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, December 9, 2016

Hiroshi Uchiyamada & The Cool Five -- Minato Monogatari (みなと物語)

The of those popular sites for a Mood Kayo tune. And yet, on hearing this perhaps relatively obscure tune by Hiroshi Uchiyamada & The Cool Five(内山田洋とクール・ファイブ), "Minato Monogatari" (Harbour Story), I cannot say that this is pure Mood Kayo.

Oh, it starts out with the The Cool Five and their backup voices sure enough but the melody by Etsuro Miyamoto(宮本悦朗)has that major chord which kinda makes "Minato Monogatari" sound like as if it were meant for daytime listening, perhaps even as a theme for a comical TV show. And then there's vocalist Kiyoshi Maekawa(前川清)who kinda startled me when I first heard the song since his voice went way low at first before returning to its usual level as he sang about pining for love through Ou Yoshida's(吉田旺)lyrics.

Along with the atypical daytime feeling of this Cool Five song, that Mood Kayo gets mixed in with some lovely soothing strings which swoop in down on Maekawa seemingly to reassure him. I'm also convinced that this arrangement would have been ideal for Momoe Yamaguchi(山口百恵). Plus, there is also a small interlude when the Cool Five even scat a bit classical before getting back to the Mood Kayo of it all. All in all, it's an interesting and calming song for this group.

"Minato Monogatari" didn't come out as a single but as a track on the group's 1977 album "Uchiyamada Hiroshi & Cool Five -- Dai Jusshuu"(内山田洋とクール・ファイブ 第10集...H. Uchiyamada & Cool Five, Volume 10). It goes to show what I've always said about music here. Enjoying the hits is splendid but there are always some hidden gems to be had going into some of these original albums' non-single tracks.


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    Thanks for sharing this hidden gem. "Minato Monogatari" has a lightheartedness that is not the usual Cool Five style and I hear a slight enka edge there - I like it.

    I have to agree about the gems hidden in albums, and for that matter, gems that are the overshadowed B-sides to singles. I wish that songs like these would be given some time in the limelight on shows like "Uta Kon" or minimally "Nippon no Uta" to mix things up a little - hearing the same one or two songs from a singer all the time is getting quite dry.

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      The pleasure is all mine. :) I would also agree on having some of these frequent guests on "Uta Kon", etc. perform some of their less-heard tunes since I think they are also quite good. But perhaps folks such as NHK or the singers' management are simply a little too nervous about "offending" the audience so they have the singers just do the hits.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.