Credits

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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hikaru Genji/Chage and Aska -- STAR LIGHT



While sifting through the various videos featuring medleys of hit songs of the different decades, I thought I had finally found something worth a watch when I came across this one titled "J-History"... the "History" part was in katakana. What came to mind first was that the video would feature Japanese music as it progressed over the years. However, it became evident that the "J" represented "Johnny's (& Associates)" when Hiromi Go (郷 ひろみ)Masahiko Kondo (近藤真彦), and the lot were shown. Turns out it was a medley on the hit songs from some of the Johnny's-spawned Aidoru acts from across the decades... I did not see the words "Johnny's hit song compilation" at the top right hand corner of the video at first.


Though it was unexpected, it was equally as amusing as well as educating. Before it all got boring in the new millenium, I have to say that the acts had the most pizzaz back in the 80's. You know, with fellas doing back flips and were actually dancing (no matter how cheesy the choreography) in weird outfits like their lives depended on it. You can have a look at that in the link above. And then we have Hikaru Genji (光GENJI) that up-ed the ante by having a bunch of adolescent boys with prepubescent voices prancing around and doing dizzying spins on roller-skates.

Despite me finding it odd and difficult to see all 7 of them (I can't tell them apart really) gliding around in circles, I can't help but enjoy their high-octane, disco-like, dramatic at some parts, debut single "STAR LIGHT". In fact, it's one of my favourite Aidoru songs... well, sort of. You'll see in a while.

The song was released in August 1987 with Pop duo Chage and Aska doing the composing duties, while Aska himself took care of the lyrics. It did really well on the charts, peaking at 1st place on the Oricon weeklies before settling at 4th for the entire year. In total, "STAR LIGHT" sold about 850 000 copies.



My memory's a little fuzzy as to where I had first come across "STAR LIGHT", but I think it was a couple of years ago during one of C&A's performances on Music Station (I think) in 1989 where they did a medley of their own songs and of course, "STAR LIGHT" itself. The Genji boys appeared, or should I say, rolled on when their hit came on too. From the looks of it, it seemed like the duo was celebrating their 10th anniversary.


To this day, I still find that C&A's cover - which I had finally found months ago - is better with the reason being it's Chage and Aska! Frankly, that's a good enough reason for me to prefer the cover over the original. Okay, but on a more serious note, it's also because I'm not used to listening to such boyish voices - a couple of them were only 14 at that time!

Good gravy this song is gonna be stuck in my head for a while.

The fan-girls must've gone nuts over this
laughy.jp

4 comments:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    I've gotta admit as well that I prefer the C&A cover over the Hikaru Genji original. It helps that the arrangement sounds a lot more muscular, and of course, there are the vocals.

    Yeah, I had a friend of mine (now living in Japan) who would have swooned to no end over the photo at the bottom. I don't think SMAP would try anything like this nowadays...issues of middle-aged spread and all.

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  2. Hi J-Canuck,

    Frankly, I don't think SMAP would have that much of a problem posing like that Hikaru Genji picture up there even though age is catching up on them... and I reckon their fans will still swoon as much as they did back in the day. Though I find it rather peculiar that they seem to still be upholding the "Aidoru boy band" shtick even in their 40s... it kinda wears off once they reach their mid 30s.

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  3. Hi, Noelle.

    I remember when I listened to “STAR LIGHT” for the first time. It was in a special Music Station episode of 1990 (the year-end special), and the boys performed it and another song I don’t recall the name.

    This Music Station episode had a pretty interesting line-up consisting of many female aidoru singers like Chisato Moritaka, Wink, Seiko Matsuda, Akina Nakamori, Miho Nakayama and Shizuka Kudo, but also featured HIKARU Genji and B.B. Queens. Those were the pre-SMAP times, when Johnny’s top boy band was still HIKARU Gengi.

    I enjoy “STAR LIGHT” and a couple of other songs released by them, but the vocals are terrible. I can’t stand them, to be honest. What saves, in “STAR LIGHT’s” case, is the great disco arrangement that accompanies the song. And it’s quite chatchy as well.

    On a side note, that cover is, indeed, quite provocative. There was a time I had “STAR LIGHT” on my phone’s playlist, and I generally associate the songs with their covers, so it was pretty dangerous when this song popped up... my friends would really laugh a lot at me after seeing this cover. They even laugh when I listen to some Arashi or SMAP songs.

    About the debate if SMAP would do something like this, I’ve seen them performing “Aoi Inazuma” on Music Station with their shirts open.

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  4. Hi Marcos,

    Yeah, I guess that's the problem of having a single cover like that. I too have single/album covers for each song in my phone, so I see what you mean.

    I've seen a bit of that "Aoi inazuma" performance, but that was way back in the 90's when they were younger and I suppose slightly better to look at. I've also seen a similar performance by Kinki Kids with the two of them dancing and singing in suits without shirts.

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Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.