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, December 28, 2016

Akira Terao -- Futari no Fuusen ~ Koibito to Issho ni Kiite Kudasai (二人の風船 ~ 恋人と一緒に聴いて下さい)

Nowadays when the name Akira Terao(寺尾聰), a lot of folks will probably think of the veteran actor with the slightly hangdog expression that would make most fans want to give him a helping hand through the TV screen. For people of my generation who were into kayo kyoku back then, we also knew him as not only the cop in the cool glasses working under Yujiro Ishihara(石原裕次郎)in "Seibu Keisatsu"(西部警察....West Division Police)but also as the guy behind the even cooler "Ruby no Yubiwa"(ルビーの指輪)and its home album "Reflections" from 1981. I recently mentioned about music touchstones that got me further into my interest in Japanese popular music. Well, "Ruby no Yubiwa" was one of the biggies for me. That intro does it to me every time.

I also noted in the article for "Reflections", one of my earliest pieces for "Kayo Kyoku Plus" that Terao had been a member of a Group Sounds band, The Savage, in the 1960s. But then with the fade out of the genre entering the 1970s, the singer-songwriter did go solo. His very first album was released in 1970 titled "Futari no Fuusen ~ Koibito to Issho ni Kiite Kudasai" (A Balloon For Two ~ Please Listen Together With A Lover). So far, I've come across a couple of tracks from the album which showed that Terao was interested in the bossa nova genre.

Indeed "The More I See You" is about as relaxing as lying on Copacabana Beach (provided that it was safe back in those days). And there is quite the serenade feeling about it. Even back then, that familiar and resonant Terao voice was there but I'm impressed that his English was (and is?) quite good in those days. Considering the genre and the delivery, I think "The More I See You" would also have been quite a good song for his future "boss", Ishihara to tackle.

As with the above track, "Inakunatta Anata" (いなくなったあなた...You're Gone) is another bossa nova piece but it's a bit more dramatic according to that title. Hopefully, it wasn't the thematic sequel to "The More I See You", but I'm still a sucker for a bossa nova ballad. I couldn't find out for sure whether it was indeed Terao who concocted these Brazilian delights but from what I've heard here, I wouldn't mind if he has been able to create some more of them in his future albums. Anyways, it was good to find another one of his albums that isn't "Reflections".

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