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.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

So Nice -- Kousoku Douro (光速道路)

The band so nice that they called themselves So Nice....err, sorry about that. Actually, according to the Japanese music blog, "Magical Mystery 'Music' Tour", Katsuyuki Kamakura(鎌倉克行)and Misako Matsushima(松島美砂子), who were members of a folk song club at Nihon University created their own band in 1976. The name of the band, by the way, came from the Minako Yoshida-penned lyrics of a Haruomi Hosono tune, "Rum wa O-suki?"(ラムはお好き?...Do You Dig Rum?)

Although So Nice identified as a folk band, they did a lot of covers of Sugar Babe (Tatsuro Yamashita, Taeko Ohnuki, etc.) songs. A few years later, they came out with their debut album, "Love" in 1979 and the one track I've being seeing and hearing on YouTube has been "Kousoku Douro" (Lightspeed Highway). When I first encountered the song, I swore that this was actually Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)singing with Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)on backing vocals. Was there a secret single released years after Sugar Babe broke up, I wondered. As it turned out, it was Kamakura and Matsushima.

Indeed Kamakura sings the lyrics like a Sugar Babe-era Yamashita but there is also that extra layer of City Pop sheen. It's almost as if the Yamashita of two eras combined to sing "Kousoku Douro". And that title...along with the album cover...pretty much screams City Pop. Apparently, only 200 original copies of "Love" were printed out so the LP is one of the rarest of the rare out there.

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