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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seiko Matsuda -- Jingle Bell mo Kikoenai (ジングルベルも聞こえない)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas as that old lyric says. The snow is here although how white it stays up until the 25th is frankly debatable. I've sent out the international Xmas cards along with a few presents, I've been getting a few of my own shipments in, and the rash of Holiday get-togethers is gonna be underway in a couple of nights.

So I've already played one of my homemade J-Xmas tape mixes that I made all the way back in 1991. The tape still holds up although the voices have all been pitched up higher due to age. And then I started wondering whether I could find another Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子)Xmas song that I had never heard. Therefore, I made my search on YouTube.

Before I could say the word aidoru, I found the target of my search oh so easily. It happens to be "Jingle Bell mo Kikoenai" (Can't Even Hear Jingle Bells) which was a track on Seiko-chan's first Xmas album from December 1982 "Kin Iro no Ribbon"(金色のリボン...Golden Ribbon).

I have yet to purchase this album of Seiko (and not sure if it's on the super rare list) but I do have her later Xmas-y effort "Snow Garden" from 1987. And listening to "Jingle Bell mo Kikoenai" and then comparing it to her Yuletide songs on "Snow Garden", there's a lot more of that early aidoru in the arrangement and composition of "Jingle Bell" by Masaaki Omura(大村雅朗). In fact, I would probably say that the happy song is the answer to my question "What would an early 80s aidoru Xmas song sound like?" Ta-dah!

Over the past couple of days, I was talking with Marcos when he wrote that latest article on Eri Niita(新田恵利). We were discussing about the fact that despite a lot of aidorus' lack of vocal ability back then, they had the fine backup of some of the best songwriters in business to keep them in business. Not to say that Seiko-chan was a horrible singer (and I think she was a whole lot better than Niita) but I think a lot of her early success was also due to songwriters such as the aforementioned Omura, Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)and Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆), with that last person providing the lyrics for "Jingle Bell". They all worked together to make some of those classic 80s aidoru tunes.

Matsumoto's lyrics, by the way, depict a fiercely jealous girl on the slopes who's probably a tsundere with the emphasis on the tsun part, thinking of all sorts of nasty thoughts about the guy she likes being with the girl she hates. Perhaps it isn't a classic J-Xmas song but considering that during my years in Japan, the Naeba Ski Resort commercials were a staple during the Xmas season, I think I can still include it in the category. Plus the way Seiko delivers it with a smile and a bounce, it's hard to imagine the massive envy her protagonist is reflecting.

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