Credits

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, February 25, 2014

TUNNELS -- Kayo Kyoku (歌謡曲)


Those wild n' crazy guys! Takaaki Ishibashi and Noritake Kinashi(石橋貴明・木梨憲武) were the reasons for my must-see TV on Fuji-TV on Thursday nights when I was living in Gunma. I would always have the telly on Channel 8 at 9 p.m. to see what limits the Tunnels(とねるず) would push and often burst through on their flagship program, "Tunnels no Mina-san no Okage Desu"(とねるずのみなさんのおかげです...The Tunnels' Thanks to Everyone). No matter what was put on the screen that night: movie parody, high school sketch, game show, anything...I knew that the two nutbars would have me laughing my guts out while my lower jaw was firmly planted into the floor. I cannot really explain some of their past antics in words, but let's say this; prime time nudity was not an issue for these guys.

But even before then, the Tunnels were already making their marks as the wild n' crazy comedic duo for years, and once in a while, they would also cut records. JTM has already given his account of the boys' take on Mood Kayo via "Ame no Nishi-Azabu"(雨の西麻布). Well, the song did so well that they and songwriters Yasushi Akimoto and Akira Mitake(秋元康・見岳章) did another round and came up with....the title of my blog! Yep, "Kayo Kyoku" was the title and it was released in January 1986.

The lyrics have the guys pining for their favourite Ginza club hostess, Achako. In addition, there were the other genre tropes of Takaaki and Noritake giving their introductions in humble and hushed tones, the background chorus and the enka arrangement. The Tunnels may have been poking fun at Showa-era music but I think they were good enough that they could've made a fairly decent living at being kayo kyoku balladeers. And in fact, the listeners thought so too. "Kayo Kyoku" did even better on the Oricon charts than "Ame no Nishi-Azabu" by getting as high as No. 2. And the Tunnels managed to win a few special awards, including one from The Ginza Music Festival sponsored by the radio station Nippon Broadcasting System.


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