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, November 11, 2016

Lily -- Uchi e Oide yo (家へおいでよ)

Well, this has been a rather bittersweet period of 24 hours.

Last night, Canada and the music world lost the legendary Leonard Cohen at the age of 82 who was arguably most famous for his rendition of "Halleljuah". He was probably one of the coolest old cats I've seen with that rich smoky voice.

Then just some minutes ago, the news came out that actor Robert Vaughn has died at the age of 83. I knew him from various shows and movies, most notably as one of the cowboys from the original "The Magnificent Seven" and even more famously as superspy Napoleon Solo from "The Man From UNCLE". One of my oldest pop culture memories is that pre-credits prelude from "UNCLE" in which an enemy spy tries to infiltrate UNCLE Headquarters and shoots at some (nearly) bullet-resistant glass only for a deadly serious Solo to appear to mete out justice. I mean, it was a total failure of security in a top-secret organization but, dang, it looked cool! And as I said, the sequence has remained in my brain all these decades.

Between those two news items, I also found out from Mixi this morning that singer-actress Lily (りりィ) passed away from lung cancer earlier today at the age of 64. Her most famous song is the folky 1974 "Watashi ga Naiteimasu"(わたしが泣いています)which got as high as No. 3 on Oricon.

However, I've also found this atmospheric and bluesy number which she created as her 8th single in March 1976, "Uchi e Oide yo" (Come Over To My Home). This may have been her 2nd-most successful number as it reached No. 14 on the charts, and with the soft but rambunctious piano and meowing guitar, it feels like it was meant to be performed at some rundown honky-tonk in Shinjuku.

I am also attracted to Lily's vocals. Sounding as if she had imbibed a few glasses of shochu before recording the song, she invites an old buddy who may be a man or a woman to share some drinks and commiserate over their shared loneliness...perhaps to lead to some overnight action. Or it is more of a "I LOVE YOU, MAN" type of platonic thing. I was never an expert on Janis Joplin but I couldn't help but be reminded of her while I was listening to this open invitation of a song. The home that Lily could have been talking about is probably a ramshackle apartment that is thoroughly lived-in and comfortable for any friends.

Musically, it's definitely a good distance away from any of the enka and aidoru stuff that was getting on the TV shows back then. Not sure if she ever did perform it there but I'm sure it was good to hear at the live houses of the 1970s.

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