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 21, 2016

Yumi Matsutoya -- 78

Knowing how much into the supernatural the Japanese are, it's no surprise that morning TV programs have daily horoscope readings and there are usually a few fortune tellers hanging about JR Shinjuku Station with some dedicated clients. Heck, Halloween is virtually a Japanese holiday now. Folks are into palmistry and tarot card readings as well. One of my former students trained herself to become a reader; I wouldn't be surprised if she has hung out her shingle somewhere in an alley.

Little did I know that Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)would also dabble into the occult through her music as well. But I shouldn't be surprised since her modus operandi when it comes to writing her lyrics is by finding about what young women are interested in at the time. And I guess even back then, they were into tarot cards.

Thus, "78". This is one of the shortest titles I have ever come across for a Yuming song. And that number refers to the number of tarot cards in a deck. Basically the tune is about someone trying to get her good luck back on track by visiting one of those fortune tellers armed with that potent deck. And yet, the music isn't anywhere near spooky or ominous; in fact, it's downright disco-dominant! I wonder if there had been a mirror ball spinning away on the ceiling above the fortune teller and customer. Perhaps it was the singer-songwriter's way of describing the drama of life in the big city being dependent on those 78 cards. Backing her up was the ubiquitous chorus of Japanese pop music of the time, EVE, and singer Masaki Ueda(上田正樹).

"78" is a track on Yuming's 8th album "Kanashii Hodo Otenki"(悲しいほどお天気...The Gallery In My Heart)from December 1979. That album got as high as No. 6 on the charts. Now I gotta consider getting that one too during Boxing Day!

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