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.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Top 10 (ザ・トップテン)

When it came to the two big music ranking shows of the 1980s that helped me get more and more into Japanese popular music, I always saw TBS' "The Best 10" (ザ・ベストテン) as the sempai over the kohai of NTV's "The Top 10". And the former was indeed the longer-lasting of the two (1978-1989) while the latter's reign was from 1981 to 1990. Plus, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi(黒柳徹子)who was one-half of the hosting team on "The Best 10" was really just larger than life itself....her hairstyle alone was larger than life.

Basically though, I saw the two programs as two sides of the same coin with their in-studio and onsite guest performances. Still, "The Top 10" which took over for the long-running "NTV Kohaku Uta no Best 10"(NTV紅白歌のベストテン...NTV's Red-and-White Songs Best 10)(1969-1981) had its differences from "The Best 10" in that it ran on Monday nights instead of the latter's Thursdays which kept the managerial teams for all those singers quite happy, I imagine. Also, instead of the mirror ninja wall and the clattering airport terminal-friendly ranking boards at "The Best 10", "The Top 10" had a glittering elevator and a computer screen with a smiling/pouty monkey face to show the rankings on that show.

And of course, there were the hosts. The aforementioned Kuroyanagi and Hiroshi Kume(久米宏)were the mile-a-minute emcees on "The Best 10" but "The Top 10" had the amiable and former Group Sounds cat Masaaki Sakai(堺正章)and perennially pixie aidoru Ikue Sakakibara(榊原郁恵)handling things. One thing that I hadn't known was that legendary lyricist Yu Aku(阿久悠)was the overall major domo of "The Top 10".

Another thing was that "The Top 10" actually ended its run in early 1986. But right there to take its place was "Uta no Top 10"(歌のトップテン...Songs Top 10). With a change in set design and hosts, the show took the baton and continued until March of 1990 with a few other small adjustments here and there.

For the first year, the hosts were broadcaster Kazuo Tokumitsu(徳光和夫)and former aidoru Mako Ishino(石野真子)with singer/tarento Akiko Wada(和田アキ子)and comedian Shinsuke Shimada(島田紳助)taking over from 1987 onwards.

Beginning with all that VHS footage I saw at my classmate's house back in late 1981, I was hooked on both "The Best 10" and "The Top 10" so that I often would rent out videos of the two programs to catch up on my music. "The Best 10" finished its run in 1989 but I remember seeing "The Top 10" some months into my stay in Gunma Prefecture so when that final episode aired, I realized that an era just ended.

And totally off-topic here but since we are in Easter Weekend, I just wanted to give my tribute to the holiday with "Velvet Easter" and "Peter Rabbit to Watashi". Enjoy the ham and chocolate bunnies and eggs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.