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, June 29, 2013

Akina Nakamori -- Solitude

I've always thought this song got relatively short shrift when compared to the really big hits such as "Mi Amore", "Kazari Ja Nai No Yo Namida Wa" and "Desire". I mean, "Solitude"was the lowest-ranking of the 5 songs that the singer had in the Oricon Top 50 of 1985 (No. 35, at that), but even so when I discovered its position on the charts, I kinda wished it had scored even higher. I guess when compared to its more high-energy counterparts, "Solitude" was a bit laid-back, but that is its charm.

Akina Nakamori's(中森明菜)13th single is a cool and cooling song, something to be heard in the high towers of Tokyo (most likely Shinjuku or Odaiba) at night while nursing that drink, although the first line in Reiko Yukawa's(湯川れい子) lyrics talks about Akina cutting her nails by the 25th-floor emergency exit with the wind at her back. Nah....the song sounds too sophisticated for that....definitely not aidoru, that's for sure. The surprise for me is that the urban melody....a movement that reminds me of something that Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)or a solo Kazumasa Oda(小田和正) would write...was composed by Yukihide Takekawa(タケカワユキヒデ), the lead vocal for 70s folk/rock group Godiego(ゴダイゴ). But then again, Oda also came from those roots as well, and when I think of late 80s/early 90s urban contemporary J-Pop, he's one of the go-to guys.

I also like the way Akina sings "Solitude". Her voice sounds soft and enticing, and the way it seems to weave to and fro, I can imagine the singer was doing the same thing during the recording. Idid have the above video from her "Bitter & Sweet" concert which I've got somewhere on a tape since she's decked out in that spooky ballerina outfit (probably emulating that famous statue of a ballerina in a museum near you). But of course, it got taken down so I've got the replacement video from an appearance on "Yoru no Hit Studio"

"Solitude"was released in September 1985, and hit the top spot on Oricon. As mentioned, it ended up as the 35th-ranked song of the year.

1 comment:

  1. SOLITUDE is probably my favorite Akina ballad from the 80s. It's not really a ballad, but a mid-tempo song.

    It's a very classy song, in typical Akina style. The live performances of this particular song are always very good.

    Before listening to this song I didn't know what the word solitude meant. I found out the meaning and it helped me connect to the song even more, although I can't understand the lyrics.

    And I agree that it could have ranked better. It's a pretty solid Akina release.


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