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, July 24, 2016

TUBE -- Natsu wo Dakishimete (夏を抱きしめて)

I figured I should do an article on a summer song since we are dead in the middle of the sizzling season. And I'm going with a song by none other than TUBE, the band whose name immediately brings summer to mind. 

I'd say that I'm only briefly acquainted with TUBE. I see some of their works that scream sun, sand and surf, often on 80's and 90's hit medleys but while I'm fine with the songs, none really caught my attention like "Natsu wo Dakishimete" did.

Rather than on one of the aforementioned medleys, I first came across "Natsu wo Dakishimete" while on a plane ride home not too long ago - from Taiwan, I think - as I browsed the 90's J-pop compilation album. Expecting something on the line of "Ah~ Natsu Yasumi" (あ~夏休み), which is what I know TUBE most for, I was surprised to hear something that was more to my taste and I ended up playing it on repeat throughout the rest of the journey. By the way, it's not to say that the former isn't a nice song; it is, but thus far I'm just not a big fan of it.

That's as summer as you can get: TUBE singing this in Hawaii.

Anyway, I'd compare "Natsu wo Dakishimete" the cool sea breeze blowing across a sunny beach. It's gentle at the beginning - just enough to make one's hair billow slightly - as heard by just the acoustic guitar, the tinkling synths, and Nobuteru Maeda's (前田亘輝) subdued delivery. But then the moment the music kicks it up a notch after the first chorus, it's as if the wind has picked up, making even the coconut trees sway vigorously. That's from the electric guitar roaring, and Maeda's voice returns to its bullhorn-like volume. I very much enjoy having it blasting away at a high volume. Somehow I find that comfortable. Perhaps it reminds me of the good times I had when I went cycling by the beach on my day off... The wind was usually blowing against me which made me pedal harder, but at least I've got that to cool me down.

"Natsu wo Dakishimete" was written by Maeda himself and composed by Michiya Haruhata (春畑道哉), one of TUBE's guitarists. Released on 11th May 1994, the song did well, peaking at 1st place on the Oricon weeklies and settling at 21st by the end of the year. Eventually it also became a million-seller, having over 1.05 million copies sold. "Natsu wo Dakishimete" was also used as a commercial song for the Toyota COROLLA CERES. I bet the CM had the car cruising by the sea/beach as the song played.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Noelle.

    I remember "Natsu wo Dakishimete" as that commercial song for the Toyota brand but even on its own, it's your typical TUBE feel-good song. Nothing better than a TUBE summer!


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