I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sing Like Talking -- Together

It's nice when I get to make an entry and I don't have to write a lot of for these guys. And I first came across this band purely by accident. I bought their 1994 CD, "Discovery", thinking that it was this another band that I'd heard and seen on "Music Fair", a long-running music program on Fuji-TV. I soon realized my error, but at the same time, I also realized I came across a damn fine unit. These guys can funk, soar and swing!

Sing Like Talking had its embryonic beginnings as far back as 1982 when the current three members had met in high school, but their actual debut didn't happen until 1988. Chikuzen Sato(佐藤竹善), Chiaki Fujita(藤田千章) and Tomohiko Nishimura(西村智彦) over the years have come up with songs that span funk, R & B, gospel, and even rock at times. But whenever I've visited the CD shops, any notices about them will often have the genre tag "J-AOR". Yeah, I guess this is the descendant of City Pop although  according to Wikipedia, Shibuya-kei seems to be J-AOR's cooler, hipper cousin.

"Together" actually is the lead track from the album before "Discovery", "togetherness", with single and album being released at the same time in 1994. And boy, is it a fun song! It starts, strangely enough, with an excerpt from Gypsy Jazz guitarist legend Django Reinhardt's "Dinah" before it immediately explodes into this funky, danceable number with a bunch of horns that would make Tower Of Power proud. If I wanna feel good, I play this one. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only video available on YouTube of this song, so the "Dinah" excerpt isn't played at the beginning although a hint of it comes on near the end (as it also does in the original). Still, the concert video shot at the Budokan in 1996 is great to watch.

(March 3 2014: Then again, I finally found the original with Django!)

The album did very well, reaching the No. 1 spot on the weekly Oricon charts.

All research is from J-Wiki and "Japanese City Pop" compiled by Yutaka Kimura.

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