I shall certainly remember these summer days as we make the change into September very shortly. Compared to the past couple of years, Toronto got blasted with some major heat this summer which made a lot of sun-worshiping folks very happy. Being heat-proofed during nearly 2 decades in Japan, I was fairly OK with the 3H (heat, humidity, haze) weather but to be honest, I will be grateful for the eventual cooling down.
Now, here's a blast from the past...a very nice one, in fact. As I've most likely mentioned before in past articles regarding Anri（杏里）, Ms. Eiko Kawashima（川嶋 栄子）has had a good run with her summery songs but I have to say that my favourite time with her has been during her collaboration with Toshiki Kadomatsu（角松敏生）in the early 1980s. Whether her material back then could be called City Pop, its subset Resort Pop, or J-AOR, it was all those wonderful horns and thumpy bass that helped her star rise.
"Remember Summer Days" was a bonus track that was added to the remastered 2012 version of Anri's 6th album, "Timely!!", originally from December 1983. I'm not quite sure whether the singer was trying to be ironic with the title considering when it was released. Anyways, the song is a natural fit for the album with all of the ingredients I've mentioned in making a nice and mellow Anri song of the 80s. Yup, it was indeed Kadomatsu behind the words and music, and if "Remember Summer Days" had actually been included in the original album at its release date, then the title would have been perfect as a memory of the hot season while folks were shivering away and sipping their cream stew.
Apparently, a lot of YouTube folks cottoned onto the song when they discovered the Macross 82-99 remix. Welcome to the wonderful world of old-school J-Pop, folks! What I've liked about "Remember Summer Days" is how things start off and progress like a typical City Pop tune before the refrain gets a little old jazzy and whimsical...almost on a level of an aidoru song by two of the Tanokin Trio.
As for "Timely!!" (could never be sure whether it was 2 or 3 exclamation marks in the title), this was a No. 1 album for Anri. Good times, they were. The album also had a couple of singles, both of them bona fide hits: "Cat's Eye" and "Kanashimi ga Tomaranai"（悲しみがとまらない）.
Into September, we go!