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 27, 2013

Masanori Sera & Twist -- Moero Ii Onna (燃えろいい女)

I first heard "Moero Ii Onna" (Get Excited, Good Girl) years ago on the Fuji-TV Thursday night comedy-variety show hosted by The Tunnels when they did a hilarious parody of "Terminator 2". Taller and crazier Takaaki Ishibashi(石橋貴明), in Arnie's role, broke character (as he usually does) to playfully "attack" actress-model Miyuki Ono(小野みゆき), who was playing Sarah Connor while singing the song in question. Several years previously, Ono had been the campaign girl for Shiseido's summer commercial for which "Moero Ii Onna" was the song selected.

Now, getting to the originator of the song, I mentioned about Masanori Sera(世良公則) when I did a profile on "Wakare no Asa"別れの朝)a few months ago. I've known him more as an actor, notably via his small role as a city doctor in the NHK morning serial "Ume-chan Sensei" last year, but then I came across the above video performing "Moero Ii Onna". He was one scary looking dude with those eyes, but I could see that he had oodles of charisma....perfect for rock. And he did a good job lyrically lusting for that summer girl.

"Moero Ii Onna" was the band's 5th single released in April 1979. As indicated, it was written and composed by Sera, and it managed to peak at No. 3. For the year, it finished in the 25th position with just a little over 400,000 records sold.

As for the story behind the band, during his high school days in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Sera had joined a band called FBI which consequently moved to Osaka to progress their career. At the same time, the band's name was changed to Twist(ツイスト). However, the lead vocal at the time was getting hammered critically, so it was decided that he and Sera (who had been on bass) would switch roles. Then, in 1977, when the members were about to graduate from university and break up the band, it was entered into the Yamaha Popular Song Contest (Popcorn). Sera, who was the sole member who wanted the band to go pro, loaded the deck by making another name change to "Masanori Sera & Twist". They performed "Anta no Ballad"あんたのバラード....Your Ballad), and like a Cinderella story, they earned the Grand Prix of the contest, and a month later, the song would be given its release as Twist's official debut single. Popcorn had been known for a lot of folk bands participating but with Twist's success in that October, the number of rock acts entering the contest increased.

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