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.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Akira Fuse -- Kimi wa Bara yorimo Utsukushii (君は薔薇よりも美しい)

During the 70s, enka was the active traditional portion of kayo kyoku while the first big wave of aidoru washed ashore. There was also the folk boom and the rising tide of New Music. And to a smaller extent during that decade, there were these big-voiced male singers who also made their mark on stage and on the Oricon charts. I've profiled two such people already, Shigeru Matsuzaki(松崎しげる) and the late Kiyohiko Ozaki(尾崎紀世彦).

Another one was Akira Fuse(布施明). He was born in Mitaka City in the west end of Tokyo back in 1947, and had a hankering to get into showbiz after seeing his heroines, The Peanuts (already profiled). So, he made his debut in 1965 with "Kimi ni Namida to Hohoemi wo"君に涙とほほえみを....Tears and Smiles for You). For the next several years, he would become a fixture on the pop charts as he belted his hits. Like Ozaki and Matsuzaki, he also had this debonair Western-style appearance which no doubt brought him the lion's share of female fans.

In January 1979, he got his next hit called "Kimi wa Bara yorimo Utsukushii"(You're More Beautiful Than Roses), a snappy pop affair with a big band sound and a touch of gospel. The song became the campaign song for Kanebo Cosmetics that year; the TV commercial starred British actress Olivia Hussey (who starred in the 1968 version of "Romeo and Juliet"). I mention this since a year later, she and Fuse would get married and have one child, Max. They later divorced nearly a decade afterwards.

Here is the 30-second commercial with Hussey. I still smirk a bit on hearing that slogan for Kanebo, "For Beautiful Human Life".

And here is the dapper Mr. Fuse in a 1998 appearance. "Kimi wa Bara"was written by Kenji Kadoya(門谷憲二) and composed by the lead singer of Godiego(ゴダイゴ) himself, Mickey Yoshino(ミッキー吉野). It peaked at No. 8 on the Oricon charts, and ended the year as the 40th-ranked song. Fuse would be invited onto the 1979 Kohaku Utagassen for the 16th time to perform his hit, and would reprise it three more times in 2003, 2007 and 2008.

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