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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Maki Ohguro -- Atsukunare (熱くなれ)

Well, we're less than a week away from The London Olympics, so let's show a bit of some Olympic J-Pop. Since the Seoul Games in 1988, NHK has had the tradition of having a musical tie-up theme for its Olympic broadcasts. For 2012, the group Ikimonogakari(いきものがかり)will be singing "Kaze ga Fuiteiru"風が吹いている....A Wind is Blowing).

For the 1996 Games in Atlanta, a Hokkaido singer, prolific singer-songwriter Maki Ohguro(大黒摩季)came up with this rousing barnburner called  "Atsukunare"(Get Passionate). A lot of the songs that have come on as NHK Olympic themes have been these grand epic ballads, but Ohguro's contribution is this blood-pumping tune that almost makes ME, a professional couch potato, want to run with Usain Bolt. I could get the video from YouTube which has the actual NHK highlight reel that was often used at the end of the nightly Olympic highlight program matched with the song.

Released in July 1996, Ohguro's 14th single reached the No. 1 position and became the 24th-ranked song of the year. An album version  was released as part of Ohguro's 6th album, "Power of Dreams" which was released over a year later in August 1997 and became the 9th-ranking album of 1997.

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