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, November 12, 2013

Pink Lady -- Carmen '77 (カルメン '77)

Truth to power, I don't know "Carmen '77" by Pink Lady as well as some of their other huge hits. In fact, I had to take a look at the above video and one of their performances on YouTube to refresh my memory, and even then, I could really just remember the first line, "Watashi wa Carmen DESU"私はカルメンです.....I AM Carmen!)and the staccato horns which launch things off.

Written and composed by the duo's go-to songsmiths, Yu Aku and Shunichi Tokura(阿久悠・都倉俊一), for release as their 3rd single in March 1977, "Carmen '77" sounds a bit as if it would have made a nice theme for a tokusatsu hero program. And as one Japanese blogger put it, it has that heaviness, darkness and a feeling of an oncoming storm....certainly a switch from their first two dynamic-and-happy singles, "Pepper Keibu" and "SOS". Still, the frenetic energy is there. And although there was no direct mention about how the title came to be (when I checked that blog or Wiki), there was no doubt that the titular character was not someone to cross, period. I kinda wonder if Aku and Tokura were inspired by those tough-as-nails leather-bound female characters from Japanese thrillers or perhaps even those American TV detectives of the 70s such as Pepper Anderson and Christie Love. Maybe even the famed opera, "Carmen", had some input.

"Carmen '77" was the duo's 2nd consecutive No. 1 which stayed at the top for 5 straight weeks, and would eventually end up as the 7th-ranked song of the year, selling well over a million records.

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