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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sharam Q -- Iiwake (いいわけ)

Of the few Sharam Q (シャ乱Q) songs that I do like, "Iiwake" (Excuses) is not at the top of the list, to be honest. The somewhat jazzy "Zurui Onna" (ズルイ女) is my favourite. However, "Iiwake" is memorable for its intro which builds up with a dreaded air of uncertainty before things explode in a crash of instruments and lead singer Tsunku (つんく) goes into his lyrics (he also composed the music) of spouting off various excuses for not getting into a normal healthy relationship.

Plus, there was that appearance of Sharam Q at the Kohaku Utagassen (I'm assuming that it is the 1996 show). The familiar buildup for "Iiwake" began when the square of the stage floor opened up and out flew Tsunku to immediately dive into the song. That stunt probably got everyone's eyes open. I was just astounded that he didn't end up breaking his neck or falling back down into the basement. The moaning that he does in his performance would have been for real.

"Iiwake" is the band's 10th single from April 1996 which peaked at No. 3 and became a million-selling hit, earning a Best Record prize at the Japan Record Awards. It ended the year as the 21st-ranking single. The song was also used as the theme for a Fuji-TV drama about the consequences of infidelity called "Age,35 Koishikute" (Age 35 恋しくて....I Miss You). As I remember, the show got a lot of press and exposure, not surprising since the original manga was created by Fumi Saimon(柴門ふみ), the author of "Tokyo Love Story" which became one of the big dramas (if not the biggest) for 1991.

Never saw a single episode but I am quite impressed with that opening credits sequence with Sharam Q actually performing "Iiwake" in front of the camera while the main actors are sitting pensively and separately at their tables. Pretty much sets the tone for the drama to come over the next several weeks.

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