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, September 7, 2012

Junko Ohashi/Takao Kisugi -- Silhouette Romance(シルエット・ロマンス)

When I first heard "Silhouette Romance", I was just struck by the intro which had this atmospheric fantasy feel to it led by a forlorn oboe. Then as Junko Ohashi(大橋純子)goes into the song, the melody goes into a more conventional pop mode but it never quite leaves that melancholy otherworldly sensation behind. It's definitely an unusual beautifully arranged song. This was the first Ohashi tune that I'd ever heard, and for years, I often thought of her as this delicate ballad chanteuse, not knowing that she had been singing some hard-driving funk several years back.

Ohashi's 17th single was released in November 1981, and took its sweet time going up the charts until reaching its peak of No. 7 the following year in May. Even afterwards, "Silhouette Romance"enjoyed a long run on the charts with Ohashi winning for Best Vocal at the Japan Record Awards of 1982. For most people, this song would be the one that the Hokkaido native would be most identified with.

"Silhouette Romance"was created by Takao and Etsuko Kisugi(来生たかお・えつこ) who pretty much owned the market on melancholy balladry at the time. Takao Kisugi even released his own cover of the song in April 1982. In this video, he gives a fine bossa nova-inflected version. Over the years, it has become a J-Pop standard sung by artists such as Tatsuya Ishii(石井竜也) of Kome Kome Club, enka singer Fuyumi Sakamoto(坂本冬美)and Hideaki Tokunaga(徳永英明).Even Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat gave his own version some years ago.

Junko Ohashi -- Treasure Collection (BEST)

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