The only song that I had heard by soulful singer Masaki Ueda（上田正樹）up to now was "Osaka Bay Blues", an urban contemporary ballad that was a hit for him in 1982. But being a particular fan of City Pop and R&B from either side of the Pacific, I always felt that I should give Ueda some more listening. And thanks to YouTube, I have been able to hear a few of those other songs that are not "Osaka Bay Blues".
Tonight, I have decided to go with his debut single from December 1972, "Gin-iro no Taiyo ga Moeru Asa ni" (The Morning of a Golden Sun). It's one of those songs that I have come across which doesn't easily categorize itself solidly in any one genre. Written by Takashi Yanase（やなせたかし）and composed by Makiko Kinoshita（木下牧子）, it starts out over several seconds sounding like some sort of mysterious New Music tune before it proudly launches into a mix of old-style soul kayo that could have been sung by Akiko Wada（和田アキ子）and a 60s happy song performed by Kyu Sakamoto（坂本九）. However, there is no mistaking the distinct sandpaper voice belonging to Ueda.
Yanase's lyrics are just as positive as Ueda invites someone to take a fun trip anywhere in the nation while the weather remains gorgeous. Considering all of the unseasonable snow we've been getting here in Toronto, that is an idea that I would love to hold onto. Keeping on Yanase, as I was thinking about what to write here, there was something flashing in my head indicating some sort of familiarity with that name. Well, Takashi Yanase had a bigger job as the manga artist behind the still much-beloved "Anpanman"（アンパンマン）.