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.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Swingout Sister -- Now You're Not Here

The first time I heard Swingout Sister's "Breakout" on the radio back in my university days, I fell in love with it...and the band...immediately. I've always had a thing for the somewhat hard-to-pin-down genre known as sophisti-pop; there may be a horn section but it's not strictly jazz and there might be some groove as well but I can't really say it's R&B. However, it is fun, classy and urbane...just like a night out on the town in some of the very nice areas. The Manhattan Transfer has that feeling and so does Swingout Sister.

And like The Transfer, Swingout Sister has that rabid following in Japan. I can probably say that it is up there with The Beatles and The Carpenters as acts that might have even more popularity in my nation of heritage than it does in America or the UK (oh, and I forgot Bobby Caldwell). Several years ago, I think one of the phone companies had a popular commercial on TV starring Cameron Diaz tripping the light fantastic while "Breakout" was playing. Not bad. And it was definitely nice to hear Corinne Drewery's voice again.

I'd bought a few of the remix LPs for Swingout Sister while I was an undergraduate at U of T, but it would be about another decade before I started re-enlisting my interest for the band with purchases of some of their original albums on CD. And I ended up picking up their first BEST album in 1996. All of those purchases were made since I was attracted to one of their new singles at the time, "Now You're Not Here". It had that Swingout Sister soulful style but all put into a wistful ballad of regret and remembrance of happier times.

"Now You're Not Here" was released as a single only in Japan although I'm sure it is a track on their albums released worldwide. I couldn't find out how it did on Oricon but it apparently sold in excess of 300,000 copies. Part of the reason was that it was used as the theme song for a 1996 TBS J-Drama "Mahiru no Tsuki"(真昼の月...Midday Moon)which starred Yuji Oda and Takako Tokiwa (or perhaps the drama became popular partially because of the theme song).

Ah, I did find that Cameron Diaz commercial.

And I couldn't resist putting up that remix version of "Breakout".

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