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.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Takashi Sato -- Peking de Choshoku wo (北京で朝食を)

Breakfast in Toronto is a fairly mundane affair. The mornings alternate between cereal and oatmeal with some form of bread in the toaster followed up with a cup of coffee. Of course, can't forget the OJ! And that was indeed the case for me as well when I was living in Ichikawa. Yep, Japanese supermarkets do sell corn flakes and the other types of cereal; they even have oatmeal on the shelves although I didn't really have that too much. I never cottoned onto the idea of the old-fashioned idea of a Japanese breakfast with pickles, rice, grilled fish and tea. And apparently even Emperor Hirohito eschewed a wa-shoku morning meal for most of his life since he fell in love with the Western variety after his visit with King George V when he was still the young Crown Prince.

The closest I ever got to a breakfast in Beijing was a breakfast in Hong Kong many years ago when I visited there with a couple of students. One of them who absolutely adored HK took her friend and me to a small restaurant in the Central district to have a piping hot bowl of congee with pieces of deep-fried bread stick. Simple yet delicious.

All this preamble of breakfast has been given just to introduce this 1980 debut song by singer-songwriter Takashi Sato(佐藤隆), "Peking de Choshoku wo" (Breakfast in Peking). Starting right off the bat with a little riff that hinted at those kayo with an exotic beat which were pretty popular during the late 1970s, the song was created by Sato and another Takashi...namely lyricist Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆). The song was arranged by another former member of rock band Happy End, Shigeru Suzuki(鈴木茂). Although the instrumental parts did have that exotic bent, the sung parts by Sato had a folksy City Pop swing that almost sounded downright European.

Matsumoto's lyrics related the protagonist's wish to find that mystery woman who he may have come across in the titular city while traveling there. The one notable thing there was how Sato delivered the English translation of the title. Although it was written down as "Breakfast in Peking", I couldn't help but hear "Beck! Boston Becky!" As someone who has enjoyed the YouTube series of misheard anison lyrics, I could enjoy the humour.

"Peking de Choshoku wo" was also a track on Sato's debut album from the same year, "I've Been Walking". Since that debut in 1980, he became even more famous for a song that he contributed to chanteuse Mariko Takahashi(高橋真梨子), "Momo Iro de Toiki"(桃色吐息)in 1984. And he has provided tunes for singers including Kenji Sawada(沢田研二), Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)and Shinji Tanimura(谷村新司).

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