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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Misato Watanabe -- Moonlight Dance (ムーンライト・ダンス)




Well, considering that the annual Harvest Moon Festival has gone through Asia, I thought this would be a pretty appropriate song to put up for Autumn. In Japan, there is the tradition of tsukimi, or moon-viewing, but I never got any invitations to a moon-viewing party by anyone during my time there. Basically, the closest I got was buying the seasonal Tsukimi Burger at McDonalds.

In any case, I also chose Misato Watanabe's(渡辺美里) 13th single, "Moonlight Dance" since it stands out from a lot of those high-energy tunes displaying her boomer of a voice. Coming out in June 1989, "Moonlight Dance" is more of a nocturnal eerie and atmospheric song about love long lost, and has Misato going a bit more sotto voce. Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉) was responsible for the darker melody; if it were made sentient and tangible, it would be lurking and sneaking through the shadows. Meanwhile, Misato's words by themselves talk about a happier romantic past gradually going into the sadder present, but they've been given a more sinister edge by the music. And one line in the refrain, "Someday, wouldn't you like to have a moonlight dance with me?"(using the Japanese male 1st-person pronoun) hints at the protagonist being someone like the tragic Phantom of the Opera....a damaged man of doom who still tries to lure a woman into his world. I can forgive myself for thinking that this was custom-made for Halloween, and the fact that it was her 13th single is not lost on me.

I first heard the song in a revised form on her 1992 album of self-covers, "Hello Lovers". But I prefer the 1989 original since Komuro does a great job with the synthesizers. It went as high as No. 2 on the Oricon weeklies and it became the 45th-ranked song of the year. It was also a track on her 1989 album, "Flower Bed" which was her 4th of 7 albums in a row to hit the No. 1 spot.




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