In place of the usual "Uta Kon"（うたコン）a few nights ago, TV Japan presented the 54th Annual Kayo Charity Concert（第54回 歌謡チャリティーコンサート）from the city of Shizuoka. Basically the special is a bit more dressier than the weekly kayo broadcast but has the customary mix of old kayo and new J-Pop with a large symphonic orchestra in back.
One of the singers featured that night was perennial favourite Akira Fuse（布施明）. Some months ago, one commenter took him to task for always shifting his larynx into overdrive and blowing out his vocals like the Wave Motion Gun on the Yamato. I have to admit that his performance of "Ai wa Fushicho" (Love Is A Phoenix) on the Tuesday concert sounded like listening to my favourite song at a few levels of volume too high. It all came out too fuzzy and garbled and loud. Not quite sure if he were trying to compensate for something but perhaps he felt like he needed to come up with the showstopper to wrap up the broadcast.
Noelle came up with one of his most recent songs a few weeks ago, so let me go way back for the Fuse fix tonight. "Ai wa Fushicho" was one of the boomer's singles, his 20th, from 1970. As the title would hint, Kohan Kawauchi's（川内康範）lyrics are all about eternal love...quite the high-flying concept, and so Masaaki Hirao's（平尾昌晃）music matched it with something of an epic operatic European bent. Plus, of course, Fuse's vocals were more than happy to take the challenge although I think his performance in the above video was rather more controlled and easier to listen to.
The arrangements for the song here had an interesting feel of a Hollywood Western as if Fuse was getting ready for that showdown in the middle of the dusty street in 19th-century Nevada. I wish there were an actual recorded version of "Ai wa Fushicho" on YouTube but for now, we just have the performed versions on TV.
No mention was made on J-Wiki on how the song did on Oricon strangely enough, but it must have done quite well since Fuse was able to make it onto the 1970 Kohaku Utagassen for the 4th time to perform it. Apparently, he was wearing clothes that resembled the outline of a phoenix. I would be very interested to see what he looked like in that outfit.