While on that trip to Hong Kong, besides those 3 Chage and Aska singles I managed to root out in an old CD shop in the seedy Sino Centre, I had also gotten singer-actor Masatoshi Nakamura's album, "SONGS". This was actually a reason why I had decided to check out this shop... the other reason being that that shop was the last chance I had in finding something I like in that entire building. I happened to chance upon this used but well-kept copy of "SONGS" while inspecting the outside of the dingy and musty-looking exterior. There it sat in a rack attached to the door, and man, that was really a sight for sore eyes! Despite not being familiar with Nakamura's discography, I decided to get the album mostly because I was pretty sure that I won't ever find such a thing in a shop outside of Japan, and at least I knew one song in list: "Kokoro no Iro".
I was introduced to "Kokoro no Iro" through one of those medleys found on YouTube featuring hits songs from the 80's, and I recalled seeing Nakamura singing this cool sounding, somewhat quick paced song while strumming on his electric guitar (I'm not entirely sure of the guitar bit though). But like most songs I discover via said medleys, I forgot to follow up on it... In fact, I only remembered it shortly before leaving for HK...
Anyway, having just heard its chorus, I had assumed that the whole of "Kokoro no Iro" sounded just like that, so I was not expecting such a muted, mysterious start with only Nakamura's distinguishable deep voice, the tinkling of the piano and the gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar. At that moment in time, I thought I had gotten the tune's title wrong since it sounded so different from whatever I had heard, and then came the chorus and the wailing of the electric guitar during the musical interlude. It took me quite a while to get used to the rest of song as I found it pretty dull, and to be frank I had only just began to not mind it. But I have to admit that it's the slow bit makes "Kokoro no Iro" a comfortable song to listen to in the late evening.
The lyrics to "Kokoro no Iro" were written by Akira Otsu (大津あきら) and there's a plaque to commemorate this song in his hometown of Senzaki in Nagatoshi City, Yamaguchi. Huh, never heard of a song's plaque being placed in the hometown of its songwriter before. It's usually found at the singer's hometown or the place that's featured in the song, if at all. The music was composed by Toshiyuki Kimori (木森敏之). "Kokoro no Iro" did very well on the charts a few months after its release on 25th November 1981. It stayed at 1st place for the whole of March in 1982 and only dropped 3 spots to 4th place by the end of that year. And so this got him his first ticket to the Kohaku.