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 2, 2017

Yukihiro Takahashi -- Moonlight Feels Right

My nostalgia alarm went on Red Alert when I saw the following video.

I hadn't heard "Moonlight Feels Right" by Starbuck in just about 40 years. It used to be on all those K-Tel record commercials and the radio. The original version came out in 1976 as Starbuck's debut single. It was a huge hit and basically the only hit by them as it blasted all the way up to No. 3 on Billboard, in time becoming the 34th-ranked single of the year. Even here in Canada, "Moonlight Feels Right" peaked at No. 3 on the charts and gradually became the 51st-ranked song.

My re-acquaintance with the song came through a chance discovery of a YouTube video with that recognizable title under Yukihiro Takahashi's(高橋幸宏)name. Apparently, he did a cover version of it as the last track on his 8th solo album "...Only When I Laugh" which came out in August 1986. And he does a pretty good tribute to original vocalist Bruce Blackman, although the YMO drummer does enunciate his T's fairly noticeably. The album reached as high as No. 24 on the charts.

Listening to the original by Starbuck, I have to say that that famous keyboard riff during the refrain sparked off those memory engrams of bell bottoms, wide lapels and corduroys. Plus, it's not everyday that someone could pull off a searing marimba solo in a contemporary pop song. "Moonlight Feels Right" had me thinking that this could have been one of the inspirational touchstones for the New Music movement in Japanese popular music in the 1970s. I could easily imagine singers such as Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)or Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)relishing a cover of that.

Not sure whether the band got any free coupons for a certain globally known coffee shop.

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