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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tatsuro Yamashita -- Blue Midnight

(karaoke version)

Blue Midnight....the name of a cocktail or the title of a Charlie Parker song? Well, neither actually (as far as I know), but it is the name of a Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)ballad that could make for a nice theme song in the Tokyo Western-style bar which could possibly make that sort of cocktail or have a guest who could play the jazz of ol' Bird.

"Blue Midnight" made it onto Yamashita's 1983 "Melodies" when it didn't quite get included onto "For You", his album from the previous year. It just sounds ready-made for some good nighttime imbibing while gazing out onto the Tokyo night sky from Shinjuku or Roppongi. Yamashita came up with the music while Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)wrote the words. I think the addition of the Tadanari Ohno strings and Hiroshi Sato's(佐藤博)piano helps give the song a bit more of a yesteryear something that Nat King Cole would have sung. And of course, the sax by Hidefumi Toki is just the cherry on top.

The album "Melodies" also has "Christmas Eve", the first instance of the Yamashita classic on an album of his. As I have written, Yamashita kinda created the Xmas song as an "I'll show you!" to those who may have knocked him as "just" a summer song guy. However, "Blue Midnight" also illustrates that the singer-songwriter can make music that can appeal to any night of the year.

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