In 1990, there was a tea-girl working at PWL by the name of Anju Suzuki. For whatever reason (a bet? A laugh?) the previously infallible producing team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman decided to make her into a star. It was felt that the company needed a singer they could launch onto the lucrative Japanese market, and so the first single "You Should Be Dancing" was released in 1990 with fairly heavy promotion in magazines like Smash Hits.
Non existent. Kakko became known as one of the biggest flops SAW had ever produced, with her debut single missing the Top 75 and the follow-up, "What Kind of Fool" (which is actually quite good!) missing the charts altogether. Kakko was packed back off to Japan and a planned album shelved.
SAW were on the slide in 1990. Sinitta's hits had dried up, Sonia was on the point of being dropped, new acts like Shooting Party had bombed and even Kylie wasn't the pop force she once was, scoring her final SAW number 1 earlier that same year. In 1991 "Smash Hits" ran a double-page feature entitled "Are Stock Aitkin Waterman Down The Dumper?" in which Pete Waterman commented: ""Kakko stiffed. Absolutely stiffed. We got it totally wrong. We misjudged it. It was our fault. She couldn't sing the song we gave her."
I can remember the advertising for Kakko and it couldn't have looked less exciting - she may have been engineered to appeal to a Japanese audience, but the identification with SAW's British fan base was zero. On top of this the song title sounded like SAW by numbers and, trussed up in an all-covering catsuit she exuded no sex appeal at all. And why on Earth did they call her Kakko? Did nobody realise?
Kakko has gone from being the one-time embodiment of all that went wrong with SAW post the eighties, to becoming something of a cult rarity on the Internet today. First single "You Should Be Dancing" goes for large sums on Ebay, and the follow-up is rarer than dodo shit. Tantalisingly, there is supposedly a handful of lost songs locked away in the vaults, but with the prospect of a "Kakko - The Rarities" boxed set slim, they might just stay there forever.
Happily, Kakko is now a fairly successful actress in her native Japan, appearing in productions including "Asunaro Hakusho", "Wakamono no Subete" and "Koi no Vacance". There are even several web resources devoted to her but none of them, not even one, mentions the dreaded name 'Kakko' by which she briefly traded. Remember the poor cow this way - because no-one else does.