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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kami Fusen -- Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni (冬が来る前に)


The early 70s folk group, Akai Tori(赤い鳥), who had their biggest hit with "Tsubasa wo Kudasai"翼をください), broke up in 1974 with two new groups being formed from amongst its members. One of those groups, led by vocal/guitarist Junko Yamamoto(山本潤子), became the pop vocal group Hi-Fi Set, while Akai Tori guitarist Etsujiro Goto(後藤悦治郎) and vocal/pianist Yasuyo Hirayama(平山泰代) became personal and professional partners with the latter formation being dubbed Kami Fusen (紙ふうせん...Paper Balloon).

Kami Fusen debuted in 1974 with "Ikatsuri Uta"いかつり唄....Squid Fishing Song), but the duo's biggest hit was their 5th single, "Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni"(Before The Winter Comes), released in November 1977. Although it's been labeled as a folk song, especially with that pretty intro, it's also got quite a bit of pop muscle in it as well with that electric guitar and that urgent rhythm section, thanks to composer Tada (?) Urano(浦野直). Goto's lyrics, delivered by Hirayama, talk of that departed lover who cannot be forgotten.

"Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni" had actually been created near the end of 1976, but over the year, the concert reaction to it was very positive so the decision was made to release it as a single. Good choice, as it peaked at No. 4 in 1978 and eventually became the 27th-ranked single of that year. Since then, it's been covered by Akina Nakamori(中森明菜) and members of Hello Project. And not surprisingly, like the aforementioned "Tsubasa wo Kudasai", the song has also become a mainstay for those high school choral groups and music classes.

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