COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
entertainment

Noriyuki Makihara shoots to top of Amazon sales ranking after arrest for drug possession

25 Comments
By SoraNews24

On Feb 13, musician Noriyuki Makihara (also affectionately known as “Mackey”) experienced some of the best sales on Amazon in perhaps his entire recording career. His albums "Bespoke," "The Best of Listen To The Music" and "Smiling: The Best of Noriyuki Makihara" shot up to the top of the charts occupying first to fourth place. A further four albums appeared in the top 25, resulting in a sales blitz seldom seen for a single artist.

▼ Even a day later, his albums were still dominating the music category.

albums.jpg

Unfortunately, Makihara was too busy getting arrested for possession of 83 milligrams of a stimulant to fully appreciate it. This is the second such arrest for the 50-year-old singer-songwriter, after getting picked up in 1999 on similar charges and serving a suspended sentence.

This time things are different, however. Last year, fellow musician Pierre Taki’s cocaine arrest resulted in getting pretty much everything he touched pulled from the shelves and online distribution platforms. This involved video games getting overhauled and his voice redubbed over in Disney’s "Frozen," despite the delicious irony that he played a snowman in it.

So, expecting the same to happen with Makihara, people are flocking to Amazon and buying up as much of his stuff as they could before the great purge. Surely many were fans seizing this last chance to get his CDs and DVDs, but many others were no doubt investing in some soon-to-be rare memorabilia to resell.

▼ Warner Music’s official YouTube channel currently still has his music up, but it may disappear at any time.

It would seem hypocritical to completely wipe one artist from existence, while leaving the other untouched. And even though these publishers and studios seem to have no problem being heavy-handed and compassionless to people possibly suffering from substance abuse problems, being hypocritical is a whole other ballgame, so Mackey’s disappearance is very probable.

▼ However, this is made more complicated by the fact that Makihara wrote Smap’s “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana,” one of the most popular Japanese songs of all time.

Nevertheless, many went online asking for mercy, and for such a beloved musician not to be taken from their lives.

“Please do not seal his past work. The songs did nothing wrong.”

“I like Makihara even if he was arrested. I’m going to revisit his stuff now.”

“I listen to Mackey a lot more now than I used to, but he’s got to stay off the drugs.”

“Crap! I only had all of his stuff on MiniDisc.”

“Didn’t any of these people buy his stuff before he was arrested?”

Some of these comments bring up an interesting point. In terms of sales, we can safely say that Makihara was at his peak in the ’90s, and while still active, never quite returned to that same glory until just now. So in a way, this drug arrest could been seen as huge boost to his career.

Source: Amazon Japan, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- A CD of Buddhist monks reciting sutras is one of Japan’s best selling albums

-- Anime voice actress arrested for suspected cocaine possession, has name scrubbed from series cast

-- BABYMETAL releases full album, metalheads and idol fans headbang in unison

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
Login to comment

I’m not surprised. Makihara is a truly talented musician and not just a pretty face. His first arrest did little to affect his record sales either.

The celebs who are more famous for their looks than their talent will fade into obscurity at any scandal that mires their pretty face with mud. Makihara, lets be honest is not good-looking by popular standards and is openly gay. Two factors that would ruin a career in image obsessed japan show biz. As a musician friend put it, he makes music for people who love the music, not the pretty face singing it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

One of the best album covers I have ever seen was his Life In Downtown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His song "Chicken Rice" changed my life.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The boys in blue string him up but how ironic that it boosts his sales/popularity, good!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This shouldn’t be surprising. On one of the morning news shows I watched, they seemed to discuss his story for 30 minutes straight, accompanied by plenty of concert and music video clips. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. Add that up with him being a sympathetic figure and there should be a big impact.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm confused! Wasn't there a female artist whose recordings were pulled from sale and cut by her production company after being arrested for drug possession last year?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

His song "Chicken Rice" changed my life.

LOL

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This shouldn’t be surprising. On one of the morning news shows I watched, they seemed to discuss his story for 30 minutes straight, accompanied by plenty of concert and music video clips. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. Add that up with him being a sympathetic figure and there should be a big impact.

Yeh, they played back his career as if he had just died or something.

Also interesting was one guy chuckled when he said Makihara and his partner were often seen walking together like a normal husband and wife. It sounded a bit rude to me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Disillusioned

I'm confused! Wasn't there a female artist whose recordings were pulled from sale and cut by her production company after being arrested for drug possession last year?

You are confused because you didn't read the entire article, where it says the same thing happened to a male artist and could happen to Makihara.

This time things are different, however. Last year, fellow musician Pierre Taki’s cocaine arrest resulted in getting pretty much everything he touched pulled from the shelves and online distribution platforms. This involved video games getting overhauled and his voice redubbed over in Disney’s "Frozen," despite the delicious irony that he played a snowman in it.

So, expecting the same to happen with Makihara, people are flocking to Amazon and buying up as much of his stuff as they could before the great purge. Surely many were fans seizing this last chance to get his CDs and DVDs, but many others were no doubt investing in some soon-to-be rare memorabilia to resell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don’t think Makihara’s cds are gonna be pulled from the shelves. NHK announced that a theme song he wrote for one of their popular shows won’t be changed, although they did change Pierre Taki’s song for, ironically, a Beatles song.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Picture yourself in a boat on a river

With tangerine trees and marmalade skies

Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly

A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If Noriyuki was living in the UK he will be paid royalty from airplay of his music by PRS. We do need to ask for PRS to stop paying to convicted artists and if the music is likely to promote crime, especially if such offensive material are targeted to teenagers.

Parents should sit their kids in front of tv and give this case as example to make sure bad drugs should not be used.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Kenichi

What is a good drug and what is a bad drug? Please elucidate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is a good drug and what is a bad drug? Please elucidate.

Before you analyse them qualitatively, you need to define them. Given that the most objective definition is any chemical that results in a change in brain activity, it includes caffeine.

While there are some religious cults that ban caffeine, most would be hard-pressed to define it as a bad drug.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

His fans obviously don't care. Which begs the question why all the commentators on tv have to make a big thing of it. He is who he is because of his fans. No-one on tv has the right to tell them what to think.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kohakuebisu,

Haven't you noticed that Japanese TV's primary function is to tell the public what is cute, what is delicious, what is scary and what is dangerous?

Japanese people rely on it to formulate their opinions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe the days of wiping an artist's work from history for such minor infractions is over. Is it possible that Japan is finally entering the 21st century? It's only been the 21st century for 20 years now. So, they might be starting to consider it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Haven't you noticed that Japanese TV's primary function is to tell the public what is cute, what is delicious, what is scary and what is dangerous?

Is that not the primary function of TV anywhere in the world?

However, if you actually talk to ordinary people, you’ll find they’d be just as “woke” as you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haven't you noticed that Japanese TV's primary function is to tell the public what is cute, what is delicious, what is scary and what is dangerous?

Haha - brilliant. All things in the world can be categorised as one of these four things and JTV is on a mission to do so.

Is that not the primary function of TV anywhere in the world?

No, it is to inform, educate and entertain.

However, if you actually talk to ordinary people, you’ll find they’d be just as “woke” as you.

What are you talking about?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Stewart

What is a good drug and what is a bad drug? Please elucidate.

Without legal consequences

Bad drugs, one that does not work. contaminated. when used when you do not want it or need it. sold or given without any information. no follow up to is made by prescriber or persons who controls it when the effect is negative or unexpected. greed for profit when there is no plans other than to profit. I can think of many more

Good drugs, one that works and makes you feel good or better or blocks pains when necessary, controlled.

Placebo, human's way to respond there is something else than what we understand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, it is to inform, educate and entertain

Yes TV does the above...Based on the agenda of the sponsors.

This candidate good, that candidate bad. Having this opinion of these people is wrong. Pit bulls are dangerous. Meth is one hell of a drug. Gasoline baaad, solar power gooood.

For better or worse, all media is for the purpose of forming public opinion and pushing an agenda. Some outlets being more subtle is the only difference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kenichi

Stimulatants - illegal. Will they kill you if consumed once? Very probably not.

Bleach - legal. Will it kill you if you consumed once? Yes.

This is what I can't get my head around. What right does any authority (in any country) have to tell you what drugs you can or cannot consume?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Stewart

My aromatherapy teacher tells me mixture of Peppermint is Clarifying and Stimulating and I believe her.

Bleach, it's only good for toilet unless you are doing tie dye.

Authority has a job to tell both right and wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry.... mixture of Eucalyptus & Peppermint.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we're going to start withholding money from artists with unsavory pasts, let's start with Johnny Kitagawa. Musicians like Makihara (or Hisashi Imai from Buck-Tick or Sakura from L'Arc-en-ciel) simply do not deserve to have their careers cut short and lives ruined for something that does little harm to anyone except themselves (unlike Kitagawa).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites