"AMERICA! AMERICA! AMERICA!"
The very first Pink Lady live album I bought during my time spent in Japan back in the late 1970's was “America! America! America!”, or, as I like to call it, the Las Vegas album as Mie and Kei put on their magical show for a U.S. audience at the Tropicana Hotel in late April of 1978. Back in the day when I first played the cassette and heard the announcer say, “Ladies and gentlemen, Japan's most exciting singing and dancing group, Pink Lady!”, my heart beat just a little faster as the Ladies took the stage, starting the show with a sweet and charming cover of ABBA’s “That's Me”, followed by a medley of hits from the 60’s, “She’d Rather Be With Me”, “Morning Girl” and “Do Ron Ron Ron”. After the girls introduce themselves to the audience, they launch into a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke”, then The Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love”, both sung in English, at the time, I had never heard Mie and Kei sing in English before, and I thought the girls handled themselves quite nicely, no doubt they had put in a lot of practice to sound as good as they did. Next came a couple of PL’s Japanese chart toppers, “Pepper Keibu” and “SOS”, then the girls did solo numbers, Mie was first with a hauntingly lovely version of Harry Nilsson’s “Without You”, followed by Kei doing “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals in her trademark sultry and sexy growl. From there, the Ladies ran through more of their Japanese hits, “Carmen ’77”, “Nagisa No Sindbad”, “UFO”, “Southpaw” and Wanted” before closing the show with a sweet and delightful rendition of “I Love How You Love Me”. There had been a palpable excitement to the Vegas which I could feel, and the Ladies had been warmly received by the audience, making for a fun experience, just like when Mie and Kei perform for Japanese audiences. Bottom line: a great show by great singers.