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.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Godiego -- Gandhara (ガンダーラ)

The pop/rock band Godiego(ゴダイゴ)had their banner year in 1979, starting with their greatest hit, "Gandhara"ガンダーラ), released in October 1978. The other two hits that I've already profiled by the group, "Monkey Magic"and "Galaxy Express 999" are uptempo numbers, but "Gandhara"is a sway-worthy ballad composed by Godiego main vocalist Yukihide Takekawa (タケカワユキヒデ). There were two different versions of "Gandhara", one in English which was written by Yoko Narahashi(奈良橋陽子) and the Japanese version by Michio Yamagami(山上路夫).

"Monkey Magic"was the rock beginning theme song for the TV fantasy adventure "Saiyuki"西遊記), while "Gandhara"was the ending theme. The title referred to a utopia located in India, although the actual area is supposedly in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Just as the band's name originated from exoticism (I explain how the name "Godiego"was derived in the entry for "Monkey Magic"(1979)), Takekawa also wanted the title of the song to reflect this feeling of India and The Silk Road. When he talked about his ideas with other songwriters, they responded by saying that they wanted something as exotic as the art of Gandhara. Takekawa derived the title from that statement.

Godiego's 7th single rose as high as No. 2 on Oricon and became the 6th-ranked song of 1979. The below video is "Gandhara"as it was presented at the end of "Saiyuki" in Japanese. Incidentally, the late 70s were a time for kayo kyoku to melodically explore this idea of a more exotic approach. Along with Godiego, singers like Judy Ongg (Miserarete) and Saki Kubota (Ihojin) were doing just that.

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