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, October 8, 2013

Hiromi Iwasaki -- Gekkou (月光)


Although "Gekkou" (Moonlight) by Hiromi Iwasaki(岩崎宏美) came out as her 37th single in October 1985, I actually got the album that it came out on, "Cinema" at Wah Yueh. The title suggested something rather romantic and the huge picture of the singer in soft focus with those huge come-hither eyes and red lips had me parting with my cash fairly quickly. It also helped that I was a big fan of hers.

Of all of the tracks on the album, it's "Gekkou" that stands out to me. For a wonderfully talented singer who became entrenched in my memory as someone who sang peppy 70s aidoru tunes and then transformed into a tender-hearted balladeer into the 80s, I was immediately hooked on this single since it has Iwasaki trying for and winning with something more urban contemporary with a beat. And I discovered in the intro that this voice could also do sultry.

When I actually started to pay attention to the people who created the songs, I was surprised to find out that "Gekkou" was not only written by Goro Matsui(松井吾郎), who had helped out on all those Anzen Chitai(安全地帯) hits (and wrote all of the tracks on "Cinema"), but was composed by Japanese funkster Toshinobu Kubota(久保田利伸)....even before he officially debuted as a singer. After listening to the song again once I found out its pedigree, I could even imagine Kubota spinning his own take on the track. According to J-Wiki, another song had been slated to become the 37th single but once Iwasaki heard the demo tape by Kubota, she urged that "Gekkou" be the A-side. Good choice.

I'm not sure whether Kubota created any more songs for Iwasaki, but I'd be more than happy to give them a try if they are indeed out there. As it were, "Gekkou" got no higher than No. 54 on Oricon. Still has my love, though.



(karaoke version)

3 comments:

  1. Sorry to keep bothering you on the subject, but could you help explain these songs from Hiromi's 1975 "Romantic Concert"? I'm guessing they're folk songs of some kind, but my knowledge of Japanese is non-existent, and google doesn't translate the titles and captions very well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8YDn8yv_gs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhmbGS_X8fc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hKyzYW2oSc

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    Replies
    1. Hey there.

      You really picked those Hiromi tearjerkers, didn't you? :) All three of them are centered around dear old Mom....a fairly common theme for kayo kyoku, especially in the Folk and enka genres.

      The first song is "Haha no Uta" (Song for Mother)
      The second song is "Chiisai Haha no Uta" (Little Mom's Song)
      The third song is "Okaasan -- Kono Yo no Naka de Ichiban" (Mother - You're The Best in the World)

      I remember Hiromi singing some of these folk songs, and she could've drawn tears from a block of granite.

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  2. Speaking of tearjerkers, here's a little seen song from her 1977 album "With Best Friends", singing about her father this time. The translation says it's about her rebellions against him, and the emotion is palpable.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RysEFGe_elU

    Here's a performance from an NHK recital in 1978, and she's in tears during it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hfrjLxaBls

    Mamiko has exceptional taste in Hiromi songs, as she covers this. Along with Azayaka na Bamen, Watashi Tachi and Tsukimiso, she's picked out some of Hiromi's more obscure songs that are also wonderful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnxG_EjHjBo

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Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.