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, August 26, 2014

Katsuko Kanai/Akina Nakamori/Yo Hitoto -- Tanin no Kankei (他人の関係)

Just like Teppei Shibuya's(渋谷哲平)"Deep", Katsuko Kanai's(金井克子)"Tanin no Kankei" (Relationship with the Other Woman) was a kayo kyoku that I'd found out about through the comic duo, Tunnels, on their Thursday night show. The guys always loved to take a poke at some of the old songs especially if the singer had a rather distinctive set of choreographic moves, and Kanai was definitely one beloved target.

"Tanin no Kankei" is a kayo classic partially because of the opening "pa pa paya pa" scat and Kanai's right-hand signalling. I think when it comes to the 70s stuff, that performance puts it on a par with any of the Pink Lady hits in terms of instant recognition. And considering that it was from the early 70s, the conspiratorial jazzy music by Makoto Kawaguchi(川口真)makes "Tanin no Kankei" sound like something from a decade before. Mieko Arima's (有馬三恵子)lyrics about a woman stating her relationship with a guy who makes two-timing a regular hobby evokes a lot of images of seedy lounges and bars.

Kanai's 31st single was her lone big hit out of the 42 records she released between 1962 and 1982. Debuting with "Hapsburg Serenade", the Tianjin-born, Osaka-raised singer started out in ballet before entering show business as a model. As with the above video from the early 60s, she both sang and danced in her appearances, and watching her here, she reminded me a bit of the young Shirley MacLaine.

She appeared in the 1966 and 1967 Kohaku Utagassen, and apparently earned the perhaps undesired label of being the first performer in the history of the NHK New Year's Eve special to show a bit too much underwear. I don't have that video but the above is of a very young Kanai performing a familiar song.

There was one more appearance by her on the Kohaku and that was in 1973 for "Tanin no Kankei" which was released in March. It was her only Top 10 hit, reaching No. 7 and becoming the 31st-ranked single of the year. It also won a prize at The Japan Record Awards.

(Sorry but the music163 link is dead.)

Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)gave a pretty smoky cover version of "Tanin no Kankei" when she released "Mood Kayo -- Utahime Showa Meikyokushu"(ムード歌謡 〜歌姫昭和名曲集...Showa Divas' Famous Song Collection)(peaked at No. 30) in 2009. Maybe it's my imagination, but she sounded a fair bit like Momoe Yamaguchi(山口百恵).

And then singer Yo Hitoto(一青窈)will release her most recent 19th single (August 27th...tomorrow at the time of this writing) in the form of this song. This version seems to have more of the funk in there. Of course, Yo Hitoto has some famous past hits from the past decade so I will be covering those soon enough.

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