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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Simons -- Koibito mo Inai noni (恋人もいないのに)

I guess my mellow mood continues since I've got another 70s folk song involving a female duo following my article on Betsy & Chris.

Simons (シモンズ) was a folk duo who had their heyday between 1971 and 1974. As both Yumi Tanaka(田中ユミ)and Tae Tamai(玉井タエ)came from Osaka, their music was deemed a part of the Kansai Folk sub-genre. The high school classmates held concerts covering the songs performed by the aforementioned Betsy & Chris after which they passed an audition held by the radio program "Young Town". Following their graduation from high school, the two went to Tokyo and were signed up by RCA Records.

In August 1971, they debuted with "Koibito mo Inai noni" (Even Though She Doesn't Have a Boyfriend), a song that starts off with that jaunty acoustic guitar but starts to finish with a fairly urban flourish of horns and percussion. However, Tanaka and Tamai kept up that cheerful and crystalline harmony that was reminiscent of the rolling countryside.

Written by Takeshi Ochiai(落合武司)and composed by Takashi Nishioka(西岡たかし), the lyrics had the singers wondering where that girl was going with a bouquet of flowers. Apparently, although the love was gone, the lass was intent on frittering away those petals to officially signify the end of the romance. Although "Koibito mo Inai noni" peaked at No. 21, the single managed to sell over 600,000 records, and was the most successful of Simons' 12 singles. The duo also released 4 original albums.

Simons had been scheduled to sing what would become the kayo folk standard, "Ano Subarashii Ai wo Mou Ichido"(あの素晴らしい愛をもう一度)as their debut, but only for the creators of the song, Kazuhiko Kato and Osamu Kitayama(加藤和彦・北山修), to sing it by themselves, so the female duo went with "Koibito mo Inai noni". And even though that former song has become the more famous of the two, Simons did win Best Newcomer honours at the Japan Record Awards that year.

As for the derivation of their duo name, both Tanaka and Tamai are big fans of Paul Simon.

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