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, April 3, 2016

AI -- Story

I heard "Story" by AI a lot a decade ago through the original music video on TV. Up to the release of her 12th single in May 2005, I had never heard of the singer but when this ballad made its presence known, I was struck by the power and message of it. Written by AI (Ai Carina Uemura) and composed by 2SOUL, there is a certain power ballad-of-the-80s feeling to the arrangements that reminded me of Bryan Adams' "Heaven".

AI's genre is usually R&B but "Story" is a pop ballad about not leaving what can be done today until it's too late. However, it has always been the melody that attracted me about it. I've only seen AI once on TV...I think it was on the late "HEY! HEY! HEY! Music Champ" where she was jovially chumming around with the boys from Downtown and teaching a bit of the local English to them when she was attending high school in Los Angeles. But as amiable as she is, I think everyone wanted to listen to the voice. "Story" was AI's first Top 10 hit, peaking at No. 8 and becoming the 43rd-ranked song of 2005. Plus, she got her invitation to sing the song on the Kohaku Utagassen.

Almost a decade after its release, AI's English-language version of "Story" became the ending theme for the movie "Big Hero 6" in Japan. It was no "The Incredibles" but it was enjoyable and I'm sure Baymax was a huge hit with the kiddies. Of course, over there the Japanese title was indeed "Baymax".

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