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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Yujiro Ishihara -- Kimagure Dori wa Tasogare te (きまぐれ通りはたそがれて)

To me, songs by Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎) have this very soothing and mellow quality to them, and his deep, silky vocals are welcoming. Imagine being greeted by such a voice on a rainy night as you step into one of those softly lit jazz bars for a drink after a day at work... It would just melt all that stress away, and "Kimagure Dori wa Tasogare te" would be a nice tune to listen to after you've settled down and have your drink in hand.

I managed to find "Kimagure Dori wa Tasogare te" while in the mood for something from Tough Guy's repertoire. So I just randomly picked out a couple of them, the first being his rendition of "One rainy night in Tokyo" (ワン・レイニー・ナイト・イン・トーキョ), a Mood Kayo classic that's been sung by Fubuki Koshiji (越路吹雪), Hiroshi Wada and Mahina Stars (和田弘とマヒナスターズ) and Sachiko Nishida (西田佐知子). Next came "Kimagure Dori wa Tasogare te", and I expected to have the same feel as the former, slow in pace, jazzy, something I've associated Ishihara's songs with. So it surprised me for being quite jaunty, in fact, it sounded slightly cabaret with the background singers chiming in during the musical interludes. There was still a Mood Kayo touch to it with the blare of the trumpets though. Both songs didn't disappoint me, however, I currently find myself preferring the latter.

"Kimagure Dori wa Tasogare te" didn't seem to be one of Ishihara's hits so searching for its release date wasn't as easy as I'd thought it'd be. For one, I had to make sure that it wasn't a cover since Tough Guy was known to do so... in total he had covered 200 songs. With that done, it was time to check out the list of original tracks he had sung over his 31 year career... 350, includes both singles and those released in albums. Eventually, after sifting through about 20 years of his works, I found it. "Kimagure Dori wa Tasogare te" was released in September 1978, and according to the J-Wiki, it wasn't an official single, so I think it only came out in one of his albums back then. It can also be found some of his postmortem compilation albums, like "Towa no utagoe Ishihara Yujiro no Subete Vol.14" (永遠の歌声 石原裕次郎のすべて Vol.14) that was released in 2004.

The song was written by Norihiko Sugi (杉紀彦), who had also penned the lyrics for most of Tough Guy's tracks from 1978, and its music was done by renowned composer Masaaki Hirao (平尾昌晃).


  1. Hi, Noelle.

    I also found "Kimagure dori wa tasogare te" to be quite different because of that jauntiness. It sounded almost "daytime"-like despite the sunset in the title. Maybe this was Yujiro's walk through the park before hitting the bars.

    When I've walked through places like Shinjuku or Ikebukuro, I've been approached by some of those pesky touts that try to haul you into their clubs...I don't really drink so it was pretty easy to ignore them. However, if The Big Man ever asked me to join for a buddy-buddy drink, I wouldn't hesitate to join him for a good ol' talk. He'd bring some class to the joint.

  2. Hello, J-Canuck,

    I can imagine that... I suppose it's like being waylaid by those fellas trying to make credit card/TV package sales here. Annoying, to put it bluntly, especially when you're busy enjoying the sights and sounds of the place.

    But of course, how could you ever decline an offer from Tough Guy? Well, apart from his imposing stature and gritty expression on his face that can be difficult to say no to, he seems like a really cool fella to hang out with.

    1. Yeah, I got approached by an especially pushy guy in Ikebukuro last October...I had to flee into a convenience store for a few minutes.

      There's no way that I would decline an offer from Ishihara. I'm sure he would have tons of stories and the place would probably have some fine sushi. I heard his house was big enough to deserve its own postal code.


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