Recently on an episode of comedian Shofukutei Tsurube's "Kazoku ni Kanpai"（家族に乾杯...Salute to Families）, I got to see Takanori Nishikawa（西川貴教）for the first time in several years. The program usually has the host and the guest visiting some of the smaller communities in rural Japan, so Nishikawa sounded even louder than usual as the guys traipsed through the side streets. Anyone seeing the guy for the first time would have thought that he was yet another member of the Yoshimoto Kogyo comedy troupe.
Actually back in the 90s, he gained fame under the name of TM Revolution. When I first saw him get his big breakthrough hit via his 6th single, "White Breath", I just wondered if he had anything to do with the band TM Network. I mean, he and that particular band seemed to be swimming in the same genre, but there was still a palpable difference. As it turned out, though, producer and the composer of "White Breath", Daisuke Asakura（浅倉大介）was supposed to have been the one behind the name. According to J-Wiki, Asakura came up with "Takanori Makes Revolution" as a clarion call for him, Takanori, the staff and all of the fans to amass behind the project and go forward. The origin story gets more interesting since Asakura was also a support member for TM Network at one time although he said that he didn't really see the similarity in the names until sometime later. Apparently, he has also mentioned on TV and radio that Tetsuya Komuro（小室哲哉）from the band had given his blessing for Asakura to use the "TM".
Along with Asakura composing the music, Akio Inoue（井上秋緒）, a former manager of TM Network, came up with the lyrics. Released in October 1997, "White Breath" not only hit No. 1 on Oricon, but it also became TM Revolution's first million-seller hit with almost 1.3 million copies sold. It also punched his ticket to get onto the Kohaku Utagassen. Despite the relatively late release date, "White Breath" became the 39th-ranked single for 1997 and hung on to become the 66th-ranked single for 1998.
My other memory of TM Revolution involves his appearances on the Fuji-TV program "HEY! HEY! HEY! Music Champ". He always got the "good cop, bad cop" treatment from the hosts of the program, comedic duo Downtown, and Bad Cop Masatoshi Hamada（浜田雅功）comically abused the lad (often on his effeminate appearance) until he finally exploded. I wonder if music hadn't been TM's thing, whether he would have gone into Yoshimoto Kogyo for real.