As we get into the Christmas season here with all the bright displays in shops, fried chicken advertisements and Christmas cake sales (I still don't get what's the big deal; strawberry shortcake is available all year long), I thought I'd also contribute with a few seasonal favorites of mine. The one that came to my mind first is "Yellow Christmas", a collaborative effort from 1986 between various City Pop singers, including Masamichi Sugi (杉真理), Hi-Fi Set (ハイ・ファイ・セット), Yoshitaka Minami (南佳孝), Seishiro Kusunose (楠瀬誠志郎), and Kaoru Sudo (須藤薫). PSY-S and then-recently debuted Pizzicato V also join the fun. Thanks to the playful mood and the cheeky video, this is as Japanese as a Japanese Christmas song gets. The title itself is a tongue-in-cheek racial jab on the term "White Christmas". Sugi is the one who wrote and composed this song and takes the lead vocal duties, with the other artists playing along. That video never fails to make me smile, especially his and Masaya Matsuura's antics. There's even a parody of Kohaku Utagassen at the very end.
"Yellow Christmas" was released as a single in November 1986 and included on a special compilation album "Winter Lounge". The other tracks are solos by all the singers. About half a year later, Pops All Stars returned to celebrate the hot season with "Summer Lounge", though with a different lineup.