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, March 17, 2015

Asami Kobayashi -- Kanashimi no Spy (哀しみのスパイ)

It's a bit scary sometimes how my imagination works. Case in point: a little over a year ago, I put up an article featuring Asami Kobayashi's(小林麻美)most famous song, her cover version of Gazebo's "I Love Chopin" titled in Japanese as "Ame no Oto wa Chopin no Shirabe"(雨音はショパンの調べ). In the article, I mentioned that whenever I listen to the song, I imagined the waifish Kobayashi lying languidly on some chaise lounge in a huge house while slowly smoking a cigarette.

The above video was just posted a few months ago. It isn't a chaise lounge and I don't see that cigarette but Kobayashi still reflects that idea I had about her...and the house looks pretty darn big. By the way, the song being featured is her follow-up single after "Ame no Oto wa Chopin no Shirabe", "Kanashimi no Spy" (A Sad Spy). Released as her 9th single in August 1984, the video has short versions of the song with the first one having a cinematic arrangement. It was too bad that it was only an excerpt since I thought it was pretty well done especially with Kobayashi lying around like a femme fatale from some old Cold War suspense flick.

The latter version was the actual song itself, and it has quite the backing on it. Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実, after providing the Japanese lyrics for that Gazebo single, wrote the words for "Kanashimi no Spy" while Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二)provided the music which has a mix of genres in there. There's some rock guitar and even some Taeko Ohnuki-ish technopop (and it still retains that suspenseful piano intro) although when it comes down to it, it's a Japanese 80s pop song. Once again, Kobayashi has that fragile vocal style (with Tamaki backing her up) which had me thinking that if this had been a movie, she really would have been the femme fatale hopelessly in love with the spy or even the doomed spy herself. It certainly looked like the latter according to the end of the video when she got surrounded by all those police officers. The scene rather reminded me of the end of a spy flick as directed by Ingmar Bergman.

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