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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

SMAP -- Ganbarimasho (がんばりましょう)

Well, I've been seeing some of the headlines on Twitter and Mixi over the past few hours, and apparently the news has been popping up on the front pages of some of the tabloids in Japan. There is some sort of rampant rumour that the former kings of the Johnny's heap, SMAP, are planning to go their separate way. Not sure about this but there will most likely be some sort of denial or confirmation coming pretty soon.

In any case, just because of this rumour, I tried to look up some SMAP song that I have yet to cover, and found "Ganbarimasho" (Let's Go For It), the group's 14th single from September 1994. I'm actually surprised that neither Marcos V. nor I have covered it since that funky riff which starts the song is one of the most recognizable intros for a SMAP tune.

"Ganbarimasho" was released just a couple of months before my arrival in Japan for that 17-year-long stint in the Tokyo area which explains that natsukashii feeling I get whenever I hear it. Also, there is the fact that Katsuyuki Mori(森且行)was still part of SMAP before he left the group in 1996. Listening to it again, I've been enjoying it for that light R&B sound which kinda reminds me partially of Keizo Nakanishi(中西圭三)and partially of a really upbeat Omega Tribe. Hey, hey, hey, girl, indeed!

Megumi Ogura(小倉めぐみ)took care of lyrics while Kenichi Shono(庄野賢一)provided the funky intro. "Ganbarimasho" provided SMAP with their 2nd No. 1 song on Oricon as it went Platinum. It was also a track on the unit's first BEST album, "Cool" which was released in January 1995. That album hit No. 1 and went Double Platinum, ending the year as the 30th-most successful release.

Got smacked with a bunch of snow last night although the above photo is actually from December 29th 2015. I think a lot of folks woke up this morning and pretty much yelled out the title for this SMAP song before the commute. Well, let's see what the next several hours bring in terms of the group's ultimate fate. Does that mean Bistro SMAP is closing up as well?

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