I heard Hiroshi Itsuki's（五木ひろし）"Shiawase Sagashite" (Look For Happiness) as sung by the man himself on last night's "Kayo Concert", and just found it tailor-made for the veteran enka singer. The song was composed by Yoshio Kimura（木村好夫）and written by Takashi Taka（たかたかし）, and there was something about the arrangement that said "urbane and Japanese"...which is how I think of Itsuki.
That cover above on the video may have him looking pretty casual, but I'm always going to imagine the fellow in that well-cut suit performing "Shiawase Sagashite". In a way, I think this 1980 release by him approaches Mood Kayo status because of that contemplative Latin rhythm on the guitar but I think it still manages to stay in pure enka territory (there's just something about it that says that it doesn't belong in an izakaya) although it is one of those songs that sounds best heard at night. I haven't seen any karaoke videos of the ballad but my impression is that it would probably be centered on a well-to-do couple in a swanky uptown restaurant holding hands and looking deeply into each other's eyes. Yeah, pretty mushy but what else can I imagine when the first line from the song is "I was born for you..."?
"Shiawase Sagashite" got as high as No. 4 on the Oricon weeklies and sold close to 500,000 records.
|An alley in Asakusa|