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.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Naoko Kawai -- Young Boy (ヤング・ボーイ)

Ahhh...having that first crush...gazing at the fellow from far down the school hallway, surreptitiously staring at him from around the corner, getting that nightly glimpse at a smuggled photo of him in your bedroom before hitting the hay. It's a trope that I've seen played out in tons of commercials, TV drama scenes and anime.

"Young Boy" is also infused with this trope in spades. Naoko Kawai's(河合奈保子)2nd single from August 1980 was written by Machiko Ryu(竜真知子)and composed by Kimio Mizutani(水谷公生)as a litany for a girl's obsession with a certain schoolmate. All that's missing is a scented love letter to place in the lad's shoe box in the lobby of the school. Naoko-chan's sweet vocals are very convincing to boot with a melody that starts out uncertainly before getting confident in the refrain.

"Young Boy" became Kawai's first single to hit the Top 10 reaching No. 10 and ending up as the 88th-ranked song for 1980. It was also at the end of this year that she received Best Newcomer honours at the Japan Record Awards along with folks like Yoshimi Iwasaki(岩崎良美)and Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子). Ryu and Mizutani would also pen another similarly-themed song some months later, "Juu-Nana Sai"(17才).

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