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, January 20, 2015

Hiroshi Itsuki -- Yoake no Blues (夜明けのブルース)

Now, before I start this article I'd like to apologize beforehand if I go on a tangent and start fan-girling over Itsuki (it's usually saved for someone else though... and you'd probably know who that'd be by now...). Okay, let's begin shall we?

"Yoake no Blues" was the song that made me more interested in Hiroshi Itsuki (五木ひろし) after a long period of time without listening to what he has to offer. I suppose you could say that I unwittingly ignored him for the most of the first half of last year. However, my curiosity piqued when I had come across news of him rocking out with the AKB48 girls plus electric guitar in hand during the 63rd Kohaku in 2012. A little research later produced the name of the song he had sung. "Yoake no Blues".

Itsuki? Electric guitar? At that point in time, those two words didn't or couldn't seem to overlap in my mind since his gentlemanly appearance seemed too polished for such a wild instrument. The MV for "Yoake no Blues" proved otherwise, where Itsuki appears in 3-piece navy blue suit with NO TIE of any sort, which already ups the cool factor. Composed - and written - by Raymond Matsuya (レーモンド松屋), the song has got a cha-cha beat to it with the powerful revving of the electric guitar in the background, which then makes a full appearance during the musical intermissions. Matsuya won the award for 'Best composer' in 2012 for this song too at the 54th Japan Record Awards.

With Matsuya playing the guitar.

Now comes the part I enjoyed the most: Itsuki without his blazer, sleeves of the white dress shirt rolled up, picking away at the black electric guitar. I had actually recoiled in surprise at the sight of that! Well, I've never seen an aged Enka singer play that instrument with such gusto before, so it was a fine, priceless treat. My goodness, the guy is so cool!

"Yoake no Blues" did well on the charts, placing 1st on the Enka-yo charts and 13th on the regular charts. It also sold about or over 100 000 copies, which I gathered from the Gold award it received from the Recording Industry Association of Japan.

Kakkoi ne~ ... No it's not weird.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Noelle.

    Some good ol' Latin and rock brio from Itsuki! And a pretty smooth karaoke-friendly video, to boot.


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