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.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Kaoru Sudo -- Front Glass Goshi ni (フロントガラス越しに)

Living in Gunma Prefecture in the winter was no different than living here in Toronto. My neck of the woods from 1989-1991 was up in the Japanese Alps so snow was not a rare thing as was the case in the years that I lived in the capital. During the early months of the year, getting on that local train for one of my schools was slightly arduous since I had to contend with the large number of skiers heading for the slopes packing that train although it was just for 1 stop. Nearly having one of those skis go up one of my nostrils didn't make for a pleasant journey, brief as it was.

But yeah, northern Gunma was definitely ski country during a time when ski was especially booming as a trend. And when you have a bunch of hot springs nearby, my area was bustling in tourism. In fact, a number of my students back then had parents who were working at the onsen and the hotels up in Minakami.

I'm not sure what the ski trade was like back in the early 1980s although with Japan in full bloom economically speaking, it wouldn't be surprising if I realized that skiing was a huge thing in the earlier part of the decade as well. The reason I mention this is that I came across a pleasant tune by the late Kaoru Sudo(須藤薫)called "Front Glass Goshi ni" (Beyond the Windshield) that was a track on her 4th album from March 1983, "Planetarium".


As the top video and the lyrics by Shun Taguchi(田口俊)will indicate, the song talks about that awaited trip to the slopes. And the melody by Masamichi Sugi(杉真理)has an inviting mellowness (thanks to that flugelhorn) that would put "Front Glass" into the subset of Resort Pop within City Pop although the resort is wintry rather than summery. The song sounds as if it would have been perfect for Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)back then, and strangely enough, it was arranged by her husband Masataka Matsutoya(松任谷正隆). The entirety of "Planetarium" was actually handled by Taguchi, Sugi and Matsutoya, and the album managed to peak at No. 48 on the charts.

Speaking of Yuming(ユーミン), here is another ski-friendly song.

Never got into skiing at all, unfortunately, despite my old surroundings. I went with a bunch of kids for ski school once and just ended up sipping hot chocolate in a warming shed all day.

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