Monday, May 26, 2014
Maki Ohguro -- Ichiban Chikaku ni Ite ne/El amor es ciego （いちばん近くにいてね）
After one of the most bitter and longest winters in recorded memory here in my hometown of Toronto, Canada, Mother Nature deemed that we had suffered enough. Therefore, today we had a sudden burst of summer. And not only did it feel like the beginning of summer, but it felt like mid-summer. I will not complain....at least not yet.
So, let's bring out another summer tune. I'm thinking of 1995. I'm thinking of Maki Ohguro's （大黒摩季）"Ichiban Chikaku ni Ite ne" (Stay The Closest To Me, Will You?). Coming out in May of that year, I'd known the singer to go for the rock and the power pop but then with this song I got very interested in her Latin. And so did a lot of other fans. This was a tune that got a lot of airplay on TV and I heard it in a number of CD shops during that year. And why not? Ohguro wrote and composed "Ichiban Chikaku ni Ite ne" to get everyone up to samba the day and night away. It was great to get the folks out of spring lethargy and prepared for the beach. I also recollect that it got quite a lot of favour at the karaoke boxes as well.
The coupling song was "El amor es ciego" (Love Is Blind). The title may have been Spanish but the sound is relaxing bossa nova. This was another pure Ohguro concoction that could accompany that break beside the ocean in the lounge chair while the waiter brings that giant cocktail.
Ohguro's 11th single peaked at No. 2 and became the 38th-ranked song for 1995. "Ichiban Chikaku ni Ite ne" was also a track on her 5th album, "LA LA LA" from July of that year, although it was re-arranged into the "Carnival Version". In terms of sales, the single sold 900,000 copies and for Ohguro, it happened to be the very first song she sang at her very first concert, according to the J-Wiki article on the song.