The first track above is "Kimi wa Tennen Shoku"（君は天然色....You are a Natural Colour）which can start this entry as typical of the Ohtaki sound on "A Long Vacation". It has that summery feel of the 50s/60s (a la Phil Spector) with that reverb sound that often accompanied British music of the period. I'd always wondered why Ohtaki loved this sound so much. Apparently, it can be traced back to his youth when he first fell in love with the music of Elvis Presley and then later The Beatles. As for the former singer, "Hound Dog" was his first Elvis song and after that, he voraciously memorized the lyrics and bought up every single of his that charted. According to J-Wiki, Ohtaki absorbed so much knowledge about the music of his youth that he knew far more about the topic than even the employees who worked at the record store that he always frequented.
The version above is the single cut, released on the same day as the album, which peaked at No. 36 on the Oricon weeklies...the album version apparently doesn't have the intro of the piano tuning and instead goes straight into the song.
"Pap-Pi-Doo-Bi-Doo-Ba Monogatari"（Pap-Pi-Doo-Bi-Doo-Ba 物語...Pap-Pi-Doo-Bi-Doo-Ba Story）is a fun original song. As you can see from the title, Ohtaki has a certain sense of humour or love for some of the vocal acrobatics that often came with a pop song from that time. The general structure also reflects that era's music right from the intro piano riff....a bit of Jerry Lee Lewis, perhaps? There are also a synthesizer and vocoder thrown in to give it a bit of 80s taste, but there is something else in there that I can't quite put my finger on which modernizes it as well. By the way, this is the only song on the album for which Ohtaki took care of both the music and the lyrics.
The rest of the tracks were split in their creation between Ohtaki (melody) and his old bandmate from Happy End, Takashi Matsumoto（松本隆） (lyrics). The next track is "FUN X 4"which seems to emulate the old "Boy Meets Girl"lyrical trope. As in "Pap-Pi-Doo-Bi-Doo Monogatari", Ohtaki likes to throw in some atypical instruments...for example, a muted trumpet solo instead of that tenor saxophone that would often accompany such a tune. Also, there were a few cameo vocals such as Hiromi Ohta（太田裕美） for one line, "Sanpo shinai?"（散歩しない...Won't you take a walk with me?), and Hiroaki Igarashi（五十嵐浩晃） as the wolf baying at the moon. And of course, what wouldn't make a fun-loving 60s song but a vocal tribute to The Beach Boys near the end? Unfortunately, I couldn't get a direct link with YouTube but the song is there, and I was able to import an instrumental version above.
"Ame no Wednesday"（雨のウェンズデイ....Rainy Wednesday) is a different track in that the arrangements for this ballad make it more contemporary-sounding, although Ohtaki keeps the croon and reverb in his voice that he does in his more retro-sounding tracks. Although the album liner notes list Ohtaki as the person behind the instruments for this song, Ohtaki himself later credited the other two former Happy End bandmates, Shigeru Suzuki（鈴木茂） and Haruomi Hosono（細野春臣）, among others as collaborators. "Ame no Wednesday"was initially the B-side to another track, "Koi suru Karen"(恋するカレン....Karen In Love), released as a single in June 1981 which went as high as No. 67. The following year, the single was re-released but with the sides reversed.
Another track on the album was "Saraba Siberia Tetsudo"（さらば、シベリア鉄道...Farewell, Siberian Railroad), Ohtaki's self cover of Hiromi Ohta's minor hit from 1980 .
"A Long Vacation" was a miracle for Ohtaki who'd had a very long dry spell beforehand. It sold well over a million albums, and was the first album to be made into a CD in Japanese recording history in 1982. As a CD, the album hit Double Platinum in sales. Further adding to its legacy is the fact that it has been placed at No. 7 in the Top 100 Japanese Rock Albums in "Rolling Stone Japan"; another Japan-based music periodical, "Record Collectors"ranked it at No. 1 in its Top 100 Rock Albums (1980s) list in its September 2010 issue.
I've heard most of the songs on the album individually over the years, but sad to say, I never got around to getting the album proper. I will rectify that error sometime in the next few months.