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.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Yasuyuki Okamura -- Dog Days

During the time when I started listening to Yasuyuki Okamura (岡村靖幸), he didn’t exactly have the best reputation in Japan, being in and out of the rehab several times. It was great to see him back in shape with those 2011 self-cover albums and then “Viva Namida” and deliver the fun with his infectious and well-crafted songs, just like in the old days. So here’s another one from the past, his 4th singleDog Days”, which came out in July 1987. The idiom in the title refers to the hottest days in the summer during July and August, which happen to be torturous in Japan. While I was living there, I gave up on going outdoors during those months, except for work and other necessities. Blasting the AC has never been so rewarding, whatever the cost of the bill was.

But I can always admire Japanese summer from afar via that video for “Dog Days”. Beaches, warm rain, trams passing by… It all looks so inviting. Too bad about the wasted watermelon, but I guess during the bubble era those things weren't such a luxury as they are today. Okamura, of course, sings in his signature campy manner and looks amusingly absent-minded in the video while interacting with girls. Credits-wise, the lyrics and catchy music were created by him. The latter reminds me of PSY-S in the 80’s, namely “Denki to Mint”, thanks to that frisk beat and shiny synths, but I’m sure there are better comparisons. Still, I’m not too off with mentioning PSY-S, since CHAKA from the duo is a guest singer in “Dog Days”, singing the part about declining the lad’s request to go out with him until he gets a car. According to the song's J-Wiki page, Okamura had a strong-willed girl in mind when he wrote those lines and personally requested CHAKA to sing them.

“Dog Days” is not included on any of Okamura’s studio albums, so its first album appearance was on a best-of compilation from March 1990, “Soujuku” (早熟...Precocious), which peaked at No. 3 on Oricon weeklies and sold 29,790 copies.

Source: DiscLegend

1 comment:

  1. Hi, nikala.

    "Dog Days" certainly has that bouncy PSY-S vibe. If I had heard it without knowing anything about it, I would have pegged it as a PSY-S song with Matsuura singing lead and CHAKA on backup.

    Okamura back in the 80s looked like a cocksure fresh face kinda like KimuTaku in the early days although in the video Okamura was rather clueless in how he treated women...maybe he could have used some tips from Space Dandy himself. :) By the way, I liked that sped-up effect of the waves as he was lying on the concrete.

    I hear you about the Japanese summer. It is one of the very few things I miss about Japan. My first summer in Japan (1995) during my second stint there was one without any air conditioning in my apartment. I think that experience alone burnished me into no longer complaining about the humidity in Toronto (humidity? what humidity in Toronto?).


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.