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, July 22, 2016

Bread & Butter/Tatsuro Yamashita/Hiroko Mita -- Pink Shadow (ピンクシャドウ)

Some of my radio memories as a kid during the 1970s involved some of that mellow pop sung by artists such as Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Carly Simon. I believe the music was a concoction of some Latin and some funk mixed in with that AOR. Of course at that time, I had no idea that it seemed as if a number of singers over in Japan were also interested in that sound. And I think it was that sound that fit into the genre of New Music...original Western melodies paired with Japanese lyrics created by Japanese singer-songwriters during that same decade.

It was those singers from my childhood that came to mind when I encountered the 9th single of the band Bread & Butter (ブレッド&バター), "Pink Shadow". Released in September 1974, the Brothers Iwasawa, Satsuya and Fuyumi(岩沢幸矢・岩沢二弓), created this lightly funky pop song about a couple waltzing over a pink-chalk outline that the girl had drawn on the ground of her devoted beau. Ah...young lovers...they will do just about anything, won't they?

At this point, I've known most of their stuff thus far from their more City Pop material of the late 1970s, but even listening to this song from Bread & Butter, I could imagine where the Iwasawas were heading...and that place had plenty of Perrier and beach umbrellas. Plus, at the same time, I can even hear a bit of Billy Joel in there as well.

Four years later, one of the other kings of New Music and then City Pop, Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)covered "Pink Shadow" in his first live album "It's A Poppin' Time". The version I hear in the video above has got a faster tempo and energy to it, but according to some of the comments on YouTube, the album version is different.

Here is a performance of "Pink Shadow" by Bread & Butter.

To wrap up, I was surprised to find out that aidoru Hiroko Mita(三田寛子)provided her own even funkier version for her 2nd album "Melancholy Colour" (メランコリー・カラー) from November 1982. Though her vocals still strike me as being cutely aidoru, the arrangement of the song (including dancing sax, though I could have done without the "pink, pink, pink" by the backup singers) makes me wonder whether Mita was actually not marketed as an aidoru right from the beginning. Her J-Wiki profile has her listed as just singer so maybe I've had her pegged wrong.

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