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, November 16, 2015

Hiromi Ohta -- Furimukeba Yesterday (振り向けばイエスタディ)

About an hour ago, I finished watching the latest episode of "Gotham", the Batman show without Batman. I've been pretty faithful to it for the past couple of seasons but the beginning of the 2nd season had me wondering if the show was losing its touch. Then, suddenly a lot of tension and gore started gushing out like the result of a ripped artery. Good gothic fun but after this past episode, I really needed something a bit more relaxing.

I found Hiromi Ohta's(太田裕美)"Furimukeba Yesterday" (Turning Around to See Yesterday) on YouTube as just the thing . This was her 13th single from December 1978 and was created by Takashi Matsumoto and Kyohei Tsutsumi(松本隆・筒美京平), the same duo behind Ohta's arguably most famous single, "Momen no Handkerchief"(木綿のハンカチーフ)from 1975.

Unlike the sunny kayo of "Momen no Handkerchief" that is very reminiscent of the uptempo pop from the 1970s, Matsumoto and Tsutsumi made "Furimukeba Yesterday" into something that is most definitely New Music. I certainly don't think Japan with this song; there is a feeling of Americana, perhaps Olivia Newton-John country pop, as Ohta sings about looking back on her salad days and wondering about the current situation with an old flame. The ballad could easily be reflecting an upcoming school reunion, a social event that has also struck me as being much more common and enjoyable in Japan than in North America.

"Furimukeba Yesterday" was arranged by Jimmie Haskell who has worked with many singers and TV shows including Japan's beloved "Bewitched". According to his Wikipedia file, he also provided the horn and string arrangements for Blondie in 1980. As for the success of the song, it managed to reach as high as No. 51 on Oricon. It was also a track on her 9th 1978 album "Umi ga Naiteiru"(海が泣いている...The Sea Is Crying).

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