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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Southern All Stars -- Niji Iro The Night Club (匂艶「にじいろ」THE NIGHT CLUB)

(karaoke excerpt above)

I could only imagine what the nightclub life must have been like during those days....or places like Tokyo or Yokohama, especially when Japan was going through its economic boom era. It must have sounded like Southern All Stars' 15th single, "Niji Iro The Night Club" (Rainbow Coloured The Night Club). Now for the sake of linguistic accuracy, I do feel obligated to explain a little bit of the title. Lyricist and composer Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳佑)decided to make the reading behind the kanji, "niji iro", although the characters don't actually read or even exist in tandem usually. However, although each character has a variety of meanings, when they are put together, they can mean "bright and colourful", which is close enough to what the leader of SAS was looking for.

And man, does this song give us the life and times of a happening night spot in the early 80s within a little over 4 minutes! Just by luck, listening to a "Sounds of Japan" tape yesterday brought "Niji Iro The Night Club" back to mind and ears....and in surprisingly good condition, considering that the tape is 30 years old. Kuwata is the congenial host onstage as he brings back the kayo kyoku horns, the coloured lights and the whoops of appreciative customers while he leads the rest of the All Stars. This is the band ensuring everyone has the greatest of times.

Apparently, there was an official music video for the song, and it was filmed at a place called Bar Stardust near a US military base in Yokohama. Would love to see it someday. The single was released in May 1982 and managed to get as high as No. 8 on the Oricon weeklies. It has been on a number of Southern All Stars albums with the first album being "Nude Man", their 5th album from July of the same year, which was the 3rd-ranking LP for 1982.

(cover version)

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