Credits

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.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Akina Nakamori -- I Missed "The Shock"


Hmmm....I could've picked a better picture of the singer, but I'll go with this one. In any case, it is July 13th as I write this, which means that it is once again Akina Nakamori's(中森明菜)birthday. So, a very Happy 50th to her wherever she is.


To be honest, "I Missed 'The Shock'" isn't one of my very favourite Akina tunes. This isn't a slam against the song at all, but there are just so many more of her songs that I like even better. However, her 22nd single from November 1988 has that exotic tang that a number of her singles during the late 80s had, and I have to admit that I did like that rumbling drum which was in the intro along with Akina's "OooooooOOOOOooooh!" near the end. "I Missed 'The Shock'" was also one of those Akina songs that I often caught on episodes of "The Best 10".

The song was written and composed by QUMICO FUCCI, aka keyboardist Kumiko Fukushi(福士久美子)of the alternative rock band, Sherbets, and was arranged by the band Eurox, which had also helped out on Akina's previous single "Tattoo" (which is one of my very favourite Akina tunes). As for the meaning of the title, well, according to the TV magazine "The Television" (via the article for the song on J-Wiki), the lady herself remarked that she had wanted something that couldn't (sensibly) be translated into Japanese.

"I Missed 'The Shock'" managed to peak at No. 3 on Oricon, and became the 57th-ranked single for 1988...not too bad, considering that it had been released in the second-last month of the year. And it hung around to become the 53rd-ranked song for 1989. In fact, due to the success of that particular single, the total sales of all of her singles since her debut finally broke the 10 million mark. Not surprisingly, Akina was able to get onto the 1988 Kohaku Utagassen as well to sing that very song, her 6th appearance on the NHK special.


4 comments:

  1. This is the very first Akina song I ever heard, after a friend living in Japan sent it to me blind. I loved the atmospheric echo, like it was recorded in an empty hall, and the (as I soon realized, characteristic) deep tenor of Akina's vocals and the way they rised up as the song progressed, climaxing in that nearly breathless refrain.

    Since then I've counted songs like Shoujo A, Nibbunnoichi no Shinwa, Moonlight Shadow, and of course DESIRE as some of my favorites, but nothing compares to I MISSED 'THE SHOCK' to me.

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    1. Hi Matthew! Good to hear from you again. Yeah, although I've enjoyed Akina throughout her career, I think it's when her voice deepened that her popularity just went through the roof.

      Good that you've enjoyed "I Missed 'The Shock'". The way you described the song was quite interesting as well...it's almost as if you were talking about an aria which is something that I've often related to a number of her songs starting from the late 80s onwards (for example, "Milonguita").

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  2. Hi, J-Canuck.

    I Missed "The Shock" is one of my favorite when it come to Akina's late 80s singles. However, the title has always been a mystety to me, so I put it alongside some of the poor English-titled songs Komuro composed for Namie Amuro, such as "Body Feels EXIT", for example.

    Other thing I always catch myself thinking about while listening to it is where exactly this song gets its inspiration from. You talked about Akina's exotic songs, but most of them are easy to guess the inspirational place, such as "SAND BEIGE", "TANGO NOIR" or "AL-MAUJ", but I can't quite find a place to I Missed "The Shock".

    Leaving the title and the inspirational place beside, I really like this song and all the ups and downs it have (verses sung in a lower register and the chorus in a higher one). Sometimes it was even hard to listen to what she was singing in the verses when performing I Missed "The Shock" live. Not that I understand it, of course. And I do love the synths here, as I always do.

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    1. Hi, Marcos. Good to hear from you again.

      Yeah, the origins of the song that I got from J-Wiki didn't exactly clear things up too much. Still not sure what the shock refers to. As for the inspiration, maybe we will have to take a look at where the composer QUMICO was coming from.

      As I was mentioning to Matthew, there is something quite operatic about the song. I think Akina was really trying to explore and push the limits of her vocal abilities at that time.

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