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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Southern All Stars -- Manatsu no Kajitsu (真夏の果実)

One of the mainstays of J-Pop Summer music, it's arguably the most popular Southern All Stars song. In fact, according to the lead vocalist, Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳祐), it's HIS favourite song within the vast SAS songbook. and has become a perennial request at any of the band's concerts. Never got to go to a concert to see them but being a former karaoke box resident, "Manatsu no Kajitsu"Midsummer Fruits) got a lot of airtime in the rooms. Methinks that if a guy wanted to impress his girlfriend there, this would be the song to sing well.

Written and composed by Kuwata himself, "Manatsu no Kajitsu" was one of the songs on the soundtrack album, "Inamura Jane"稲村ジェーン) from the movie of the same name which was Kuwata's first foray into directing. The movie itself was a coming-of-age flick which took place at Cape Inamura-ga-saki on the popular shores of Shonan in Kamakura City.

The song peaked at No. 4 on the Oricon charts after its July 1990 release and became the 9th-ranked song of the year. It also won a number of awards, including a Japan Record Award in the Pops/Rock category. Kuwata admitted that he had wanted the song to get the Grand Prize but the anime song "Odoru Ponpokorin"おどるポンポコリン) beat him to it. No word on whether Kuwata threw a rock into the television when "Chibi Maruko-chan"came on. As for the album, it was released in September 1990 and hit the top spot on the album charts. It ended up being the 2nd-ranked album for the year.

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