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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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chage and Aska -- Meguriai (めぐり逢い)


I've taken note of and experienced a couple of things while on a trip back to Hong Kong. First thing is that Enka is not "in" in Hong Kong. Scouring through any CD shop within my line of sight only allowed me to find 3 or 4 Enka albums, 1 being Sayuri Ishikawa's (石川さゆり) 2015 Compilation Album which I eventually bought (first album I got by a female singer). They are, however, very much into K-pop, J-pop/rock, and Japanese aidoru groups, more specifically, Arashi (嵐 ). They had albums after albums and magazines upon magazines on that boy band!

Next thing was being graced by my Second Granduncle's (Yi Kau Gong, as it is called in Cantonese and that's how I address him) gentle, modulated voice as he presented his well-thought-out political views out of other things to yours truly. I'm not a fan of the political world, but that guy actually made it sound fascinating, and it was a joy to be able to talk to him for some of the night after one whole decade! Plus, a relatively big word was learnt from dear Yi Kau Gong that night... "Heterogeneous".

Eh, moving back to the topic of music. As I've said above, the Hong Kongers enjoy J-pop, this includes acts from the 80's and 90's like Anzen Chitai (安全地帯), Akina Nakamori (中森明菜)Momoe Yamaguchi (山口百恵)Off Course - Kazumasa Oda (小田和正), and my all time favourite from the world of mainstream J-pop/rock, Chage and Aska. Visiting a place by the name of Sino Centre, which is known for selling Japanese stuff - recommended by my Second Grandaunt (YKG's missus, I address her as Yi Kum Po/Paw... which ever is easier for you to pronounce) who knows my liking for such music - I had eventually come across this one shop in particular that sold old CDs from back in the day... you know, after encountering the many Arashi and AKB48 things from other shops.

By golly, that store was like a treasure trove to me! Almost everywhere I looked I saw something I'm familiar with. And then came the real deal: 3 Chage and Aska singles. I bet the cashier must be astounded to see a young person get so excited... okay, in my case it probably looked more like I was just highly interested in a bunch of C&A singles.



Anyway, out of the 3, the one most frayed at the corners (it's actually not that bad...) was the duo's 36th single from November 1994, "Meguriai". Unlike their previous single released a few months before that's filled with loud, heart-racing songs like "HEART", "NATURAL", and "On Your Mark", "Meguriai" feels a lot more relaxing in comparison. "Meguriai" was also released as a track in C&A's 17th album in 1995, "Code Name. 1 Brother Sun", which peaked at 1st place and settled at 26th at the end of the year.

With its slower pace filled with the strumming of acoustic guitars and the occasional electric guitar cutting in to give the song an edge, I find that "Meguriai" makes for a great song to listen to on a clear day while relaxing in some quiet corner of a park under the shade of a big tree and just watch the rowdy world go by. I reckon that's why it's one of my favourite C&A songs.

Like its music, the song's lyrics were done by Aska. Strangely enough, I don't see myself paying attention to the words as much as I usually do for songs where I understand (sometimes only somewhat) the lyrics to. Confusing lyrics from the first chorus aside, its about a man having a faithful meeting - hence the title, "Meguriai" which roughly translates to a... meeting...- with a girl who seems to be able to comprehend his needs and fulfill his heart's complex definition of love. According to Aska, he got the inspiration for the song from a 1957 film of the same name.

"Meguriai" did well on the charts, peaking at 1st place on the Oricon weeklies. By the end of 1994, it placed 57th, but in 1995 it moved up 16 places to 41st. It also is a million seller. This track was also used as the theme song for a 1994 drama by the name of "Imoto yo" (妹よ), and I suppose as a bonus, the last and most viewed episode of the show was titled "Meguriai" as well.

The song was covered twice, once by C&A themselves in 2004 in "SEAMLESS SINGLES", and the other by Aska in 2010 in his 2nd self-cover album "Kimi no shiranai kimi no uta" (君の知らない君の歌). I've not heard the 2004 version, but I have listened to Aska's version since I have the album... a lot faster in pace and rather modern sounding.



Ain't she a beauty!
The other 2 I got are "river" (also used) and "Do Ya Do" (Brand new).

4 comments:

  1. Glad you're enjoying Hong Kong, and found what you want. Honestly, I wouldn't know where to find J-Pop CDs in Hong Kong. And yes, Enka is not "in" in Hong Kong. Nobody listens to them.

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    1. Hi there Larry,

      For J-pop, the place would be Sino Centre, as I've mentioned. There's lot's of stuff there, from new to old. But if you're just looking for CDs, then check out the basement because the upper floors mostly are dedicated to anime stuff and... the other things that make that place known for its seediness. Lot's of Akina Nakamori CDs everywhere too. All the CD shops I've been to seemed to have at least one of her albums:).

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  2. Hi, Noelle.

    Glad that your family had a great time in Hong Kong. I went there several years ago and the place is pulsating with a lot of energy. A couple of students go there yearly to recharge.

    I remember "Meguriai" being the theme for "Imoto yo" starring Goro Kishitani (husband of Princess Princess' Kaori Okui) and Emi Wakui. I think out of a lot of C&A's songs, "Meguriai" has Aska sounding at his smoothest (creamiest?), and I like the guitar arrangement.

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    1. Hello J-Canuck,

      Hong Kong's a really bustling place, especially during Christmas season... you've got the locals plus the tourists, making it all the more crowded. But it's nice and actually quite similar to Singapore in some ways.

      I have to agree with you in saying that Aska's voice was the smoothest for "Meguriai", before becoming huskier in the later years.

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