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, April 8, 2015

Junichi Inagaki -- Hitori no Mama de (一人のままで)

Some pretty heavy rain coming in from the east...not a good day for man or beast. So I'm quite happy that the concept of commuting is no longer relevant for me. There are probably a lot of good rainy days songs out there on both sides of the Pacific, but since this blog's raison d'etre is Japanese music, I'm going to go with Junichi Inagaki's(稲垣潤一)"Hitori no Mama de" (Just On My Own) tonight.

The song was never released as a single, and according to J-Wiki, it wasn't even announced as anything but as an extra new song on the crooner's 1995 BEST album, "Revelation". Yup, I scooped that album up as soon as it came far, I've got three of his BEST compilations; I guess I've got a thing for sober-looking singers whose stock-in-trade is urban contemporary ballads.

Anyways, the song by Reiko Yukawa(湯川れい子)and former Off Course member Kazuhiko Matsuo(松尾一彦), is a typical Inagaki ballad: mellow and urbane and evoked images of hotel-top bars over the streets of Shinjuku on a rainy night. I can hear the clinking of ice cubes right now. Considering the lyrics of love lost, I sometimes wonder whether Inagaki would have also become a pretty decent enka singer. He's got the fashion sense for one.

January 23 2017: As you can see above, the video is not of Inagaki but of singer Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane fame. I just found out that the original version was sung by Balin as an EP all the way back in 1983. Jimmy Compton provided the English vocals. Below is Matsuo's own cover.

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