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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Minako Honda -- Satsui no Vacance (殺意のバカンス)

Minako Honda (本田美奈子) had quite an interesting debut in April 1985 with “Satsui no Vacance”. The song is not one of the most acclaimed in Minako’s discography, but this alone doesn’t make the song less interesting.

“Satsui no Vacance” starts with some nice synth chord progression and a pulsating bass line before Minako joins with the haunting and dramatic chorus. Based on that, the song takes a more serious route if compared to the happy-go-lucky aidoru tunes of the mid-80s, and that was quite a stand-out characteristic for Minako. She certainly wasn’t just a kawaii aidoru singer, or “more of the same”. Back to the song, as the majority of all good synthpop tunes, it eventually breaks into a “cold” synths solo.

At first, by the title, I found this song quite odd. A poor “Google Translator” translation teached me that “Satsui no Vacance” means, literally, “Vacation of Murderous”, which is quite an impacting song title for a debut single of an aidoru singer. Even more bizarre is that the song was used as a CM for the “Toshiba Juice Mixer” (source: generasia). But I ended translating the whole lyrics with “Google Translate” and acknowledged that “Satsui no Vacance” is just another passionate torch song in the veins of Akina Nakamori (中森明菜), and not about murderers.

Also, I find initial synth chord progression of “Satsui no Vacance” quite similar to the the initial synth chord progression of the hit song “Big in Japan” by German band Alphaville.  Take a look below.

To finish, here’s a cute young Minako performing “Satsui no Vacance”. It’s really great that we have videos preserving the great memories of artists that are no longer with us.

“Satsui no Vacance” reached #21 on the Oricon chart, selling 72,520 copies. Lyrics were written by Masao Urino (売野雅勇), while music was composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi (筒美京平). As for the arrangement, it was done by Satoshi Nakamura (中村哲).

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