Out of the numerous Chage and Aska albums I have collected over the span of 3 to 4 years, their 16th addition (1993) has got to be my favorite - I enjoyed all 13 songs in it. Also, the cover art for the album is pretty cool; An abandoned dinghy in the middle of a desert with red sand (keeping to the name Red Hill) and in the distance, the silhouette of an Arabian-looking city is seen. Atmospheric, don't you think? But none of the songs have any Middle-eastern influence on them, just so you know... although there is one song with an interesting arrangement which I would touch on later.
For its statistics, Red Hill peaked at 1st place for 2 weeks and eventually settled at 8th for the year. Not surprising to see that since it was released during one of their banner years. It's also a million-seller. And from the 13 songs, 9 of them were used in commercial/show tie-ups.
Well now, that's enough introduction, let's get started.
First on the list that I would like to talk about would be the 5th song from the album that seems like the odd one out in terms of its music, 'Konya chotto sa' (今夜ちょっとさ). It has got this Caribbean arrangement that intrigued me upon hearing it since Aska (the one who wrote and composed it) generally doesn't do... reggae. In terms of its lyrics, it's quite the typical ballad where the guy basically just wants a hug (or maybe something more...) from the girl he's so madly in love with before leaving for the night (if he does). Some of the lyrics include "Lying on your (her) knees" and "Holding your hand is sweeter than the doughnut I'm eating"... romantic? Man, if I tell that to my classmates, the ones with a colorful mind would surely be snickering away as their imaginations run wild... well to be honest I would do it too...
Noboranai boku wo nagameru
I may cover the other songs from Red Hill by themselves in the future, but as for now, this is it. The album was one of my first Chage and Aska albums I got from Japan 4 years back, and I remember that I very much enjoyed reading that booklet thing with the songs' lyrics and looking at their pictures - Aska's poetry included.
About a year later, I received another copy of Red Hill - the real deal from back in the 90's! - from a Grand aunt from Hong Kong when she had learnt of my liking towards the duo (it was hers), and it had the Chinese (Cantonese) translations of the songs in a piece of paper! It was difficult to read, but at least I understood about half of it... better than not understanding the song at all.