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, May 20, 2014

Noboru Kirishima/Izumi Yukimura/Yujiro Ishihara -- Mune no Furiko (胸の振り子)

Tonight on NHK's "Kayo Concert"(歌謡コンサート), singer Rimi Natsukawa (夏川 りみ)performed a wonderful jazzy rendition of an old kayo standard from decades back titled "Mune no Furiko" (Pendulum of My Heart). I liked the song so much that I decided to take a look for it on YouTube and found out that, true to its nature as a standard, it's been covered by a number of singers over the ages.

It was written by Hachiro Sato(サトウハチロー)and composed by Ryoichi Hattori (服部良一)in 1947 (Hattori would also create another fine kayo standard, "Tokyo Boogie-Woogie"), and it was first sung by popular singer Noboru Kirishima (霧島昇)who started his career in the 1930s. The lyrics and the music as it was sung back then by Kirishima reminded me of some of the love songs that the big bands played back in America. It was probably a fine song to listen to under the stars before bedtime.

The freeze image for the above video was one that I have seen leafing through the pages of  "Japanese City Pop", since it was the cover for Izumi Yukimura's (雪村いずみ)album "Super Generation" from 1974. Now, I've seen Ms. Yukimura a number of times on TV programs such as "Kayo Concert" and had never thought that she would end up in this book. But apparently, singer-actress Yukimura, who had debuted in 1953 when she was around 16 and became one of Japan's big 3 female singers alongside Chiemi Eri (江利 チエミ)and Hibari Misora (美空ひばり), collaborated with the hot New Musicians of the 1970s such as Masataka Matsutoya (松任谷正隆)and Haruomi Hosono (細野晴臣)to give an updated spin to the music of Ryoichi Hattori with the help of his son, composer Katsuhisa Hattori(服部克久).

I was glad that I could finally get an "in" to "Super Generation". Yukimura's version of "Mune no Furiko" doesn't really strike me as being City Pop but more of a New Music take. In a way, there's something pretty Akiko Yano-ish about it. The album also includes the aforementioned "Tokyo Boogie-Woogie", so I'd like to hear that as well.

Of course, when I found the video of The Big Man himself, Yujiro Ishihara(石原裕次郎), performing "Mune no Furiko", I also had to include this one although I'm not sure whether this was an official entry in his discography. However, his version is the closest to the one I heard by Natsukawa earlier tonight since it has that late-night bluesy jazz sound to it. And what better way to finish an evening than with some great mind-blowing sax?

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