Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Saki Kubota -- Mayonaka no Sanpo （真夜中の散歩）
Up until a couple of days ago, I had thought the only song I would ever have by Saki Kubota （久保田早紀）on the blog would be her famous "Ihoujin" （異邦人）from 1979. As I mentioned for the article on her most well-known song, it was just one of a number of exotic and jaunty kayo kyoku that became hits in the late 1970s.
However, just over the weekend, I came across a few of Kubota's albums from that period online and checked some of the tracks out. One album that stood out was her 3rd album, "Saudade" （サウダーデ）from November 1980 which itself stood out since the five tracks that make up the first half of the album had been recorded in Portugal, hence the title (which means "longing").
The song for this article, though, comes from the Side B of the original LP, "Mayonaka no Sanpo" (Midnight Walk). Along with the brief musical trend of exotic kayo at the end of the 70s going into the 80s, there also seemed to be another trend in mid-tempo ballads that had some disco strings...Yuming's （ユーミン）title track from "Toki no nai Hotel" （時のないホテル）(1980) was one other example and perhaps some of Ruiko Kurahashi's （倉橋ルイ子）output as well. "Mayonaka no Sanpo" has a similar vibe. Composed by Kubota, the lyrics by Keisuke Yamakawa （山川啓介）described a woman's less-than-happy walk in the wee hours while going over a lost romance. Safety was apparently not a concern for her.
Even more than the exotic kayo, I have had an affinity for this sort of disco kayo ballad (about as niche a genre as one can get in this blog) for years, so finding about "Saudade" is another fine discovery for me. Perhaps this song could also be classified as an example of the media-dubbed Fashion Pop that songstress Asami Kado （門あさ美）represented. The title track is also quite nice as well, so hopefully I might be able to get an article on that song pretty soon.