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, June 30, 2015

Miho Nakayama & WANDS/Noriko Sakai -- Sekaijuu no Dare yori Kitto (世界中の誰よりきっと)

I had actually been waiting for a friend of mine to give his insights on this song for a few years but I don't think I really can wait any longer, so with all due respect to him, here is my own take on "Sekaijuu no Dare yori Kitto" (Undoubtedly More Than Anyone Else In The World).

Miho Nakayama's(中山美穂)duet with rock band WANDS was released in October 1992 as her 25th single which meant that I first heard about it between my two jaunts in Japan. So I believe I must have first come across it when my university club was operating its weekly Wednesday night offerings of J-Dramas. "Sekaijuu no Dare yori Kitto" was the theme song for the Fuji-TV drama, "Dareka ga Kanojo wo Aishiteiru"(誰かが彼女を愛してる...Someone Loves Her)which also starred Miporin as the target of love.

According to the J-Wiki article, the song had been intended to be a ballad but then Nakayama's producer requested that it be something with a Christmas party feeling which led "Sekaijuu" to become the upbeat song it is. I'm not quite sure even after learning about this piece of trivia that it feels anything like a Xmas song, but it is a happy, happy, joy, joy song. And with the synths and wailing electric guitar arrangement from the early 90s, it's also a memorable nostalgic song.

In fact for me, I think this particular song is probably the one that I identify most with Miho Nakayama with the possible exception of "You're My Only Shinin' Star". The reason for this is basically media exposure. With the latter ballad, I just saw the song performed tons of times on those rentals of "The Best 10" episodes. But with "Sekaijuu", it just became a rather big piece of discussion on that ancient Internet format known as the BBS. My friends and I were half-jokingly talking about it becoming an unofficial song for the aforementioned club, but no doubt it was the popular tune not just within our own rarefied circle but also in Japan itself.

It became Miporin's first No. 1 hit in almost 3 years since "Midnight Taxi" back in 1990 (all of the hits in between the two songs peaked at No. 3), and broke through the 2-million barrier in sales. The lyrics were written by Nakayama and WANDS vocalist Show Wesugi(上杉昇)with Tetsuro Oda(織田哲郎)taking care of the music. Even with the relatively late release date, "Sekaijuu" managed to become the 37th-ranked song for 1992 but then a year later, it would also become the 10th-ranked song for 1993. The popularity of the song also earned both halves of the duet a ticket to the 1992 Kohaku Utagassen although WANDS wasn't officially listed on the performer slate (their name appeared just like with this phrase in brackets). And for a while at least, "Sekaijuu" was the most successful single by a solo female vocalist.

Another arbiter of a song's success is how often it's been covered. Composer Tetsuro Oda has done his own take on "Sekaijuu" along with other singers like Junichi Inagaki(稲垣潤一)and Hitomi Shimatani(島谷ひとみ). And even Noriko Sakai(酒井法子)did a cover of the song as an official single in 2007. It would also be her final single to date before those personal problems started to set in.

To leave off, the coupling song for the original single by Nakayama and WANDS was "Sekaijuu no Dare yori Kitto Part II" done in a ballad style with the two halves switching roles. Nice, but I still favour the original.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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