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.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

trf/Every Little Thing -- Brave Story

When I first heard trf's 15th single, "Brave Story", my impression was "Well, this is rather different." The TK Rave Factory was a singing and dancing unit that I had always associated with fast, uptempo and cheerful stuff. The guys who put some oomph into a Coke commercial in the early 90s and all that jazz. 

"Brave Story", on the other hand, sounded like trf and Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉)wanted to contribute a song to a James Bond movie right down to the title.  Released in July 1996, it starts off with main vocalist YU-KI and her backup singers performing a bit of gospel before the music just blasts off with a melody of a suspense-thriller. Those first several notes have always had me imagining unmarked copters taking off on a black ops mission. I could hear the lead chopper pilot intoning something like "THIS IS GRUMPY TO PRINCE CHARMING...GETTING READY TO WAKE UP SNOW WHITE...PREPARING POISON APPLE..."

Komuro, as always, took care of the suddenly dramatic music and lyrics. And even the latter (co-written by Takahiro Maeda/前田たかひろ) read like something out of a melodramatic spy novel...about some fellow going off on a mission of sorts although the words aren't all that direct. The entire song made for a pretty fun listening experience but in a new way when it came to trf. And sure enough, I made a purchase. The song managed to peak at No. 4. It was also available on the group's first BEST compilation, "WORKS - The Best of TRF" which came out on New Year's Day 1998.

Cue ahead several years later. Speaking of compilations, it looks like there was a couple of tribute albums to trf this decade, including the 2-disc "TRF Tribute Album Best" which came out in March 2013. And on there, another 90s music unit, Every Little Thing, gave their own version of "Brave Story". However, instead of  the full-on down-and-dirty theme for a Jason Bourne adventure that the original was, ELT's cover is a jaunty Latin-flavoured romp in the sun that has Kaoru Mochida's (持田香織)familiar and lispy vocals along with an arrangement that has echoes of 80s band PSY-S. It's also appealing in yet another way. For me, cover versions don't always work but I'm happy to write that this is the exception here.

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