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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anzen Chitai -- Anzen Chitai IV (安全地帯 IV)

My history at Kuri, the old karaoke bar in Yorkville (a ritzy area of Toronto), correlated with the popularity of this band. There was not a single time that me and my friends were there that an Anzen Chitai song was not sung. And most of the time, it was usually two songs per visit. Two of the big hits came from this album, "IV", released in November 1985. It would hit No. 1 on December 2 of that year and become the top-selling album for 1986. All of the songs were written by Goro Matsui(松井五郎) and composed by vocalist Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二)with arrangements by the band and Katsu Hoshi 『星勝』(former member of the psychedelic rock band, the Mops) Not surprisingly, it's my favorite album of the band.

The notable thing about the cover is that it finally has the boys photographed for the first time. And apparently, they had visited a Doctor Who convention! (Yup, count me as a fan!)

"Yume no Tsuzuki"夢のつづき...The Dream Continues)starts off the album. It was never released as a single but it's just a beautiful ballad with the combination of strings, harmonica solo, comforting melody and Koji Tamaki's rich voice. I'd first heard the song on a compilation tape made in Hong Kong, and I just had to track it down.

"Aoi Hitomi no Elise"(碧い瞳のエリス....Blue-Eyed Elise)was the tenth single released from the band in October 1985, and it's the third track on the album. It's a darker-sounding ballad but no less beautiful to listen to. And it was one of the heavy rotation songs for karaoke at Kuri way back when (I think Reagan had yet to be called out on Iran-Contra).

There is an actual music video for this song that's on YouTube (and I actually have it on DVD) but parts of it just struck me as being too reminiscent of a young actor's overwrought audition video, so I chose something a bit more appealing instead. "Kanashimi ni Sayonara"悲しみにさよなら....Goodbye to Sorrow)is the centrepiece of the album. It's an atmospheric song full of hope and joy that still gets the hair on my neck standing up almost 27 years later. It was Anzen Chitai's 9th single released in June 1985 that would reach the top spot for August and September, and would become the 9th-ranked single of that year. And it would earn the band a place on the year-end Kohaku Utagassen.

But as an album, I think there was no one song that let down the side. "Delicacy"is a pop/rock delight, and "Kienai Yoru" 消えない夜....Neverending Night) is another worthy ballad. For the quintessential Anzen Chitai album, this is the one to get. I think it was also the final album for the band in terms of the pure Anzen Chitai sound. From their epic "V" onwards, Tamaki and the gang started exploring other avenues while still retaining some of their original sound.


  1. I don't remember how I met with this awesome band but I wish that there was more of this though. Anzen Chitai is my favourite band of all time hands down.

    1. Hello, rwds and thanks for your comments. Anzen Chitai was a great band, weren't they? I will always cherish "Yume no Tsuzuki" even though the whole album is a classic.


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