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, October 21, 2014

Toshinobu Kubota -- Sunshine, Moonlight

Back in my days in Japan, there was a commercial for Nippon Ham featuring J-funkster Toshinobu Kubota(久保田利伸)meeting cute with some street thugs (unfortunately, that ad was taken down but you can see another commercial featuring the slower version of the song) while selling those wieners which snap. Yup, the Japanese love franks which make sounds when you bend them (let's not think too deeply about that, shall we?). My brother came to Tokyo one year while I was there and at the Shinagawa hotel where we had breakfast, he admitted that he wasn't too fond of the snappy variety.

In any case, the funkiest commercial song ever to be tied up with frankfurters is "Sunshine, Moonlight" written and composed by Kubota himself. And it worked well as a jingle since it has that groovy hook. And both for the ad and the concert footage above, it's got that nice strutting beat to it.

"Sunshine, Moonlight" was originally the title track on Kubota's debut album in the United States, released in September 1995. The song was sung in English with Tawatha Agee on backing vocals, and it was a slower version which I was a tad disappointed by. I remember my first time listening to it on the old Onkyo and waving my hand to get it to speed up.

The album did well on the Oricon charts by hitting No. 1 and selling over 500,000 copies. And I can only imagine how many packages of snappy wieners cleared the supermarket shelves on Kubota's say-so.

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