Merseybeat vibe to the song. That 12 string guitar riff reminds me of Peter and Gordon, and by 1967 they were pretty much old hat.
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