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.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

GLAY -- Yuuwaku (誘惑)


It may be one of the noticeable lines from GLAY's megahit "Yuuwaku" (Temptation), but it's probably also something that was in the heads of thousands of rabid fans at the time when it came to how they felt about their heroes. The band GLAY was an oft-heard topic of conversation amongst the younger of my students, especially on the female side of things in the late 90s going into the 21st century. Squeals of "Ka-ko-iiiiiiiiii" were not uncommon in my classroom.

"Yuuwaku" was the band's 13th single since their official debut in 1994, and like SMAP's "Yozora no Mukou" (夜空ノムコウ...which was the No. 2 song of the year on Oricon), the official video for the song or excerpts from it were another frequent fixture on the ranking shows for all of that year. As soon as I hear the crashing guitars and see the rotating stage and the slinky model in purple, I know which video it is. It was released in April 1998 and never looked back as it became the No. 1 song of the year. GLAY guitarist and keyboardist TAKURO was behind its creation....a creation that eventually earned more than 1.6 million in sales. "Yuuwaku" also got onto their hit 4th album, "pure soul".

GLAY made its way onto the Kohaku Utagassen, their second appearance on the New Year's Eve special after debuting there the year before with "However". My memories of that Kohaku are a bit hazy but I just hope they didn't follow a female enka singer....the contrast would've blown out the ears of some of the older folk in the audience.

As for the band members, they are: TERU (vocals), TAKURO (guitar), JIRO (bass) and HISASHI (guitar). Like some of the most popular bands in Japanese pop music history, GLAY came from Hokkaido...the city of Hakodate, to be exact. The band started life during high school and gained local prominence as an amateur act before they decided to strike it big in Tokyo. Although they went through some lean years in the nation's capital, "Yuuwaku" reinforced (the band had already started getting their hits by that point) its status as one of Japan's top pop-rock bands at the end of the century.

The one thing about the band that had scratching my head for a while was how they got their name. Well, the Wikipedia article on GLAY will answer that more effectively without me needing to paraphrase. Just look for "3. Name".

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