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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fairchild -- Sagashiteirunoni (探してるのにぃ)

Back in May 2013, I featured a song by former aidoru Yukiko Ehara(江原由希子), "Chotto Dake"(ちょっとだけ). Now, one might think that this 80s J-teenybopper was another one of those female singers who had her 5 minutes in the spotlight before fading into obscurity and ending up as a permanent employee in a company. However, Ms. Ehara merely slid herself from aidoru-dom into the world of TV tarento where she became known as YOU and has since become one of the most recognizable faces (and voices) on terebi for almost 30 years.

But during the transition, YOU also became the lead vocalist of quirky band Fairchild. In fact, as I mentioned in the "Chotto Dake" article, the above commercial was how I was first introduced to the diminutive but feisty lady with the Betty Boop voice. YOU was in this ad for tea-flavoured booze (and I say now as I said then....ick) while costumed as a polar bear rolling down the snow-covered hill (after taking a sip of the liquid?), all the while her song was playing in the background. I'm not sure how popular Kocha no O-sake became, but YOU certainly became the talk of the town, and it's one of the more memorable commercials from my time in Japan.

The song was "Sagashiteirunoni" (Looking For You), Fairchild's 7th single from October 1990. The band was launched in 1988 and was made up of YOU, bassist/programmer Seiji Toda(戸田誠司)and guitarist Hirokazu Kawaguchi(川口浩和). Initially starting out as a technopop act, it made the change into a more regular pop act in the latter half of its existence, although this particular single still has that synthesizer sound. It was written by YOU and composed by Toda with the lead vocal chirping about not giving up that search for the right woman.

"Sagashiteirunoni" was also a track on Fairchild's 4th of 8 albums, "Sekai no Uta"(せかいのうた...World Songs)which was released in November 1990 and peaked at No. 13 on the album charts. 

According to J-Wiki, the band broke up in 1993, and YOU has been on several programs stating that Fairchild ended definitively when bassist Kawaguchi punched out guitarist Toda. However, she later amended this by saying that the decision to break up had already been made and on that last day, Kawaguchi stormed in to vent his feelings via a well-placed fist before quickly making a getaway with his girlfriend at the wheel. Supposedly the seeds of discord were sown with an argument about the guitar-playing. I kinda wonder if Lennon and McCartney experienced the same sturm und drang...

The first time I got to see YOU in a regular TV program was "Gottsu Ee Kanji"(ごっつええ感じ...Downtown's Feelin' Good), the often hilarious skit show starring Osaka comic duo Downtown. Yup, Sunday nights were definitely amusing.

I realize I'm going out of bounds here but I just had to include this excerpt from the program since I remember seeing it in its first run. The point of the skit was to have one-half of Downtown, the volatile Masatoshi Hamada(浜田雅功)beat the tar out of one of the featured players in the show, Hong Kong, while both were costumed. However, in a classic Candid Camera switcheroo, it was decided that Hong Kong would swap places with someone far more famous and venerated without Hamada knowing. Be patient and see if you recognize the poor fellow....he, and his band, have been featured on the blog a number of times. All I can say is that it was the only time that I have ever seen Hama-chan humbled.

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