Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monta & Brothers -- Dancing All Night



"Dancing All Night"is a song that I've encountered now and then on the Japanese music retrospectives. I wasn't a huge fan of it when I first heard it but over the years, it has grown on me. I think Yoshinori Monta's(門田頼命)gravelly voice kinda turned me off initially. Perhaps my initial dislike could be analogized by my hatred of sashimi and wasabi until I was close to my teens when a gastronomic light switched on, and now I eat the stuff several months a year.

To throw in another analogy, Monta's big hit of 1980 was the equivalent of a journeyman baseball player hitting a World Series-winning grand slam homer in Game 7. He had dropped out of high school in Kobe to start a career in music in the late 60s before making his official solo debut in 1971. Even before the late 60s, as a teenager, he had become a huge fan of The Beatles and started a band. However, after almost a decade of no hits, he was ready to throw in the towel.

But then, he made one more try and got together a band called Monta & Brothers. The grand slam came in April 1980 when "Dancing All Night"was released. Composed by Monta and written by Keiji Mizutani(水谷啓二), the composer treated the song as his last chance. Breaking into the Oricon charts at No. 19, the song flew up to No. 4 the following week, and then hit the top spot a week after that. It stayed at No. 1 for 10 straight weeks. More glory came for the band with Grand Prizes coming from all of the major Japanese music awards, an appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen and 2 million records in sales. And to top it all off, it was the No. 1 song of the year.

Still not a huge fan of the chorus section, but overall I enjoy it now and then as an example of nighttime City Pop.


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