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.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Seiko Matsuda -- Strawberry Time



Although Seiko Matsuda (松田聖子)has been in show business for about 35 years, my biggest interest in her was in the 1980s. And I split that decade into her early pre-(first) marriage period and then her return to work after getting hitched to actor Masaki Kanda and giving birth to her daughter Sayaka. The first single in that latter part of the 80s was "Strawberry Time".

"Strawberry Time" was a popular song for one certain member of the group which headed to karaoke bar Kuri during our university years. She was a huge Seiko-chan fan but it seemed as if when Matsuda came up with this comeback single in April 1987, she found her trademark tune. I had thought that when Matsuda went off the stage for a little while, she was starting to veer away from the pure aidoru stuff to a more mainstream pop sound from listening to some of her pre-marriage singles, and indeed she did go into that direction when she came back. However, this particular single brought back the good ol' days, so to speak.

Still, "Strawberry Time" has quite a bit of oomph in it when compared to her earlier Karuho Kureta-penned songs. That is probably due to the fact that the music was provided by Akio Dobashi(土橋安騎夫), member of rock band Rebecca. The lyrics were by prolific Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆). There is that heroic rock beat about being welcomed to Seiko-chan's happy place....one wonders if an 80s anime producer would have been tempted to have created a show around the song. In any case, the single reached No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies and eventually became the 5th-ranked song for 1987. The Queen Aidoru of the 80s was back.

The single was also part of her 14th album of the same name which came out in May 1987. "Strawberry Time" the album hit No. 1 on the charts as well.




2 comments:

  1. "Strawberry Time", alongside the Komuro-penned "Kimono Beat", was the first Seiko song I heard some years ago. If I'm not mistaken, they're even from the same album. Also, as I was already an Akina Nakamori fan, Seiko's cute charm didn't captivate me instantly.

    About "Strawberry Time", I always felt that a strawberry land would be something very nice to visit. It kind of gave me this fairy tale vibe every time I listened to it. But in the end, I still prefer the lovely "Shiroi Parasol" and even "Kimono Beat".

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Marcos.

      As you mentioned, "Kimono Beat" is included on the "Strawberry Time" album. There is something of that fantasy land vibe in the title track that had my Seiko-fan friend always going to this song for karaoke. Coincidentally enough, I'll be meeting her and her husband for dinner tomorrow for the first time in over 3 years. I may have to mention the song to her....that is, if she isn't too embarrassed to go over the old karaoke days.

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