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, February 24, 2016

Yoko Oginome -- Sayonara no Kajitsutachi (さよならの果実たち)

Back in university, I managed to borrow a tape from my fellow aidoru-loving friend which was for Yoko Oginome's(荻野目洋子)7th original album "246 Connexion"(246コネクション)from July 1987. I liked it so much that I bought my own copy from Wah Yueh.

Within it, I heard a pretty familiar track since it got onto the music shows a fair bit. And that was "Sayonara no Kajitsutachi" (The Goodbye Fruits) which was Yoko's 12th single from June of that year. It's been a long time since I heard this one; in fact, I have to sheepishly admit that I completely forgot about it for years with the increased access to a whole plethora of other singers when I was living in Japan. Of course, her even bigger hits of "Dancing Hero" and "Roppongi Junjouha"(六本木純情派)had a tendency to mask over some of those slightly smaller hits through the fog of long-term memory.

To be honest, although the electric guitar intro fired off some fond reminiscing, I can say that "Sayonara no Kajitsutachi" doesn't quite go on the same level as the above two songs for the angular-dancing Oginome but it does have that familiar sparkle that I've always associated with her songs. Written by Masao Urino(売野雅勇)and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), the lyrics talk about some footloose high school girl perhaps gleefully blowing her air kisses to all of those guys she was romancing during the summer holidays in the big city. I think the young beaus are the kajitsu that is referred to in the title although looking on the Net, I couldn't find any similar slang reference to the expression. Maybe in proper colloquial English, kajitsu might be more like "fresh meat" here, although that could add an even more lascivious tone.

Urino is the same lyricist who provided the words for many a Checkers(チェッカーズ) song so I'm not surprised that "Sayonara no Kajitsutachi" also has that feeling of bad boys and bad girls having fun. And although I have never done a really in-depth analysis of the oeuvre of Oginome, my impression is that when the singer hit it really big with "Dancing Hero", a number of her songs took on that punky attitude that Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)had in her earlier works.

The song was another No. 1 for Oginome. However, I read in the J-Wiki article for "Sayonara no Kajitsutachi" that it had been the lowest-selling single in Oricon history to reach No. 1 in its first go-round with 41,680 copies sold. Apparently, it took a little over 18 years for that record to be broken by a Morning Musume(モーニング娘。)alumna offshoot called DEF.DIVA. Well, as her manager probably would have said somewhat defensively, a No. 1 is a No. 1. As for my old album, "246 Connexion" peaked at No. 2, and it was the only album by Oginome that I had until I got to Japan after graduation.

One of my favourite covers by Yoko.
This was either my 1st or 2nd album that I bought
in Japan in 1989. The other album? Also Yoko.

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