Some time after getting back to Toronto after my 2 years in Gunma, I ended up buying Chage & Aska's 14th album from 1991, "Tree" through money order on the strength of their humongous hit in "Say Yes". And yep, I could still say yes to "Say Yes"; it still had plenty of juice. However, the other notable song I found on that album was the penultimate track, "Big Tree".
Man, I've known that C&A songs (ballads or uptempo tunes) tend to be epic affairs. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that some of them are the J-Pop equivalents of the sword-n'-sorcery flicks in which the actors speak their lines AT HUGE DECIBELS, ENUNCIATING EACH...WORD...AS...IF...IT...REPRESENTED...A...BULLET...FROM...A....357...MAGNUM!!!
"Big Tree", written and composed by Ryo Aska（飛鳥涼）, is then one howitzer of a song. Immediately starting with a kingly fanfare, he and his partner Chage proudly sing about the trees that reside in all of our hearts, ready to grow high and wide, filled with all of the goodness that we can muster. OOMPH! Talk about the parting of the Red Sea. Heroic and inspirational, after first listening to this one, I felt like building a log house, running a marathon and negotiating a peace deal between dogs and cats....preferably within a day. Any countries looking for a new anthem? Even Aska's leather jacket in the official video above looks epic.
"Big Tree" was never released as an official single but its album, "Tree" hit No. 1 on Oricon, and despite its late release in October 1991, managed to become the 2nd-ranking album of the year. Within a couple of weeks of its release, it reached the top spot having already just under a million copies and ultimately, it would sell 2.3 million discs.