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, May 26, 2015

Kenji Sawada -- Hare Nochi BLUE BOY (晴れのちBLUE BOY)

Well, my education on Kenji Sawada(沢田研二)was primarily through his appearances on the Kohaku Utagassen starting with the 1981 show and then listening to him occasionally on "Sounds of Japan". And yep, he did leave quite the impression via "Stripper" (ス・ト・リ・ッ・パ・ー)and then his New Wave-y "Rokuban no Yuutsu"(6番目のユ・ウ・ウ・ツ)on the 1982 Kohaku. I could only imagine dropped jaws and perhaps a few calls to the NHK switchboard.

So I was wondering what he would bring to the 1983 Kohaku when I read in the local Japanese-Canadian newspaper, "The Nikka Times" that he would once again be returning to the NHK Hall stage on New Year's Eve. Glam rock, New Wave...would he go full Punk or go into Rockabilly this time?

Well, with his 39th single from May 1983, "Hare Nochi BLUE BOY" (Sunny and BLUE BOY), it seemed to be a bit of both Glam and New Wave. There was that usual Julie sullen and sultry look as he strutted about to a boppy bass and an alien horn arrangement that could have come from that cantina in Mos Eisley. I picked up some familiarity from the melody composed by singer-songwriter Yoshiyuki Osawa(大澤誉志幸)as it sounded a bit like Adam Ant's "Goody Two-Shoes". I wasn't quite sure how the audience in Shibuya took the song although perhaps a lot of the older generation used the time to check on how the osechi ryori was doing in the kitchen or to hit the washroom. And no, it isn't one of my favourite Julie songs but it's still not something to be forgotten. The lyrics were written by poet and essayist Natsuo Giniro(銀色夏生).

"Hare Nochi BLUE BOY" peaked at No. 11 on Oricon and became the 98th-ranked song for 1983.

Here is Osawa with his own more rock-tinged take on his creation which was also a track on his 1994 album, "Collage". In the same year that he composed "Hare Nochi BLUE BOY", he was also responsible for Akina Nakamori's(中森明菜)fierce song of defiance and regret "Ni-bun no Shinwa"(1/2の神話).

And this is Yasuyuki Okamura(岡村靖幸)with his own 2010 cover of the song. When I discovered that he had also sung the tune, I kinda figured that this was right up his alley.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your post about Kenji Sawada. You should try to listen to his songs after 1983 when he was with band Cocolo. A quick selection for you :
    1985 (music and lyrics are by Kenji Sawada himself)
    1986 (lyrics by Yuu Aku)


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