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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Off Course -- Ikutsu Mono Hoshi no Shita de (いくつもの星の下で)

"Ikutsu Mono Hoshi no Shita de"(Under the Stars) was never released as a single but was the final track on Side A of Off Course's 8th album, "We Are", released in November 1980 (it did hit the No. 1 spot). Instead of Kazumasa Oda(小田和正), this was guitarist/vocal Yasuhiro Suzuki's(鈴木康博)baby in terms of lyrics, melody and singing. I first heard it as one of the featured songs on one broadcast of "The Sounds of Japan" in 1982, and then I later got it on CD when it was a track on one of the band's many compilation discs.

Suzuki's voice isn't quite as strong as Oda' least for this song, but I think it works to his advantage. He basically writes what I assume to be a kokuhaku 告白)tune....a song of a confession of love. I could imagine some young nervous guy in his yukata at a summer festival taking the girl he fancies to a quiet bench and pouring his heart to her. Suzuki's slightly quavery vocals evokes that boy's life moment. The melody is soft and romantic throughout, except for the electric guitar solo which I could assume is the joy both parties felt when he finally let his feelings come out.

(cover version)

 "Ikutsu Mono Hoshi no Shita de" is definitely one song I would recommend to any kayo kyoku fan who may know just the biggest hits from Off Course. Strangely enough, Suzuki had struggled mightily to create the song, wondering if it would be any good. But he needn't have fine compliment from one of the band members let him off the hook.

Suzuki had been with Oda and Off Course from the very beginning, but at the end of their first run at Tokyo's Budokan in 1982, he decided it was time for him to leave and pursue a solo career.

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