Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Junichi Inagaki -- 1969 no Kataomoi （1969の片想い）
I'm not sure whether prolific lyricist and AKB48 Svengali Yasushi Akimoto（秋元康）had been inspired by Bryan Adams' "Summer of 69", but aside from the sunny-and-sepia tone, that song and Akimoto's "1969 no Kataomoi" (That Crush In 1969) have little in common.
Written for pop crooner Junichi Inagaki（稲垣潤一）as his 17th single in October 1989, I first heard it on the first BEST compilation that I bought of him, "Transit" which came out in 1990. As I got to know the singer, I realized that the bouncy guitar-led "1969 no Kataomoi" was a bit of an exception from Inagaki's usual brand of nocturnal City Pop. Tatsuto (or Tatsuhito) Kuwahara's（桑原達人）melody is definitely hazy afternoon listening. The song relates the story of a fellow in his small hometown hearing through the grapevine that an old flame of his is coming back from the big city after a couple of decades away which sparks the sepia-toned reminiscences of what could have been. But there is no melancholy in him...or the melody, for that matter. Although he would have been happy to have taken that collect call from her and picked her up at the station, there's no sense of morose bitterness or panic attack. He's just happy to hear that she's back and perhaps he'll bump into her in town again sometime. I see him as the local taxi driver or the fellow who's taken over the family store.