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.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yutaka Ozaki -- Kizutsuketa Hitobito e (傷つけた人々へ)

It's been nearly 2 years since I put up my last article on a Yutaka Ozaki(尾崎豊)song, and I just realized that I passed his 50th birthday last November. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 24 years since his untimely passing, and just to realize that he was born less than 6 weeks after me makes me wonder what would he have been doing had he lived. I'm sure he would have kept up his songwriting and perhaps even his singing although considering how much emotion he put into this stuff, I'm not sure if he could have kept up that level of performance in his concerts if he were still here. And perhaps he might have gone into other genres such as blues or jazz. But I'm merely speculating...

Recently, I put the CD of his debut album "Juu-nana Sai no Chizu"(十七歳の地図...Seventeen's Map)from 1983 into the player after a good long while. Of course, on the album there are his two famous ballads, "I Love You" and "Oh My Little Girl". My impression is that the much of the rest of the album has that old rock-n'-roll style of the happy lone wolf crossing the country on his motorcycle.

However, there is one track that I remember very well outside of those two ballads. "Kizutsuketa Hitobito e" (To All That I Hurt), although it has those strings which remind me of some of those 50s and 60s love songs, strikes me as being more of a contemporary West Coast pop tune. In addition, unlike the title, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky one written and composed by Ozaki and quite a bit lighter when I think of some of those emotional ballads.

I've only started to go through the lyrics and although the title implies that he's referring to a number of people he's hurt in the past, I kinda wonder if he's apologizing...or at least explaining a single erstwhile or forgiving love. And considering the relatively bouncy melody, I also wonder if the protagonist is being somewhat feckless or insincere in his explanation and basically saying that he can't help who he is. There is a point in the video above when Ozaki just gives a sheepish grin and a shrug as if to transmit a "Hey, what can I do, man?"

In any case, "Kizutsuketa Hitobito e" may not be one of his most recognized works but it works for me since I like the genre that he covers here. It was actually the B-side to his debut single "Juu-go no Yoru"(15の夜...The Night)from December 1983.

Ozaki died in 1992, less than a decade after he had released this particular album. And hearing this particular track now, I also just wonder if this can also be a message to his fans from the beyond.

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