Credits

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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Puffy -- Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera (渚にまつわるエトセトラ)




Starting this profile with a mundane linguistic question: How do I translate the title...."Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera"? The Et Cetera Related to The Beach? Just glad that the Wikipedia entry for the song got me out of the jam; apparently the 2002 US release has the alternative title of "Electric Beach Fever". Whew!

"Electric Beach Fever"sounds a bit disco, doesn't it? Well, not surprising....the song itself has that late 70s dance fever vibe to it. Written by Yosui Inoue(井上陽水) and composed by Tamio Okuda(奥田民生) (the same singer-songwriter pair who launched Puffy's career with the ELO-like "Asia no Junshin"[already profiled]), Ami and Yumi's 4th single of April 1997 was created with Hideki Saijo's(西城秀樹) cover of The Village People's "YMCA" in 1979 (also already profiled). In fact, according to J-Wiki, Puffy and Saijo actually did a duet with the song on one of the Fuji-TV summer marathons.

When it comes to remembering Puffy, this video will always be the first one that comes to mind. The ladies have always given off that "Summer Girls Always Want To Have Fun"aura, and so my biggest image of them is the video of them enjoying a day in Phuket, Thailand, doing oyaji dance moves and eating BBQ crab, and the lyrics consist of those images of having a grand day by the beach....as well as mentioning the BBC, BOAC and Harrison Ford. What's not to love?

Speaking of the once....and perhaps future..."Star Wars"star, "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera" is the second tune I've heard that has a reference to Ford (the first being Misato Watanabe's "Oh, Darling!"). And one of the strangest celeb interviews I have ever come across took place on Puffy's late-night variety show "Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy" when Ami and Yumi actually got the chance to interview....or try to chat with....Harrison Ford for "Air Force One" while dressed in kimonos. Ford who, deservedly or undeservedly, has the reputation of being especially taciturn in interviews actually looked rather bewildered or bemused as he gave his terse answers while having a "What the heck did I get myself into?" expression throughout. I didn't keep the TV on the whole interview due to intense awkwardness (I'm not even sure if Puffy really wanted to be there either), but found out that Ami and Yumi even performed the verse of "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera"acapella containing the reference to their interviewee. I tried to look for a video of it on YouTube but no luck.


Being the big years for Puffy, "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera" hit the top spot on Oricon. According to J-Wiki, the song sold 1.1 million copies which probably would have put it at 12th place in the yearly rankings of 1997. However, according to the rankings at www.musictvprogram.com, it came out at 18th place with 880,000 copies sold. Whatever the ranking was, it was another big hit for the duo.




6 comments:

  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this great post on Puffy's 「渚にまつわるエトセトラ」! I love this song! I didn't realize that it was written by 井上陽水. It would be interesting (and somewhat amusing) if he attempted to sing it himself. Here's part of the lyrics with the Harrison Ford reference -

    カニ 食べ 行こう
    割り切って 行こう
    止まり木に あのハリソン フォード
    私たちは スゴイ ラッキーガール

    I'd give anything to be able to see that interview with Harrison. That 「Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa PUFFY」 Show is one strange and offbeat show. Judging from this sample clip, it pretty much just involved 大貫亜美 and 吉村由美 playing various games, singing songs with guests and making small talk between themselves -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVg62zVHTL8

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    Replies
    1. Hey JTM.

      I think at some point, the interview had been there at YouTube but I'm sure someone at TV Asahi must've caught it and gave the cease and desist order.

      I used to catch "Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy" from time to time on their old Wednesday night slot. The girls may not have had too much fun with Harrison, but I distinctly remember Will and Tommy Lee getting into the act with them, and Cameron, Lucy and Drew being just as crazy as any Japanese tarento when they appeared on respective episodes.

      Y'know, I don't think I can really imagine Yosui singing this one....perhaps after a few beers, perhaps.

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  2. Hi J-Canuck.

    To be honest, "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera" is the only song by Puffy, apart from the "Teen Titans theme" and "Planet Tokyo", that I know and enjoy.

    As you pointed out in the article, "Nagisa..." is a disco styled song, and you already know how much I like this genre. The bass is so groovy and the fake violin riffs made by the synths are just great. The famous little arm movements are very fun too. I would love to do it if I were Japanese.

    I remember watching Takako Matsu sing this song in a karaoke with Kimutaku in "Love Generation" (1997). It was probably a huge tune back then.

    And aidoru trio Tomato n' Pine covered the song in 2011. I like their version too. If you want to check out, here's the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cy3gQ8wTHM

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  3. Hi, Marcos.

    Yup the disco era still rings in my head from time to time. Heck, even on the early morning kids' shows here, I heard disco. Disco doesn't seem to have died....it just went over to Japan and semi-retired. Good for us. Misia likes using it and there is "Love Machine" and "The Peace" by Morning Musume.

    I came across Tomato n' Pine while I was riffing through all of the entries for the song on YouTube but didn't who they were. I will have to take a listen. Thanks.

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  4. Yeah, disco is always present in J-pop. Even Arashi uses it sometimes.

    Morning Musume disco tracks are amazing. I would point out "Daite HOLD ON ME!" and "Manatsu no Kousen" as well. But "The Peace" will always be my favorite.

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  5. Listening to Tomato N' Pine's rendition as I write this...more of a dance vibe I see (and hear) here. Has that urgency to get the kids on the dance floor. :)

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