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, June 20, 2013

GARO/Rie Asakura -- Kimi no Tanjoubi (君の誕生日)




This is a song that I just came across by the 70s folk group, GARO, and enjoyed. I knew the band only for their 3rd single and big hit, "Gakusei Gai no Kissaten"学生街の喫茶店), a song that sounded somewhere between a tango and a waltz at points. "Kimi no Tanjoubi"(Your Birthday) is on the more melancholy side; it deals with a guy and a girl celebrating the latter's birthday...which just happens to be the day that she broke up with him. And then the guy has to face those memories again once her birthday approaches. Released in May 1973, it was created by the same pair behind "Gakusei Gai no Kissaten": Michio Yamagami and Koichi Sugiyama(山上路夫・すぎやまこういち). For a folk song, it still has that something I call "string sophistication"....which reminds me of European music. Composer Sugiyama also seems to throw in a bit from GARO's biggest hit in the middle. The band's 5th single hit the top spot on Oricon and was the 12th-ranked song of the year. It was also a track on their 4th album, "GARO LIVE"(1973).


Rie Asakura(朝倉理恵) was a Tokyo-born actress and singer who started her career in her teens with a chorus group known as The Singing Angels before going solo under the name of Taeko Sakurai(桜井妙子). During that time, she sang a number of anime themes and commercial jingles in the early 70s. Then, when she passed an audition in 1972 with (the now) Sony Music Entertainment, she reverted to her real name and started singing pop songs for the remainder of the decade. Her version of "Kimi no Tanjoubi" was never released as an official single but was included on her debut album, "Ano Basho Kara"あの場所から...From That Place), released in July 1973. Incidentally, she also did a cover of GARO's "Gakusei Gai no Kissaten".


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