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 7, 2016

Ruriko Asaoka -- Ai no Kaseki(愛の化石)

A few nights ago, I wrote about a couple of veteran singers' cover of the evergreen "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" which has become this paean to permanently lost love. Well, on a recent episode of "Uta Kon" (うたコン), I heard another love-drenched ballad from the same decade as performed by 76-year-old actress Ruriko Asaoka(浅丘ルリ子).

Her "Ai no Kaseki" (Fossil of Love) was actually her 3rd-last single in her side career as a singer which came out in August 1969. She'd been recording a lot of singles since 1957 but it seems as if this particular song was her only really big hit aside from "Yuuhi no Oka"(夕陽の丘...Hill of the Setting Sun), her 1963 duet with Yujiro Ishihara石原裕次郎...haven't written about this one yet). Although it hasn't officially been categorized as such, I would probably say that "Ai no Kaseki" almost rates as something French in terms of how Asaoka sings and talks her way through it. It certainly sounds mournful enough as the actress relates her fairly painful reminiscences of a past happy relationship that is very much in the past.

(karaoke version)

"Ai no Kaseki" was written by Rokuro Namiki(並木六郎)and composed by Takashi Miki(三木たかし). The song reached No. 2 on Oricon and was successful enough so that a movie starring Asaoka was produced in the following year based on it.

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