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.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hatsumi Shibata/Takao Kisugi -- My Luxury Night (マイ・ラグジュアリー・ナイト)

The perfect kayo kyoku to finish off a night of sophisticated carousing and Ginza-hopping, shall we say? Although much of the music of the 1970s that was being depicted on TV and in the record stores consisted of enka and ear-friendly aidoru music, there was also an undercurrent of jazz, bossa nova and other genres providing that attraction of an aural tour of exotic foreign lands. Keiko Maruyama(丸山圭子), Yumi Arai(荒井由実) and Saki Kubota(久保田早紀) were just some of the more prominent singers, but there was also Hatsumi Shibata(しばたはつみ).

The Tokyo-born Shibata was born into a musical family with a pianist father and a vocalist mother, and also had a celebrity connection as well....her second cousin was former aidoru-turned-TV personality Iyo Matsumoto(松本伊代). At the age of 15, she started her career by singing commercial jingles for such companies as RENOWN and the Maruzen Petroleum Company (now known as Cosmo Oil), but her official debut as a singer under her 3rd stage name of Hatsumi Shibata wouldn't be until 1974 when she sang "Aikagi"(合鍵....Master Key).

But her big hit was her 7th single, "My Luxury Night", released in July 1977, written and composed by Etsuko and Takao Kisugi(来生えつこ・たかお). It was arranged as a jazz lullaby, and the lyrics hint at a person walking the streets of the big city at the midnight hour, so drunk in love that other folks could probably see the valentines fluttering over him/her. Considering the title, I'm assuming the lovestruck fellow was ambling around Ginza. It's a song that could be used to hint at the sleepy but satisfied patrons in an expensive nightclub that it was time to call it a night.

The song finished the year ranked 77th and the success of "My Luxury Night" was Shibata's invitation to the Kohaku Utagassen. She released a total of 18 singles with her final one in 1985. Sadly, Shibata passed away at the age of 57 in 2010.

Kisugi sang a cover version of the song that he had composed for Shibata in 1979 as the Side-B for his 7th single, "Anata Dake Good Night"(あなただけGood Night...A Good Night To You). Although it has a slightly different arrangement, it still keeps that jazz lullaby feeling. And Kisugi's crooning vocals were perfect for "My Luxury Night". This was actually the first time I had heard the song, thanks to the fact that it was included in one of his BEST albums.

My idea of a luxury night? Lots of sleep....which I will engage in now.

A Sunday night in Ginza

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