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.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Masayuki Suzuki/Tatsuro Yamashita -- Misty Mauve

Although this was never released as a single from Martin Suzuki's(鈴木雅之)1988 2nd album, "Radio Days", I think it packs enough of a punch that perhaps it should've been. If you can imagine the husband/wife team of Yamashita/Takeuchi getting urban, cool and noir with a song, this is the result. Mariya Takeuchi(竹内まりや), who was singing about peach pies and the sweetest music years back, wrote some relatively darker stuff here. For example, the first (translated) verse:

The blue glow of a turned-down TV
Sullen you putting on misty mauve on your toes
Pretending to be selfish
How many goodbyes are you muttering in your heart?

Then, Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)composed the song to evoke an image of a grimy inner city and a rundown hotel while his wife talks about a relationship going milk-way-beyond-its-best-by-date sour. As the hapless protagonist says, "What can I do?" Yamashita provides the bluesy electric guitar while the horn section gives a brief but grooverific bridge to the final verse. Something to play in your car while driving along the Bayside Highway in Tokyo at night.

The album, "Radio Days", released in April, went as high as No. 12 on the Oricon charts.

In 2002, Yamashita did his own version of the song in his 3rd Best album, "Rarities", which did hit the top spot. Slightly different in arrangement, Yamashita's voice is probably the most different element when comparing the two versions. I'll leave it up to you for comments on comparison.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.