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, October 19, 2015

Niagara Triangle -- Parade (パレード)

(cover version)

When I was writing up the article on EPO's "Goodies" album earlier this afternoon, I included her version of the Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)song "Parade". Then I realized that I had yet to cover the original. Part of the reason was that this particular tune was not officially part of the Sugar Babe discography, and outside of his old group, I don't really know too much of Yamashita's output before the late 1970s.

However, I was lucky to get the song included on his latest BEST album "OPUS: All Time Best 1975-2012". The song was originally on the first album by Niagara Triangle, "Niagara Triangle Vol. 1" which was released in March 1976. Yamashita, Ginji Ito(伊藤銀次)and the late Eiichi Ohtaki(大滝詠一)were the three angles for what I think was probably more of a project by friends rather than a band.

From what I've read on J-Wiki, Yamashita had written and composed the sunny "Parade" as a potential single back in those days until Ohtaki gave his opinion that it didn't quite cross the threshold. Supposedly, Tats has some hazy recollection that he had whipped up the song while at home ensconced in his kotatsu and drinking down some cheap wine (Chez Thunderbird perhaps?); if it was indeed some cheap plonk, I don't doubt that he only has a hazy recollection. I think I can understand Ohtaki's opinion at the time about not giving "Parade" its own single release. It's a happy song, to be sure, about inviting someone either to watch a true parade or just inviting that person into his life as a parade, but it's a pretty low-key and laid back tune especially with that jazzy intro (reminded me of Billy Joel's "The Stranger") so perhaps it is more of a B-side.

Still, in 1994, "Parade" finally came out as a bona fide single as Yamashita's 26th release although it was actually the 1982 remix version with Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一)on keyboards and Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)as a backup vocal. It peaked at No. 29 on Oricon.

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