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, October 29, 2013

Hideki Saijo -- Sei Shojo (聖・少女)

Wow! Another oldie and goodie that I haven't heard in eons. I first caught onto Hideki Saijo's(西城秀樹)"Sei Shojo"(Sacred Girl) when I was watching the 1982 Kohaku Utagassen. It was the 2nd Kohaku I had ever seen, so things were still very new, fresh and exciting when it came to the New Year's Eve special. Saijo had appeared on the Kohaku of the previous year, but for me, his performance of his 42nd single on that Shibuya stage was pretty darn entertaining. I'm not sure if he was the top batter for the White Team, but it was still early enough in the show that I remember seeing the tall and lanky Saijo, along with his fellow teammates (including a beaming Hiroshi Itsuki), doing the twist as he went into the refrain. Unfortunately, I couldn't find that Kohaku footage on the Net, but I'm pretty sure the White Team got a good measure of votes just from performance alone.

I later heard "Sei Shojo" in its entirety on "Sounds of Japan" on the radio, and I liked it even better. Written by Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆) and composed by folk singer Takuro Yoshida(吉田拓郎), the song was released in June 1982, just in time for the summer. It's a brisk song with Saijo giving a flying rendition about setting his sights on that hard-to-get girl on the beach. Listening to the fairly galloping beat with the old-fashioned strings and electric guitar, I usually get transported back to those heady days 30 years back as I was trying to gather as much information as I could about kayo kyoku back then. I also loved how his vocals meshed well with that keyboard when he sang "Say it".

"Sei Shojo" managed to peak at No. 9 on Oricon and ranked in at No. 83 for the year. It also won the Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards, and as mentioned, it also got him an invitation over to the Kohaku for the 9th time.

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