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, June 7, 2014

Off-Course -- Wine no Nioi (ワインの匂い)

(cover version)

One of the things I've loved doing when it comes to "Kayo Kyoku Plus" is coming up with some long-lost song that I hadn't heard in years and then writing it up. And the most precious ones are the tunes that never came out as official singles but still sound very worthy of mention. It would seem that the band Off-Course(オフ・コース)with its long history of nearly 2 decades had a number of these hidden gems.

"Wine no Nioi" (Bouquet of a Wine) was the title track from Off-Course's 3rd album which came out in December 1975. Penned by Kazumasa Oda(小田和正), it's a gentle ballad which brings together his delicate vocals and the laid-back melody to form a comforting whole. In addition, there's something about the overall arrangement which immediately has me thinking of the introspective side of New Music (i.e. Yuming). Oda sings about a woman with a love of wine and piano who he never truly gets to meet but wonders what could have been. Strangely enough, according to the J-Wiki article on the album, Oda stated in a magazine interview that he came up with the song after seeing the Queen of New Music herself in performance for the very first time. Well, on reading that, I thought about the category of Things That Make Me Go "Hmmm....".

The video above also has the track immediately following "Wine no Nioi" on Side A of the album, "Are Kara Kimi wa" (あれから君は...Since Then, You)which was written and composed by fellow Off-Course member Yasuhiro Suzuki(鈴木康博). This track also has that New Music feeling to it, except that it tends more toward Taeko Ohnuki (大貫妙子)of the early 80s without the technopop frills. Unlike the wistful nature of "Wine no Nioi", "Are Kara Kimi wa" is a bit darker in that the protagonist had a chance to get to know a sister of a classmate a whole lot better but with the sudden death of that classmate, she completely turns off.

The album "Wine no Nioi" peaked at No. 62 on Oricon and also has an official single, "Nemurenu Yoru"(眠れぬ夜).

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