It's been almost a couple of years since I put up Masatoshi Nakamura's （中村雅俊）17th single, "Koibito mo Nureru Machikado"（恋人も濡れる街角）, an urban ballad that I used to hear often at Kuri, my old Yorkville karaoke haunt. Then I was reminded tonight of another Nakamura kayo classic which was his debut single, "Fureai" (Contact) from July 1974. In fact, the song was released exactly 40 years ago today.
Nakamura was starring in an NTV school drama, "Warera Seishun!" （われら青春！...Our Salad Days）as a young high school English teacher. The drama already had theme songs set, but supposedly halfway through the 22-episode series, Nakamura's Okita-sensei sang this new song from the veranda of his apartment. And "Fureai" soon became the talk of the town, becoming a million seller and hitting No. 1 on Oricon. Written by Keisuke Yamakawa （山川啓介）and composed by Taku Izumi（いずみたく）, the song struck me as being reminiscent of one of those old European love songs from the 1960s; something along the lines of "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin. And Nakamura's vocals are even now such that whenever he sings this one, people of a certain age are sure to be transported back to their old salad days.
The full version of the song is below.