When my friend and I were visiting Japan in October 2014, Tokyo was also visited by a couple of typhoons, both on Mondays and both lasting for just the better part of the morning. I thought we were quite lucky there since I remember my first full fall in 1995 when a huge storm came by and I saw nothing but literal sheets of rain whipping across a deserted Asakusa in the late morning.
Plus, when I was actually living there full-time, thunderstorms, I found, weren't nearly as noisy as they are in Toronto. But boy, could they put on a light show! One night, I even turned off everything in my Ichikawa apartment and opened the curtains and just marveled at the gigantic electrical arcs ripping across the night sky...while thanking the heavens that none of them were aimed for my pointed head.
All that prelude for a song that I had first introduced in another article for Yosui Inoue & Anzen Chitai's（井上陽水・安全地帯）joint collaboration album "Stardust Rendezvous" a couple of weeks ago. It was with "Yudachi" (Evening Squall) that I decided that I had to give some of those songs from that album their particular individual due. I've already done so with the ballad "Kaerenai Futari"（帰れない二人）last week, so I will do the same here.
"Yudachi" was Inoue's 6th single from September 1974, and unlike the tender folk song that was "Kaerenai Futari", this song was the singer-songwriter indulging some good old-fashioned rock on this guitar. I had thought that Inoue would be singing about something figuratively stormy like a relationship on the rocks or the downfall of society, but instead, the lyrics were describing the impact of an actual sudden squall on everyone as they reacted like ants to an antagonistic human hand coming down on them. And Inoue was giving some good grunts and whoops in his short-but-volatile bombast.
The single itself got as high as No. 15 on Oricon and it was also a track on his 4th album, "Nishoku no Koma"（二色の独楽...Two-Tone Top）from October 1974. Although it didn't exactly reach the legendary heights that its predecessor "Kōri no Sekai"（氷の世界...World of Ice）did, it did copy its record on the Oricon weeklies by hitting the top spot. A bit of an aside, but I noticed on the Wikipedia article on the album that one of the musicians working on the album was a guitarist by the name of Ray Parker Jr.! I knew he's had a long association with Japan but didn't quite realize that he worked that long ago. I'm not sure whether Mr. Who-Are-Ya-Gonna-Call? was working exactly on "Yudachi" but just knowing that he had something to do with a Japanese kayo album from the early 70s had me going "Hmmmm..." for a while.